tomato 087 tomato 084
tomato 080 tomato 081

Tomato seeds should be planted 6 weeks before the last frost. I planted these 4 weeks early to see if I can get tomatoes earlier this year. Plus I’m trying the variety Beaver Lodge – an ultra early (50 days). These early planted plants will need to be planted into big pots before transplanting out to the garden and will be heavy to carry in and out as they harden off. Plus, when I tried early tomatoes last year, I still got my first ripe fruits at the same time as the plants started at 6 weeks. But, some people have success with early planting, so I’m trying again.

9 Comments. Leave new

  • Thanks for posting these pics! Have you ever tried Walls of Water around your tomatoes? My husband did this one year – he did it to protect the plants from a late frost. I can't remember if we got tomatoes earlier that year or not. I do recall that the "4th of July" variety was pretty true to date.

  • I've never tried walls of water. I have read that they can be difficult to set up. I've read that you can also surround the plants with plastic (2-liter) soda bottles filled with water. Its a good idea to keep the plants warmer after transplanting. Of course, last year was cold until June… Hopefully we'll do better this year.

    I've never had a ripe tomato even close to the 4th of July. (Maybe this year??) I always need to wait til July 30.

  • Just today I notice that first leaves on my tomato seedlings are hanging down, towards ground. Similar as is your first picture. I thought that they were under too strong light, or is this ok?

  • Im so glad you posted these pics because I wasnt sure how close to place the lights. When do you fertilize your seedlings, and what do you use?


  • They can't have too much light. The leaves do droop. I never really noticed this before.

    I suspect that its because there is not enough light, so the leaves grow big trying to get more and then the big surface area droops because the little plant can't always pull enough water up from the soil to support the leaf, especially when there is some heat from the light pulling moisture out.

    The lights should go as close to the plants as you can. My lights don;t get hot, just a little bit warm to the touch, so I let the plants touch them.

    The light from the bulbs doesn't compare with sunlight. On a sunny day my plants will all face the window instead of the bulbs.

  • Kathy … I love Walls of water. It's true that they are a pain in the back to set up but if you are doing a super early tomato then it is worth it. Get a pack of three walls. Put your tomatoes out in them as soon as you have a bright sunny day. Don't worry about cold. They will be fine. You should get tomatoes close to the 4th.


  • OK you convinced me! I'll give this a try. I assume you mean a bright sunny day in late April.

  • Depends on when you get a final frost or even cool weather. The only problem with too early (aka, mid-march) is that the plants will grow out of the walls before it is warm enough for them to thrive without the walls. They love it in there, even when it is into the 20's at night. They love it so well that they grow like crazy … that's the limiting factor.

    BTW … use the 5 gal. bucket method when setting them up and try to do it where you can use a hose with an old fashioned straight nozzle to fill them … this is the back breaking work.

  • I am just now ordering a pack (or 2) for me and a pack for my parents. Thanks. Sounds great.


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