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Wild Boar Farms (Brad Gates) showcases their award winning tomatoes. True eye candy.

Start Your Tomato Seeds

If you plan to plant your tomatoes in late March or early April, now is the time to start tomatoes from seed indoors. We have the difficult decision to make, here at Gardenerd HQ, to decide which tomatoes to grow this year. After all, we have more than 47 different seed packets to choose from, but only room for 16 plants between two gardens.

It’s a common issue. Don’t you wish you had more room this time of year? We’ll in order to make the best of the available space, and to have a diverse selection of tomatoes, we narrow it down like this:

How To Choose a Favorite Child

16 plants = 8 for each garden (the Gardenerd Test Garden and our community plot)

We sort tomatoes by 4 types, and by use and color: sauce/paste, slicing/beefsteak, salad/ saladette, snacking/cherries.

First, we organize and choose by type: 2 paste types, 2 beefsteak, 2 salad-sized, and 2 cherries for each garden (so 4 of each type in total)

Then, from those types, we pick based on color: 2 red, 2 yellow, 2 green, 2 odd balls (black, orange/pink or other multicolored type) for each garden.

Next, we narrow down the options to include the tomatoes that have done the best for us over the years, and any new varieties we plan to grow.

When we’re done, we’ve got 16 tomato varieties spanning the rainbow, with shape- and use- diversity built in. This ensures that we have an abundance of cherry tomatoes for snacking, slicing tomatoes for sandwiches, paste tomatoes for sauces and cooking, and some interesting varieties for eye candy (sounds vain, I know, but can you blame me?!) I mean check out this one and tell me you can resist it.

22 different tomato seedlings under grow lights.

Tomato and pepper seeds need 6-8 weeks to grow before they are ready to plant out. Start tomato seeds now! Here’s a resource video that will guide you along the way.

How To Start Tomato Seeds & Keep Them Organized

If you want more help planning your spring garden, check out our upcoming garden planning online course. We’re launching it at the end of February! Get on the waiting list to find out more and be the first to know when registration opens.

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