When:  

  • 6-8 weeks before time to plant tomatoes in your garden
  • 8-10 weeks before time to plant peppers and eggplants

Where:

  • Indoor in a warm spot, 75-80 degrees for tomatoes; 80-90 degrees for peppers and eggplant
  • Once seeds sprout, move plants to very bright light.  Next to a south or west facing window may be sufficient, but sometimes supplemental light is necessary.  Set up a fluorescent lighting fixture positioned just a few inches from the tops of the young plants.

How:

  • Start with trays filled with sterile seed-starting mix moistened before planting, or use peat pellets
  • Plant seeds no more than 1/4″ deep.  Wait 7-10 days for tomato seeds to germinate, 14-21 days for pepper and eggplant
  • Water sparingly, enough to keep plants hydrated, but not so much that soil is saturated.  Avoid letting plants sit in water that accumulates in the bottom of trays.
  • Fertilize with a weak liquid fertilizer once seedlings have their first few sets of leaves.
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