Follow these simple steps now, courtesy of Mahoney‚Äôs Garden Center manager Mark Cutler, for juicy homegrown tomatoes come August.
Illustrations by Liz Noftle
1.¬†Pick a Winner:¬†Cutler recommends planting Brandywine heirloom or Sungold cherry tomatoes for maximum flavor.
2. Find a Home:¬†Use a seed-starter kit with small fiber pots or egg-carton-like trays. The NK Lawn & Garden Mini-Greenhouse ($8), for example, has a plastic top to keep moisture in.
3. Hit the Dirt:¬†Avoid using ordinary potting soil, which is too dense for seedlings and may cause root rot. Instead, fill your trays with a lightweight seed-starting mix.
4.¬†Heat Things Up:¬†Seedlings need sun to grow, so if you don‚Äôt get much, invest in a grow light.
5. Protect and Serve:¬†Place the trays in a warm, humid¬†area, or cover them with a¬†glass bell to simulate a greenhouse¬†environment. Mist regularly.
6. Divide and Conquer:¬†Start separating plants once the adult leaves (the ones with serrated edges) begin to form.
7.¬†Trade Up:¬†When at least three sets of adult leaves appear, move the seedling to a 4-inch pot and fill with soilless potting mix. Continue to provide ample heat and light.
8.¬†Head Outside:¬†The plants are ready for open air once the temperature stays above 50 degrees. Start them in partial shade, then transfer to 14-inch pots and move to full sunlight.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/property/article/2013/03/05/how-to-grow-tomatoes-at-home/