This year, I started my tomatoes from seed on 1/23/2012 and 1/24/2012. I chose these dates taking into consideration that last year, I had started in March, which was simply too late. The year before, I started in December, and that was way too early.
I also chose the tomatoes very carefully, taking into consideration our cool temperature climate; this year, they are Black Krim, Momotaro, SunGold and Pineapple. No others because I find I have too many seedlings each year and not enough space. The Black Krim, a cooler climate tolerant tomato, should be perfect for our one block from the beach climate. As for the Pineapple, I think it won't do that well since it seems to prefer sunnier and warmer places so this is my challenge for the year. SunGold does well, since it is a cherry. The Momotaro does okay but I like this tomato and don't want to give up on it.
I harvested the Black Krim and Pineapple seeds directly from the tomato. The Momotaro and Sungold are hybrids and came from the Kitagawa seed company.
This year, I decided to soak the seeds in water for an hour, a new step but I don't know if it made a difference.
Germination rate was 100% except for the Pineapple seeds (50%).
I plant the seeds into small containers.
As the seedlings grow, I transplant into larger containers.
Since I grow the seedlings indoors in my window, I find I need to cold-acclimitize the seedlings before taking them outdoors else they do not grow well. Our outdoor overnight temps drop to 50 F, which I think is pushing the comfort boundaries. The Black Krim have been slowly acclimitized outdoors overnight over a two week period.
Of the six Black Krim seedlings, one has already been given away, one will be given away to a local group, and the rest will be planted in my garden.
This Black Krim has already been planted into the ground.
I follow the instructions from here for the most part.