Starting tomato plants from seeds in starter pots with lots of light, warmth and humidity? After the germinated seeds develop their second set of true leaves (the first to open are cotyledons – not true leaves) , transplant to larger pots. Plant deeply so the leaves are just at the soil surface. Tomato plants develop lots of adventitious or extra roots along the main stem. Planting deeply allows more root surface to develop for stronger plants. After all freeze threat is past, gradually harden the seedlings off by moving outdoors for a few days to a shady, protected area during warm, sunny days, then back indoors for protection, before transplanting into your community garden plot. Purchased seedlings benefit from planting deeply during transplanting, as well.
By Carol Hassell, Master Gardener and HFCG Plot holder