I like to start my tomatoes mid-March because that gives them 8-10 weeks to grow before they go outdoors to face summer. This year I started some greenhouse tomatoes (Cobra with medium sized fruit and Juliet because it is new) way back in February. I did this because I wanted them to grow big enough to be planted out in the greenhouse at Easter in Qualicum Beach. If you were following along, my 88 yr old mother minded my tomatoes last year. She kept reporting back that they were fine until she had her cataract surgery. Well, that was last year and every gardener knows a new year is a fresh start and a clean slate, so I am optimistically started seed again this year.
The outdoor Calgary tomatoes did not get started until yesterday - in between talk planning and media stuff (for the new book). It is good to take a rest and do something almost mindless. Some people read or watch tv- I like to walk the dog or garden if I have free time. So, I had picked up a bale of pro-mix at garden retreat last week in anticipation of this big event and I pulled out my new plug seeding trays and I was ready. Then I read my diary notes from last year. I know perfectly well that anything germinated over heat sprouts quickly - sometimes in just a few days. Last year I started lettuce just before I went away for work and when I got back it was long and white and thin. Ok - it was disgusting.
Put two and two together and you'll see me in Toronto this week which means I won't be home tending tomatoes. So to slow down their germination I put my twelve little seeds in soil but did not put them over heat. Instead, I put them up in my office- a place I wear my new fingerless gloves (thanks Katie) in the winter.... If these Sungold tomatoes are not up by the time I am back I will pop them downstairs on the heated floor and push them a bit. I do have a class to teach about seed starting next week in Calgary. Guess I won't have any germinating seedlings to show for that.