I seriously can’t believe it’s already that time again. Winter sowing tomato seeds! While it feels like winter has lasted forever, it hardly feels like I should be starting tomato seeds. However, that’s the beauty of the winter sowing method. If you’re unfamiliar with winter sowing, you can definitely find more information by doing a quick search here on the blog or by visiting our gardening Facebook group.
To winter sow tomato plants, you really need very little to get started. Last year, I used an old soda bottle and it worked great. This year, I’ve expanded my growing into trays. The trays will be placed into a low tunnel and undergo the same general conditions that might occur in a winter sowing soda bottle – just on a larger scale.
Here in zone 6b/7, I generally begin the process of winter sowing around the end of March. For me, this allows warmer temperatures of spring to start to arrive – even though there’s still very much a chance of freezing temperatures. I’ve found that the tomato seeds will usually begin to germinate when the time is right. Once germinated, I always make sure to pay close attention to the weather.
If a chance of frost threatens after the seeds have germinated, I’ll definitely need to make sure that I’m taking care of my seedlings. This means that I’ll either need to protect them with some sort of sheet or row cover or I may even need to completely bring the seedlings into the house (depending upon how cold it is).
Winter sowing tomato plants is not fool-proof. It may take some experience to know when and how to regulate the temperature of the plants. However, once you’ve really got to know the needs of the plants, it is so incredibly easy to start some really great tomato transplants at little cost.