Growing tomato plants from seed can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and tomato seeds are relatively easy to grow. Only a few seeds from a packet are required to produce enough tomatoes to feed a family of four. If stored properly these seeds will remain viable for 4 to 5 years. One packet of seed can provide you with tomato plants for several years.

Tomato seedlings should be started inside in a bright location during February or March. Typically the seedlings are ready to transplant into the garden after 5 to 7 weeks. Plant these tomato seedlings out in the garden during April or May. Provide tomatoes with a wind-protected warm sunny spot for best results.

Growing tomatoes in the Bay Area can be tricky. Lack of heat in combination with summer fog is not ideal for growing many varieties. Most varieties require a lot of sunlight and heat until they will bear fruit so plant them in the sunniest spot you have.

The days to maturity numbers listed on seed packets are approximate and useful for comparing varieties. Chose early or mid season (70 days or less) to be most successful. If you have a hot sunny spot you might try a late season variety.

Happy Planting to All.