In the Garden: Time for tomato seedlings

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) It's finally gardening season again. Or at least it's time to start some seedlings indoors. Garden Expert Charlie Nardozzi shows us how.

Sharon Meyer: Charlie, we're back gardening again. Look there are green things.

Charlie Nardozzi: Yay. Green things. Tomatoes. It is tomato seed starting time. It is because we have about six weeks or so before we can put them in the ground. So if you are just starting a couple of tomatoes, you can just do it really easily with some pots. You can get a plastic pot like this one, or one of those cow pots that are biodegradable so you can just pop them in the ground.

So that's the easiest thing to do, put some soil in, a couple of seeds, thin them down to one seedling, you're ready to go. If you are doing more than that though, you probably want to get one of these cell trays. These are nice, because you can do a number of them, but you can see the cells are small. So you are going to have to transplant them. These have been growing for a month or so. This one has been transplanted into this one and you can see the size difference in one week. So when they get to about 3 to 4" tall, you want to transplant them into a bigger pot. So if you have them growing like this, you want to keep them short and stocky. The way to do that is to brush them -- give them a little pat. Do that ten times twice a day and the motion keeps their stems nice and stocky so when you put them out you'll have less transplant shock.

Sharon Meyer: You don't want them to get too tall and leggy.

Charlie Nardozzi: Exactly. Now if you are just starting one plant, and you don't have a grow light set up, you can take a half-gallon or a gallon milk jug or plastic jug, cut out one side of it, line it with tin foil. Then we're using a little thyme plant and you just pop it right in there and you put it in a sunny window. And the idea is that light comes in, and it reflects off the tin foil, and keeps it nice and even around the plant, so it grows straight up instead of leaning towards the light.
So all of these things are going to help you get a beautiful tomato harvest this year.