Seed sowing for me starts in January. At the beginning of January I sow the the Tiny Tims and other very dwarf varieties. Tiny Tim can produce hundreds of tomatoes throughout the season on a bush as small as a foot high and as wide. By giving it an extra month, it will be almost as big as the other tomatoes when I’m ready to sell them, but be much more mature, producing tomatoes already in their little pots.
The next batch of seeds starts in the second week of February. Most of my staples (those that I’m producing 72–four flats–or more of) are started at this time. The last set of tomatoes is started by the beginning of March, and these are my new, novelty, and trial varieties, which I mostly grow for myself. I aim to have tomato plants ready to sell by the middle of April, but I recommend that people wait until April 30th, our last frost date, to plant. Last year there was a hard frost at the end of April and many people lost their new veggie gardens. My own plants will not go out into the garden until May for this reason.
Seeds are started in small containers, 5″ x 5″, with up to 200 seeds each. These are covered until sprouts appear, and then placed under lights. This year I used disposable plastic containers because they’re cheap, easily sterilized in the dishwasher, have tight lids and fit nicely (4×2) into my 1020 nursery flats.