April is the Last Chance for Sowing Tomato Seeds
If you haven’t already sown your first batch of seeds, now is the time. April is a good month to sow because the weather is more favorable than earlier in the spring.

However, April is also the last opportunity for those who live in short season areas, like the UK, to get those seeds germinating. Seeds that are sown in May probably won’t produce plants that mature in time before the end of the season.

If you get the urge to sow at the beginning of May, you would need to choose a variety that is quick to mature – for me this is Red Alert. This variety is quicker (in my garden) than any other variety I’ve tried – and I’ve tried a few!

Regional Variations
Tomato plants are fussy things and a variety that grows well in my area may not produce the same results where you live.

There is one variety I’ve grown, that can compete with Red Alert for earliness and taste, and it is Tumbler F1.

For some reason, Tumbler F1 has become less popular over the past few years and replaced by Tumbling Tom which is still a tumbling type, but less expensive to buy. I guess the price of the seeds is the reason for Tumbler’s Decline.

Tomato Plug Plants – Pot Ready Plants
If you are reading this in May and you want to grow tomatoes this season, you could buy tomato plug plants at a garden centre or by post. This is a very good option for those who’ve missed the “sow by date” or have little time to fuss with seeds but would like to grow their own tomatoes – albeit from the small plant stage.

For more about plug plants and pot ready plants, please go to the tomato plug plants page.

It would be great to know which tomato varieties that you have found mature early, and the area in which you live – please leave a comment below if you wish.

4 Responses

  1. Dave
    | Reply

    There is something else which intrigues me. I put my Sun-gold seedlings into two inch pots. A few weeks later four of the plants got ahead of the others in growth , so I put those plants into four inch pots and left the others in two inch pots. Most of the plants that are left to grow in the two inch pots have overtaken the plants which I transferred to four inch pots. I have two theories about this. Firstly, it demonstrates and confirms the theory of the “pot containment method” as described by Nick in one of last seasons newsletters, where he explains that plants grown in pots too small will curtail root development early and therefore generate all efforts for plant growth. My second theory is just that four plants are growing in an inferior multi purpose compost, but the rest are still in good quality seed and cutting compost. Who knows?

    • Nick
      | Reply

      Hi Dave,
      The way I look at it, plants are either developing roots or top growth and sometimes a bit of both.

      When a plant goes into a bigger pot, its roots will grow until they reach the sides of the container etc.
      As soon as this happens, plants are triggered into quicker growing top growth, in fear that they may run out of resources and not be able to make fruit and seeds to continue their kind next season.

      For us growers, the trick is to know when to pot-on into bigger pots to get the best results.
      Regards,
      Nick

  2. Dave
    | Reply

    Dave funny you saying that I planted two Gardeners Delights and neither sprouted so I planted six more and again no luck? Other seeds looking good though!

  3. Dave
    | Reply

    My Ailsa craigs never made it beyond the seedling stage, so I have just sown a dozen more. My sweet babys and sungolds however are nine inches high. I can’t understand why the AG’s never made it.

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