Most of us who grow tomatoes probably use nursery-grown seedlings, which we plant out in mid-May or so. But really, the tomato-growing season has already begun! In the Lower Mainland climate, tomatoes actually have to be started indoors several months before we can safely plant these heat-loving beasties outdoors! If you can't wait to get out in the garden, you can start indoors now!
We choose to start them indoors ourselves because, while many nurseries are stocking more varieties of tomato seedlings than ever before, we still prefer the wider range of choice (and the economy) that we can get out of the seed catalogue. From West Coast Seeds (http://www.westcoastseeds.com), we ordered seeds - many of them organic - for romas (great for sauces), several heirloom tomato varieties, and a couple different kinds of cherry tomatoes - as well as a few of the standard kinds (beefsteak tomatoes, for instance). One of our favourites is the Green Zebra, which we grew last year: a gorgeous striped green when ripe, it is slightly tart but also sweet, and really juicy and firm - and it ripens early, so it works fine in places that don't quite get full sun.These are our tomato sprouts after ten days (above) and after about 3-1/2 weeks (below). http://www.artknapps.ca). But beware! The trays have holes in the bottom, so unless you put the tray in a tray - or water the tray over the sink - it will leak! (We learned the hard way!)