Starting your tomatoes in March

Every March without fail, I start my tomato plants indoors. I plant a variety of types of tomato seeds in 5″ deep black pots set in a sunny spot in my kitchen. I usually plant Cherokee purple, Black Krim, Sungold cherry tomatoes, yellow Pear tomatoes, Brandywine, San Marzano and one or two others that look appetizing. I start them indoors with fresh potting soil around mid- march so that they will be ready to set out by the end of April, at which time they will need to be “hardened off” on the front portal before being planted. Since the last average frost date in Santa Fe isn’t until Mid-May, the tomatoes should really be protected by water walls when first planted. Tomatoes aren’t terribly time consuming, simply requiring regular waterings, weekly feedings and a little bit of propping up inside their tomato cages throughout the season. By August, they pay back any effort put in, with succulent, tasty bites that will swear you off tomatoes from the grocery store the remainder of the year.

–Peggy Wright (Masters in Landscape Architecture)