Starting tomato plants from seed is the most cost effective method, but it does require extra effort on your part. It also means that your gardening work starts about 6-8 weeks earlier since you have to start your tomato seeds about 1 1/2 – 2 months before the last frost of winter.
The easiest way to start tomato seeds is by using peat pellets. In the past I have used this Seed Starter Kit from Ferry Morse, also available at many garden centers.
Since my personal focus has become that of sustainability, you might have correctly guessed that I was going to offer you another option. You’re right, I am.
My favorite method is to make my own seed starter pots from newspaper.
A truly simple and free seed starter pot can be made in no time with old newspaper. Not only does this method cost you absolutely nothing, the newspaper itself is biodegradable and will simply dissolve back into the earth.
In other words, it is worth a few minutes of your time and a few pages of old newspaper to make free seed starter pots.
Start by cutting the newspaper lengthwise into long strips.
Wrap it around the end of a small can (or jar) with the paste facing outward. Be sure to leave an overhang of paper approximately 1″ wide.
Fold the open ends inward and flatten by reaching into the opposite end.
Slide the paper pot loose from the can and fold the exposed edge down about an inch to hold it in place.
Here’s a video that will guide you through the basic steps:
Crouton Crackerjacks’ process is a bit more clumsy than the steps listed above, but it will give you a good general feel for how it works. It really is just that simple and don’t forget – it’s free! Once you have finished making your starter pots, you will want to fill them with a good quality seed starting mix.