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Sowing tomatoes in modules indoors

Hi when is the best time to start my tomatoes and cucumbers Indoors? I'm planning to start them off on windowsills and then pot on Indoors until the they can go in the greenhouse.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    I don't grow cucumbers, but I do grow toms and I do them mid March or so. I do three seeds to a 3 inch pot. 
    Too early here for doing them, but it depends on your location as it's all in the timing, even when they're going in a greenhouse. You need adequate room for the bigger pots in your home, as you pot them all on    :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • when is you last spring frost date?

  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,495
    Toms and cukes can be sown at the same time but you need to consider the light levels as well as adequate space when you are starting them off indoors on windowsills.
    As @Fairygirl says, it will depend on your locality as to timing.  I'm in coastal SW UK and we are still experiencing hard frosts. I usually sow both in a heated prop. at end March/early April.  In a normal year this usually allows me to get them into the GH before they start to get leggy.  Not sure about this year tho :/  
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    Light is a big factor as @philippasmith2 says - especially for toms. We have less daylight through winter up here than the south has, so that also affects timing. 
    While we can get frosts well into April, and May, it's the other type of weather that's the biggest problem here - prolonged cold, wet, windy weather. It can snow quite often here in April, or can be miserable sleety stuff. That also affects temps in a g'house, and the soil doesn't warm up quickly either.  That's also why it's difficult to put out hardy annuals too - they just sit and sulk. Easier to wait.  :)

    My house isn't warm enough for seed to germinate quickly either - we simply don't heat it as much, even when it was affordable!

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • when is you last spring frost date?

    This is what I go by.  Usually, on the seed packet, it will say something to the effect of "sow indoors XXX weeks before the date of your last frost".  Ours is around May 31st, so I count back the weeks recommended and start them at that point.  I don't know if that time frame can be adjusted for the greenhouse, because I've never had one. 
    New England, USA
    Metacomet soil with hints of Woodbridge and Pillsbury
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    Yes - most people judge it by end of May/ beginning of June for safely planting toms outdoors in the UK, although I think many places could easily do it before that @CrankyYankee, depending on their site, and where they're located. A sheltered town garden is very different from somewhere more rural and exposed etc. You could bring that forward a few weeks for a greenhouse. 

    Where I am, they really have to be grown undercover if you want a reliable result, as the summers aren't warm and dry enough. The last couple of years I've had a couple outside, due to having too many, but they have to be right up against a wall, and well tied in. That's also because the temps have been higher, and we've been getting more spells of drier weather. I'd not bank on it being like that consistently though. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • @Bettybo please add your location to your profile. 

    In case you live where I am,
    sowing time: fourth week in February/first week of March
    germination time: 7 to 14 days
    Greenhouse time: two weeks later, occasional frost at night up to -2 can be taken as long as it’s warm and sunny over the day
    Planting time: beginning to mid May
    Please consider Spring 2021 as a exceptional time that hopefully will not reoccur any time soon

    I my garden.

  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 3,495
    Last Frost Date is only a forecast - not a certainty.  As said above, it's not just the temps to consider but the light levels and the space you have available before the final planting out. 
    At the end of the day, you are best to go by what works for you - just bear in mind that the weather is gradually becoming more erratic and make allowances for that as you see fit.
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,073
    The OP lives in Essex.  Always a bit sheltered there. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,590
    We have to sow many seeds indoors as our clay soil takes for ever to warm up. This includes tomatoes, peppers, chillies etc that will then be transplanted into the polytunnel. These we tend to do around March for sowing.
    We also sow broad beans, dwarf french beans, peas, leeks again indoors to be transplanted out when hopefully our soils warm up.
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