Article by Melissa Kruse-Peeples, NS/S Education Coordinator and Laura Neff, NS/S Education Assistant Published April 10, 2018.
In the low desert, it is ideal to start tomatoes by seed early in the season to allow the plant to be transplanted as soon as the threat of frost is over (around early to mid March through early April in the low desert areas of Tucson). Tomato seeds need about a 6-8 week growing period before you transplant. More specifically, it is a good time to transplant when a seedling has three to four true leaves and after it has been hardened off (the process of moving plants outdoors for a portion of the day to gradually introduce them to the direct sunlight, dry air, and cold nights). When the time comes to transplant tomato starts, here are a few tips to get the most out of your plants.