Wanting to buy some tomato plants this year but not sure when the best time to buy them is, or even when they become available in garden centres? well then read on to find out!
When To Buy Tomato Plants
Tomatoes normally appear in garden centres around the middle of march, I would wait a few weeks though for the weather to get better before buying. Aim to buy them around the middle of April.
Even in a greenhouse, the temperatures can be too cold for tomatoes and by buying them now and moving them in there you will either damage them or kill them off.
The cold weather could result in stunted growth which will affect the plant for the rest of the growing season and this is if it doesn’t die off completely.
If you see plug plants in march then it may be worth buying them and growing them on indoors as long as you have a sunny spot.
This all depends on the price though, if they are a lot cheaper than the full-sized plants then go for it but if the prices are similar then you are taking on extra risk and work for not much gain.
This photo, while not of a tomato plant, shows you what I mean by a plug plant. They are a small plant and are often packaged ready to be posted, this is a really common way of buying tomato plants online.
I believe some of the bigger seed companies call them “posti plugs”. I have bought several different plants this way and on the whole, they have turned up as healthy plants, although there have also been some very sorry plants that have arrived.
Grow From Seed
This is what I do every year and it is what I would strongly encourage you to do too. Tomatoes are really easy to grow from seed, they germinate and grow well.
With the prices of tomato plants in stores being, frankly, ridiculous I don’t see why anyone would buy them when you can get a seed packet for 99p and grow them yourself.
You don’t need a heated greenhouse or anything and they will be just fine on a sunny windowsill for quite a while until they become established plants and need moving.