When to start seeds?

12 years ago

I live in SE NY a little more then 25 miles NW of NYC Our last frost date is around may 1 but the soil is not usually warm until may 15. I'm wondering when to start my tomato seeds. I do not have lights but I have a fairly sunny (west window) not ideal I know but thats what I have. By the middle of april I can start to provide at least a few hours of outdoor sunshine. I do have a home made insulated cold frame that is a lot warmer then the outdoor temp. This winter the lowest temp it got to was 24* and that was when it was 7* outside. I'm not 100% sure it will have any room in it though since I'm growing lettuce and arugala in there.

In short I'm wondering when to start my tomato seeds indoors march 10, 15, 20? I know the rule of thumb is 8 weeks before plant out but last year I started them march 25 and they were way late because it took them two weeks to germinate (with some improvised bottom heat) IE* the radiator

Any help would be greatly appreciated

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