I saved the seeds from last years crop of tomatoes and this year started most from seed in the last week of September. I used really good quality potting mix and paper drinking cups. I labeled the paper cups with the seeds I was going to plant and dated it. I punched little holes in the bottom of each cup, filled with potting mix, one little seed and placed in one of those deep styrofoam containers that mushrooms come in. I dampened down the soil mixture with diluted fish emulsion and lined them up on the patio facing the sun. I kept the soil damp and 8 weeks later they are 4” high. I have found with practice that baby tomatoes plants like to be “brushed” with your hand, they grow into stronger plants. I am torn between container gardening and wanting to just plunk them into the ground – I have watched Godfather II you know, Don Corleone didn’t have any problems with his tomato patch even though it rather seemed they assassinated him. Using potting soil seems to solve the problem of those nematodes that like to lay their eggs in the roots and stunt growth. So….I do both. I dig a 10” x 10” hole in the garden and line it with newspaper, then I fill it partway with compost from my pile, then some perlite, then potting soil, stir in with some slow release fertilizer and wait for it a ripe banana! Tomatoes love bananas – who would have guessed. Pop the baby tomato in hole while still in its paper cup and fill so the soil is mounded around plant and then mulch heavily, but not with Cypress. The photo shows a tomato that is 39” high that I put in the ground November 1st! PS. Raccoons like bananas too and evidently can smell them even when they are buried 8 inches deep.