I’ve used this trick for decades so I know it works. One extra tip: After you’ve pinched off the lower leaves, gently scrape the sides of the stem with a fingernail. It will help to form roots more quickly. If you use rooting powder it’s even better.
Once the tomato is planted, wrap a small piece of foil, no more than an inch high around the base of the plant. It will deter those blasted cutworms from decapitating your tender seedlings during the night.
Below are two pictures of the same plant. What a difference a few weeks make. The seedling (on the left) has been stripped of its lower leaves and I buried the stem about 3 inches from the lowest leaves (where my thumb is), then wrapped the base with a tiny slip of aluminum foil.
Anyone growing tomatoes this year? What’s in your garden?