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When to Plant Tomatoes in Your Area (Spring, 2023)

If you love gardening, then you probably can’t wait to get your hands on some fresh tomatoes. But when is the best time to plant them? Depending on where you live in the United States, the answer can vary.

Here is a helpful guide that will tell you when the best time to plant tomatoes is for popular areas across the United States.

When to plant tomatoes in your area

When to Plant Tomatoes in Texas

The best time to plant tomatoes in Texas is in late March or early April. Tomatoes are a warm-season crop, so they won’t do well if the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they can tolerate some light frost. If you plant them too early, they may not produce fruit until late summer or early fall.

What Varieties Do Well in Texas

There are many varieties of tomatoes that do well in Texas. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Beefsteak tomatoes – These large tomatoes are great for slicing and eating fresh.
  • Cherry tomatoes – These small tomatoes are perfect for salads or snacking on.
  • Heirloom tomatoes – These unique tomatoes come in a variety of colors and shapes.
  • Roma tomatoes – These tomatoes are perfect for cooking, canning, or making into tomato sauce.

Map of Continental U.S. Last Spring Freeze Day

Courtesy NORA. Click image to view larger size.

When to Plant Tomatoes in NC

The best time to plant tomatoes in North Carolina is late April to early May. Tomatoes need at least eight hours of sunlight and warm temperatures to thrive. The average last frost date in North Carolina is April 15, so it’s important to wait until after that date to plant your tomatoes.

What Varieties Do Well in NC

The best varieties of tomatoes to plant in North Carolina are determinate varieties. These varieties produce fruit all at once and are good for canning and preserving. Some of the best determinate varieties for North Carolina are ‘Rutgers’, ‘Better Boy’, and ‘Mountain Pride’.

When to Plant Tomatoes in Missouri

The last frost date in Missouri is typically around April 15. You can plant tomatoes as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring.

According to the University of Missouri, if you live in southern Missouri, the best time to plant tomatoes outside is from April 20 to May 15. In central Missouri, the approximate planting time is from May 5 to 20, and in northern Missouri and the Ozark area, the best time to plant is from May 10 to 20.

What Varieties Do Well in Missouri

There are many different varieties of tomatoes that do well in Missouri. Some of the more popular varieties include:

  • Brandywine
  • Cherokee Purple
  • Rutgers
  • San Marzano

Each variety has its own unique flavor, so be sure to try a few different kinds to find the one that you like the best.

If you are starting your tomatoes from seed, you will need to plant them indoors about six weeks before the last frost date. Once they have grown to be about six inches tall, you can then transplant them outdoors.

Once your tomatoes have started to grow, you can fertilize them with a balanced fertilizer. Be sure to follow the directions on the package.

Your tomatoes should be ready to harvest in about 70-80 days.

tomato seedlings
Get a head start on Spring by growing your tomato seedlings indoors

When to Plant Tomatoes in Seattle

Although the last frost date in Seattle is typically around March 21, it is best to wait until the end of the month to plant tomatoes. This gives the soil a chance to warm up and the plants a chance to get established before the hot summer sun arrives.

What Varieties Do Well in Seattle

There are many different varieties of tomatoes that do well in Seattle. Some of the favorite cherry types include Sungold, Sweet Million, and Juliet. Good standard varieties include Oregon Spring and Stupice, according to Washington State University.

When it comes to tomato gardening, the most important thing is to make sure the plants have plenty of sun and are well-watered. Seattle’s climate is perfect for growing tomatoes, so with a little care, you will be able to enjoy fresh, delicious tomatoes all summer long!

You may also be interested in… The Perfect Time to Plant Tomatoes in California

When to Plant Tomatoes in Virginia

Late May to early June is the best time to plant tomatoes in Virginia, but can vary depending on the year.

What Varieties Do Well in Virginia

Here are some common heirloom tomato varieties that do well in Virginia that you may want to try, according to Virginia State University, include Big Rainbow, Brandywine, Black Krim, Evergreen, Green Zebra, Stupice, and Yellow Pear. The soil should be warm, and the days should be long and sunny. Tomato plants need at least eight hours of sunlight per day to produce fruit.

When to Plant Tomatoes in Ohio

The last frost date in Ohio is typically around May 20, according to Ohio State University. Tomatoes can be planted before this date, but there is a risk of frost damage.

What Varieties Do Well in Ohio

There are many different varieties of tomatoes that do well in Ohio. Some of the most popular varieties include:

  • Rutgers
  • Stakeless Wonder
  • Better Boy
  • Big Boy
Better Boy seeds from Park Seed
Better Boy hybrid seeds available at Park Seed

When planting tomatoes in Ohio, it is important to choose a variety that is well-suited to the climate. Choosing a variety that is resistant to disease is also important.

Tomatoes should be planted in a sunny location in well-drained soil. The soil should be amended with compost or other organic matter before planting.

Tomatoes should be planted deep, up to the first set of leaves. Staking or caging is recommended to support the plants.

Water tomatoes deeply and regularly, especially during dry periods. Mulching around the plants can help to conserve moisture.

Fertilize tomatoes every 2 weeks with a balanced fertilizer. Side dress with compost or manure during the growing season.

Harvest tomatoes when they are fully ripe. Cut the fruit from the plant, being careful not to damage the plant.

Tomatoes can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 2 weeks. For longer storage, tomatoes can be canned, frozen, or dried.

When to Plant Tomatoes in Georgia

Tomato plants can be set outside in the garden in mid-March to early May, after any danger of frost has passed, according to the University of Georgia. You can start planting tomatoes as soon as the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees Fahrenheit. To get a head start on the season, you can plant tomatoes in pots indoors and then move them outside once the weather warms up.

What Varieties Do Well in Georgia?

There are many different varieties of tomatoes that do well in Georgia. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Rutgers
  • Better Boy
  • Celebrity
  • Big Beef
  • Cherokee Purple

Which one you choose to grow will depend on your personal preferences. Some people prefer the classic taste of Rutgers tomatoes, while others like the larger fruits of the Better Boy variety. Cherokee Purple tomatoes are a good option if you are looking for something unique, and Big Beef tomatoes are ideal for making sauces and canning.

Celebrity tomato seeds from Park Seeds
Celebrity hybrid tomato seeds available from Park Seeds

When to Plant Tomatoes in PA

In Pennsylvania, the best time to plant tomatoes is around Memorial Day, according to PennState. Tomatoes are a warm-weather crop, and they need about six hours of sunlight per day to produce well. If you plant them too early, they may not have enough time to mature before the first frost in October.

To get a jump on the season, you can start tomato seeds indoors about six weeks before you plan to transplant them outdoors. Once they have grown to be about four inches tall and have their first true leaves, they are ready to be transplanted. Be sure to harden them off first by gradually exposing them to the outdoors for a week or two before planting them in their permanent spot.

When you are ready to plant, choose a sunny spot in your garden with well-drained soil. Amend the soil with some compost or other organic matter to help the tomatoes grow. Dig a hole that is deep enough to bury the plant up to the first set of leaves. This will help the plant develop a strong root system.

Water your tomato plants regularly, especially during dry spells. Mulch around the plants to help keep the soil moist and deter weeds. When the tomatoes start to ripen, you can pick them by gently twisting them off the vine.

When to Plant Tomatoes in Florida

The best time to plant tomatoes in Florida is in late February or early March. Tomatoes are a warm-season crop, according to the University of Florida, so they need warm temperatures and lots of sunshine to thrive. Planting them too early in the year can result in stunted growth or even death.

Tomatoes can be planted in the ground or in containers. If you plant them in the ground, make sure to choose a spot that gets full sun and has well-drained soil. If you plant them in containers, make sure the containers are at least 12 inches deep and have drainage holes.

Tomatoes need to be watered regularly, especially when they are fruiting. Water them at the base of the plant, not from above, to avoid getting water on the leaves, which can encourage fungal diseases.

Fertilize your tomato plants every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10. Apply the fertilizer at the base of the plant, not on the leaves.

When the tomato plants are about 3 feet tall, pinch off the tips of the main stems to encourage branching. This will result in more tomatoes.

Harvest your tomatoes when they are deep red and slightly soft to the touch. Cut them off the vine with a sharp knife, being careful not to damage the plant.

If you want to save your tomatoes for later, you can store them in a cool, dark place for up to two weeks.

When to Plant Tomatoes in Michigan

For those in Michigan who want to plant tomatoes, the best time to plant is the last week or two of May, according to Michigan State University. This gives the plant enough time to grow and produce fruit before the cold Michigan winters set in.

What Varieties Do Well in Michigan

When choosing a tomato plant, make sure to select a variety that is best suited for the Michigan climate. Some varieties that do well in Michigan include:

  • Beefsteak
  • Grape
  • Roma
  • Cherry

You May Also Be Interested In… How Long Does It Take Cherry Tomatoes to Ripen?

When planting the tomato plant, be sure to dig a hole that is large enough to accommodate the root ball. Place the plant in the hole and backfill with soil, tamping it down around the plant. Water the plant well.

Once the plant is established, water it regularly, being careful not to over or underwater. Apply a tomato-specific fertilizer according to the package directions.

As the plant grows, you will need to provide support for the plant. This can be done by staking the plant or by using a tomato cage.

When the tomatoes begin to ripen, harvest them regularly to encourage the plant to produce more fruit.

Big Beef tomato seeds from Park Seeds
Big Beef hybrid tomato seeds available from Park Seed

When to Plant Tomatoes in Oklahoma

Tomatoes should be planted in the garden when the weather has warmed up and the soil temperature is above 60°F. These conditions usually occur around April 5 in southern Oklahoma and around April 25 in northwestern Oklahoma according to Oklahoma State University.

Tomatoes are a warm-season crop, meaning they won’t tolerate frost and they’ll need consistently warm temperatures to thrive.

To get a jump on the season, start your tomatoes indoors about six to eight weeks before your last expected frost date. Plant them in containers that are at least 6 inches deep and set them under grow lights.

When it’s time to transplant your tomatoes outdoors, choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Amend the soil with compost or manure to help improve drainage and add nutrients.

Plant tomatoes deep, burying two-thirds of the plant. This will encourage a strong root system. Stake or cage your tomatoes to provide support as they grow.

Water your tomatoes regularly, especially during dry spells. Mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and control weeds.

Fertilize every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer or side-dress with compost.

Start harvesting your tomatoes when they’re a deep red color and slightly soft to the touch.

When to Plant Tomatoes in South Carolina

The best time to plant tomatoes in South Carolina is in the spring, after the last frost has passed. The last frost date is different every year, but it typically falls in mid- to late-April. You can find the average last frost date for your area by searching online or contacting your local Cooperative Extension office.

To get a jump on the growing season, start your plants indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date in your area. A week before transplanting them outdoors, harden off indoor-grown plants by exposing them to an increasing number of hours of sunlight each day and reducing the watering frequency (but do not allow them to wilt) according to the Clemson Home & Garden Information Center.

Tomatoes are warm-weather crops and need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to produce fruit. The soil should be warm and moist, but not soggy. If you plant too early and the weather turns cold, the plants may not produce fruit. If you wait too long to plant, the plants may not have enough time to produce fruit before the first frost of fall.

When to Plant Tomatoes in Kentucky

Kentucky is a great state for growing tomatoes. The climate is perfect for growing this delicious fruit, and the soil is rich in nutrients. However, there is a right and a wrong time to plant tomatoes in Kentucky.

In Kentucky, the best days for planting tomatoes are typically around May 1st in the western part of the state, and May 15th in central and eastern Kentucky. For optimal results, try to plant them in the evening or on a cloudy day so they won’t dry out according to the University of Kentucky.

What Varieties Do Well in Kentucky

It is also important to choose the right variety of tomato for your area. Some varieties are more resistant to diseases and pests, and others produce more fruit. Talk to your local nursery or cooperative extension office to find out which varieties are best suited for growing in Kentucky.

When to Plant Tomatoes in Indiana

The best time to plant tomatoes in Indiana is in the spring, after the last frost has passed. Check out this chart for the last frost in the spring:

Indiana Statistical Last Frost Date

Start your tomato plants indoors about six to eight weeks before the last frost date in your area. Use a grow light to give the plants the long days and bright light they need to produce fruit.

Transplant your tomato seedlings into the garden after the last frost date. Choose a sunny spot in the garden with well-drained soil. Amend the soil with compost or other organic matter to help the plants grow.

Water your tomato plants regularly, especially during dry periods. Tomatoes need about 1-2 inches of water per week.

Fertilize your plants every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer or compost tea.

Stake or cage your plants to support the heavy fruit.

Harvest your tomatoes when they are ripe and red.

When to Plant Tomatoes in Colorado

The best time to plant tomatoes along the Colorado Front Range is typically late May according to Colorado State University. Tomatoes are a warm-weather crop and need temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit to thrive. If you plant them too early, they may be damaged or killed by a late frost.

The average date of the last frost in Colorado is May 15. However, this date can vary depending on your location in the state. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Office or online gardening forum for more specific information.

One of the most common problems with growing tomatoes in Colorado is blossom end rot. This is caused by a lack of calcium in the soil, and can be prevented by adding lime to the soil before planting. Another common problem is tomato hornworms, which are large green caterpillars that can strip a plant of its leaves in a matter of days. Hand-picking them off the plant is the best way to control them.

Here are some tips for growing great tomatoes in Colorado:

  • Start with disease-resistant varieties. Some common disease-resistant varieties include ‘Rutgers’, ‘Better Boy’, and ‘Mountain Pride’.
  • Plant your tomatoes in a sunny spot. They need at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day.
  • Amend your soil with compost or manure before planting to give the plants a boost of nutrients.
  • Mulch around your plants to help keep the soil moist and prevent weeds from competing with your tomatoes for water and nutrients.
  • Water regularly, especially during hot, dry weather. Tomatoes need about an inch of water per week.
  • Check your plants regularly for pests and diseases. Hand-pick pests off the plants and destroy them. If you see signs of disease, remove affected leaves and destroy them.

When to Plant Tomatoes in Houston

The best time to plant tomatoes in Houston is in late February or early March. This is because the last frost date in Houston is around February 15 according to Texas A&M. Planting tomatoes too early can result in the plants being damaged by frost.

Tomatoes are a warm-season crop, so they need warm weather to grow and produce fruit. In Houston, the average last frost date is February 15, which means that the growing season for tomatoes begins in late February or early March. Tomatoes require about six to eight weeks of warm weather to mature and produce fruit, so if you plant them too early, they may not have enough time to ripen before the first frost of the season.

The best way to determine when to plant your tomatoes is to check the forecast for the last frost date in your area. You can also use a gardening calendar or planting guide that is specific to your region. Once you have determined the last frost date, you can count back six to eight weeks and plant your tomatoes accordingly.

If you are unsure of the last frost date in your area, you can always plant your tomatoes in pots or containers and move them indoors if frost is predicted. This way, you can control the environment and ensure that your plants have the warmth they need to thrive.

What Varieties Do Well in Houston

There are many different types of tomatoes that do well in Houston. Some of the most popular varieties include ‘Beefsteak’, ‘Roma’, and ‘ Cherry’.

Roma tomatoes from Park Seeds
Organic Roma tomato seeds available from Park Seed

When to Plant Tomatoes in Wisconsin

The last frost date in Wisconsin is typically between May 2-6th however you should sow tomato seeds indoors in mid- to late April or sow seeds directly into your garden in late May or early June, according to the University of Wisconsin,

What Varieties Do Well in Wisconsin

There are many different varieties of tomatoes that do well in Wisconsin. Some of the more popular ones include:

  • Beefsteak
  • Rutgers
  • Roma
  • Cherry

No matter which variety you choose, be sure to plant them in an area that gets plenty of sunlight. Tomatoes need at least six hours of sunlight per day in order to thrive.

When to Plant Tomatoes Phoenix

For those who love to garden in Phoenix, mid-February is an excellent time to transplant tomato seedlings into your garden, according to the University of Arizona.

What Varieties Do Well in Phoenix

There are many different varieties of tomatoes that do well in the Phoenix area. If you are looking for a tomato that is disease resistant, ‘Rutgers’ is a good option. ‘Better Boy’ is a good option for those who want a tomato that produces a lot of fruit. ‘Celebrity’ is a good option for those who want a tomato that is both disease resistant and produces a lot of fruit.

When planting tomatoes in Phoenix, it is important to choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight. Tomatoes require at least eight hours of sunlight per day in order to produce fruit.

It is also important to water tomatoes regularly. They should be watered deeply and allowed to dry out slightly between watering.

When to Plant Tomatoes Maryland

The best time to plant tomatoes in Maryland is after the last frost date. This date can vary year to year, but is typically in late April or early May.

According to the University of Maryland, be sure to choose early-season cultivars that will be ready for harvest 55-65 days after transplanting.

To ensure optimal growth, it is important to warm the soil where the roots grow and the air where the plant grows. To do this, lay down black plastic or landscape fabric 2-3 weeks before planting.

After planting, surround the transplants with some type of plastic enclosure open at the top. A tomato cage surrounded by clear plastic sheeting works well. Fill plastic soda bottles with water and line them up inside the cage close to the plants; the water will heat up during the day and release heat at night. Should temperatures dip below 30⁰ F, be prepared to throw a quilt over the cage.

What Varieties Do Well in Maryland

There are many different varieties of tomatoes that do well in Maryland. Some of the most popular varieties include Beefsteak, Big Boy, and Celebrity.

It is important to consider the amount of sun and heat that your tomato plants will need. Some varieties of tomatoes require more sun and heat than others. If you are not sure how much sun and heat your tomato plants will need, it is best to ask your local nursery or gardening center.

Once you have your seeds or transplants, you will need to plant them in a sunny location. Tomatoes need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. If you are planting your tomatoes in a pot, make sure that the pot is at least 12 inches deep.

After you have planted your tomatoes, you will need to water them regularly. Tomatoes need to be watered deeply, but not too frequently. Water your tomatoes when the top inch of soil is dry.

As your tomatoes grow, you will need to fertilize them. Use a tomato fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. Apply the fertilizer every two weeks.

If you have any questions about when to plant tomatoes in Maryland, or about growing tomatoes in general, you should contact your local Cooperative Extension office. They will be able to provide you with more information and resources.

Median Date of Last Spring Freeze for the North East

Courtesy weather.gov

When to Plant Tomatoes New York

The last frost date in New York is typically around May 15 to May 20 according to Cornell College of Agriculture. This means that you can start planting tomatoes around that time. However, it is always a good idea to wait a week or two after the last frost date just to be safe.

What Varieties Do Well in New York

There are many different varieties of tomatoes that do well in New York. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Rutgers
  • Celebrity
  • Early Girl
  • Better Boy
  • Big Beef
  • Mountain Pride
  • Sun Gold

When choosing a variety, it is important to think about what you want to use the tomatoes for. If you plan on eating them fresh, then you will want to choose a variety that is good for that. If you plan on canning or preserving them, then you will want to choose a variety that is good for that.

No matter what variety you choose, it is important to make sure that you plant them in an area that gets plenty of sunlight. Tomatoes need at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day in order to produce well.

Early Girl tomato seeds from Park Seeds
Early Girl tomato seeds available from Park Seed

Final Thoughts on When to Plant Tomatoes

The best time to plant tomatoes in different areas across the United States depends on the climate. In general, the best time to plant tomatoes is in late spring or early summer when the weather is warm and the days are long. However, in some areas, it may be necessary to plant tomatoes in late summer or early fall in order to get a good crop.

Follow this guide to determine when is the best time to plant tomatoes in these select areas of the United States.

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