Tomatoes are mild-climate plants that require enough sunlight to sprout and mature in climates between 70 and 75°F and 21 and 24°C. So, it is important to know the best time to grow your tomatoes for a plentiful and flourishing harvest. 

Tomatoes are scrumptious vegetables that can be used in a lot of mixtures and for other purposes. Growing tomatoes in your house makes it easier to use and offers the privilege of testing different species. 

If you are wondering about the best time to grow your tomatoes, then worry no more. We have put together this piece to share the most favorable time to plant your tomato outside and other useful tomato gardening tips.

Tomato Planting

There are diverse species of tomatoes. The first rule of thumb is to identify the kind of tomato you are growing to know the best season for it. 

If you planted your tomatoes inside and want to transplant them outside, ensure they have been planted for a minimum of a month and two weeks. In some cases two months. 

How To Grow The Tomato Seed

First, sow the tomato seeds in a container, then enclose them lightly with compost. Then, keep the tomato seeds in an area where the sun can get to them at about 65°F or 18ºC. You can cover it with a plastic bag or put it in a propagator so the sun won’t be too harsh on it. 

Tomato seeds should sprout between 9 to 11 days. Once you notice that the tomato seedlings have grown up to two or three authentic leaves, prick them out and sow them into 3-and-a-half-inch bowls. This will make it easier for them to grow before being taken outside.  

If you want to grow your tomato seeds outside. Sowing too early before the actual season can lead to stunted growth and decrease timely output.  

Tomato Plant VarietyPlanting TimeRecommended Soil TemperatureRecommended Location
Early-SeasonAfter the last frost in spring50°F (10°C) or higherFull sun, well-draining soil
Mid-Season2-4 weeks after the last frost55°F (13°C) or higherFull sun, loamy soil
Cherry TomatoesLate spring to early summer60°F (16°C) or higherFull sun, fertile soil
Heirloom TomatoesLate spring to early summer60°F (16°C) or higherFull sun, rich, well-draining soil
Patio or ContainerOnce daytime temperatures consistently exceed 70°F (21°C)60°F (16°C) or higherContainers in sunny locations

When To Plant Tomatoes Outside

The above question is a crucial one, and most gardeners seek answers to it. That’s because understanding the best period to plant your tomatoes will save you from lots of stress and losses. 

The best time to plant your tomatoes outside is when the earth is warm, and there is no danger of any ice. Nonetheless, it’s also determined by the climate condition of your area. You can also consider planting tomatoes together to improve production and keep pests away. 

Another suitable time to plant your tomatoes outside is when the tomato seeds have stayed indoors for a month. Tomatoes can also be planted outside during the night when the climate is low or more than 50°F or 10°C. That’s because their seeds tend to grow extremely slowly when they are at a lower temperature.  A temperature that is not up to 43°F and 6°C is also harmful to tomatoes.

Another factor that will determine when your tomatoes are ready to move outside is the size. Before planting your tomato outside, ensure the seedlings are around nine to twelve inches in height or 24 to 31 cm.  Gradually bring them outside after seven or fourteen days before planting them directly in the soil. This enables them to adjust to the breeze, climate transitions, and direct sunshine when they are finally transplanted outside.

Remember to prune your tomato plants when they are indeterminate. Watch out also for clues of infection so you can acquire tomato disease medications needed for grown tomatoes. 

When To Plant Tomato Plants Outside

How Late Can You Plant Tomatoes?

How late you can plant tomatoes will depend on the variety you grow, as growth rates and harvesting times can vary between cultivars. For this reason, it is advised to plant various tomato species if you want to be harvesting tomatoes over a long time. 

Species like Big heirloom tomatoes should be planted in May or early June latest. Smaller varieties can be planted a bit later as the fruits don’t take as long to ripen.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. When Is The Best Time To Plant Tomato Plants Outside?

The best time to plant tomato plants outside is after the last frost date in your area, typically in the spring when the soil temperature has reached around 55-60°F (13-16°C).

2. How Deep Should I Plant Tomato Seedlings?

When planting tomato seedlings, bury them in the soil up to their first set of leaves. This encourages a strong root system to develop.

3. What Type Of Soil Is Ideal For Growing Tomato Plants?

Tomato plants thrive in well-draining, loamy soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 6.8. Amending the soil with organic matter like compost can improve its quality.

4. How Often Should I Water My Tomato Plants?

Tomato plants generally need about 1 to 2 inches of water per week, but this can vary depending on weather conditions. Water consistently, keeping the soil evenly moist, and avoid waterlogged conditions.

5. What Are Some Common Pests And Diseases That Affect Tomato Plants?

Common pests and diseases that can affect tomato plants include aphids, hornworms, early blight, and blossom end rot. Regularly inspect your plants and take appropriate measures for prevention and control.

Wrap Up!

The timing for planting tomato plants outside is a crucial factor in ensuring a successful and bountiful harvest. It is essential to consider your local climate, frost dates, and the specific variety of tomato you are growing. By adhering to the recommended guidelines and waiting until the threat of frost has passed, you can increase the chances of your tomato plants thriving and producing delicious, homegrown tomatoes for your enjoyment. Proper timing, along with attentive care, will help you make the most of your tomato garden.

About the Author

Virginia E. Hayes is a gardening enthusiast who loves to write about gardening tools, safety issues, and ways to keep gardens clean and safe. With her vast experience in gardening, she provides valuable insights and tips to help fellow gardening enthusiasts to enhance their gardening experience. Her passion for gardening and writing has made her a sought-after author in the gardening community.

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