What month can tomato plants go outside?

Tomato plants are tender, warm-season crops that love the sun and cannot withstand frost. It is important not to put the plants in the ground too soon. In most regions, the soil is not warm enough to plant tomatoes outdoors until late spring and early summer, except in zone 10, where they are grown in autumn and winter. For tomatoes to grow well, nighttime temperatures must be consistently above 50° F.

In addition, it is best to wait to plant until the soil temperature is around 60° F. Tomatoes are warm-climate plants, so they will not grow below 10° C (50° F). Planting tomato plants when the night temperature is 10°C will give them plenty of time to ripen a little before fruiting. According to Gardeners' World, the best time to take tomatoes outside is after the last frost in May.

The answer to the question of when to plant tomatoes if you plan to grow them in a greenhouse is that seeds can be sown earlier than if you plan to transplant them outdoors. It helps water sink rather than run off by making a shallow indentation in the soil around the plant. If you really want to make sure that the water reaches the roots, when planting you can sink a plastic bottle, cut the bottom and remove the lid, into the ground next to the plant to act as a funnel. I used to advise removing the lower leaves as the plant develops, but the collective wisdom now is that this doesn't really help produce good fruit.

So when should you start your tomatoes? It may seem like a simple question at first, but as you can see, the ideal time to plant tomatoes depends on several factors. Observing the number of “days to maturity” on the back of your seed packages will help you determine the ideal planting window for your growing area. Tomatoes are warm-climate plants that need lots of sun to thrive and grow best at temperatures between 70 and 75° F (21 and 24° C). The timing of planting tomatoes from seed will vary depending on your climate, growing area and, more specifically, the estimated date of the last frost in your area.

Open the vents in your greenhouse on hot days and never grow potatoes and tomatoes together, as blight affects both. Ben Affleck's house is a remarkable imitation of a plantation house and sits on 35 acres of land in Hampton Island, Georgia. Tomatoes stop growing once the temperature drops below 10-12°C at night, and ideally need 15°C during the day. As long as it is less than the number of days left until the first expected frost, you can still plant the tomatoes.

High-growing cordon tomatoes will need to be “pinched”; side shoots should be removed regularly when they are about 1 inch long, so that they grow on a single stem. If you have the time and materials, you can start growing seeds indoors under grow lights as early as 12 weeks before moving them to their permanent outdoor location, transplanting them into larger pots as they grow. But instead of getting lyrical, I wanted to relive my advice on growing tomatoes that has existed in various forms throughout the life of my blog, update it and offer it to anyone sweating over the state of their tomatoes this spring.

Erika Shipley
Erika Shipley

Subtly charming beer nerd. Extreme internet specialist. Devoted travel junkie. Proud coffee maven. Friendly problem solver.