Tomatoes are fantastic vegetables to grow. Not only are they tasty to eat, but they’re also flexible and easy to grow.
Knowing when to plant, what time is too late, and what you need to do to get the best tomato crop possible can make a big difference.
When is it too late to plant tomatoes?
If you live in a warm climate, you can plant tomatoes at nearly any time. If you live in a climate with distinct cold seasons and snaps you want to get your plants in the ground no later than the last week of May or the first week of June.
The Best Time To Plant Tomatoes
It is always helpful to look at the actual plant itself when it comes to planting.
They are not a plant that can survive in very cold climates so it is important to make sure you are planting with enough time for your tomatoes to grow, flower, and produce ripe fruit that you can eat.
From start to finish it takes around 60-80 days for a tomato to grow, flower, and produce fruit.
Depending on where you’re growing your tomatoes, it’s possible to plant more than a crop or you may be able to put off planting a bit longer.
Tomatoes take around 6 to 8 weeks to grow from a seed to a size that is suitable for transplant. You can keep them in the house longer if need be until they can be planted.
Tomato plants are susceptible to frost and to the cold, which means that even a slight frost can kill the plant and make it impossible for your tomatoes to thrive and grow.
In USDA zone 10 or higher, tomato plants can be a fall or winter crop since the weather never really gets cold enough to kill them off.
Tomatoes do change in their harvest time based on when they are planted and what season they fall into.
Early season tomatoes are going to take 55 days until they’re considered harvest-ready.
Mid-season tomatoes are going to take anywhere from 60 to 80 days to reach harvest. Lastly, late-season tomatoes take 80 days or longer generally to grow and be ready to harvest.
While other plants like peppers do well in very hot temperatures, tomatoes are a bit more delicate and do require a bit more consistent temps that are not extremely hot.
The Best Conditions for Tomatoes to Grow
Tomatoes do best in temperate climates. This means temperatures that do not fall below around 75 and that do not exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit for long periods of time.
Though very hot temperatures every now and again are not going to kill your plants if they are still being watered, prolonged heat can cause a ton of damage to plants.
When a tomato plant is too hot for too long there is a huge range of problems that can occur.
For starters, when it is too hot for too long your plants may not flower, they may not be pollinated, they may not fruit, they can dry up and the leaves can curl.
Though you cannot control the weather, you can do some things to help make sure that your plants have the best chance at survival.
First, make sure you are watering your plants after the sun has gone down so that your plants do not get scorched.
Consider the planting location as well.
Unless you have a tomato that requires full sun all the time, you want to plant in an area that is shaded for at least a portion of the day.
Partial shade is going to give your plants a chance to rest and recover from the sun. You can place a shade over your tomatoes if you feel that they are getting too much sun to help ensure that they are going to avoid being dried up.
When it’s too hot, be sure to water your tomatoes more often.
Instead of doing a once-a-day watering, try watering twice a day and break up the schedule to prevent your plants from getting waterlogged.
The best thing you can do is to take the time to pay attention to your plants, pay attention to how they are being planted, and pay attention to any special requirements that your particular plants may have.
The longer in the season you wait to plant, the less viable time you have for your plants to flower and produce tomatoes.
Frequently Asked Questions About When Is It Too Late To Plant Tomatoes
Can it be too hot for tomatoes?
As tomatoes are sensitive crops, too much heat can cause enough damage on them. Numerous days of over 90 degrees Fahrenheit can damage the tomato plants, thereby preventing pollination and then cause your plants to become damaged and die.
When can you last plant tomatoes?
The latest time that you can plant depends on where you live. If you live in zone 10 or higher you can plant all year as your area does not get a ton of snow or very cold temperatures. In areas that are in zone 9 or less, you should try to get your plants in the ground no later than the first week of June so that they have enough time to fruit, flower, and grow and actually get you tomatoes to eat.
Is timing the most important thing when planting?
Though the timing is important when it comes to planting, it is not the most important thing to consider. You do need to keep track of where you are planting, what you are planting, and more.
Tomatoes are great plants.
They are easy enough to grow and making sure you are planting them with enough time to grow, the right temperatures and more can make all the difference.
Tomatoes can be difficult, but with the right growing conditions and timing, you can get a great crop that is going to make a huge difference.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.