In general, mid-May to early June is best for transplanting tomatoes in most gardens in spring. However, in some very warm climates, it may be best to wait until late June or even early July to transplant tomatoes. If you are unsure whether your climate is too warm for tomato transplants, err on the side of waiting a bit longer rather than transplanting too early.
If you do decide to transplant tomatoes in spring, be sure to harden them off first. Hardening off simply means acclimating your plants to the outdoors gradually over a period of 7-10 days. To harden off tomato seedlings, start by placing them in a sheltered spot outdoors for a few hours each day.
Then, over a week or so, gradually increase the amount of time they spend outdoors, and finally, leave them out overnight.
Do not transplant your tomatoes into the garden until all danger of frost has passed. Tomatoes are very sensitive to cold temperatures and even a light frost can damage or kill them.
In most gardens in the US, the last frost date is sometime in late April or early May. However, it is always best to check the frost date for your specific location before transplanting tomatoes.
is June Too Late to Plant Tomatoes?
In most cases, No, June isn’t too late to plant tomatoes. In fact, in many parts of the country, June is actually the best time to plant tomatoes. You can transplant the tomatoes that you have started indoors, or you can purchase tomato plants from your local nursery.
If you live in a climate with a long growing season, you can transplant tomatoes into your garden as late as mid-July and still expect to harvest ripe fruit before the first frost of fall.
However, if you live in a climate with a shorter growing season, you should transplant tomatoes no later than early July to ensure that they have enough time to mature before the first frost.
|| The following states have the most ideal weather conditions for tomato cultivation in the United States with temperature and cultivation season:
Table : According to USfeeds.com data, the most suitable and productive tomato-cultivated states with the picking season ( Suitable time to cultivate tomatoes) and average temperature depth are-
|Tomato Growing Season (Month)
|Average Temperature (Pick Season)
|March to September
|77.7 Farenhite or 25.38 celsius
|77.5 F or 25 Celsius
|84.62 Farenhite or 28.5 celsius
|April to Late September
|Mid-April to Late September
|April to September
|76.83 Farenhite or 24.65 celsius
|Mid April to Late September
|70.5 Fahrenheit or 21.3 Celsius
|March to September
|79.5 Farenhite or 26.1 celsius
|March to September
|81.14 Farenhite or 27.0 celsius
|Mid March to September
|72.8 Farenhite or 22.5 celsius
|April to Late September
|82.3 Farenhite or 27.66 celsius
|April to September
|81.0 Farenhite or 26.9 celsius
What Are Frost Temperatures for Tomatoes?
From the first frost date to the last frost date, there is a decent time and cultivation period for tomatoes. The best temperature for tomato plants is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature gets too high or too low, it can adversely affect the development of the fruit.
Tomatoes are very susceptible to frost damage. Even a light frost can damage or kill them. For this reason, it is important to know the frost dates for your area and to transplant tomatoes into the garden only after all danger of frost has passed.
In general, the last frost date in spring is sometime in late April or early May. However, it is always best to check the frost date for your specific location before transplanting tomatoes.
The below-mentioned states have the corresponding frost date and duration.
Table: The table shows the different states with different durations between the first to last frost day intervals. To observe the time you can easily pick the ideal time for your tomato cultivation.
|Last and first frost interval ( By day)
N.B: This is Approximate data of this area of frost day interval. So it can fluctuate as per nature and climate.
What if I Miss the Ideal Transplanting Window?
If you miss the ideal transplanting window for your area, don’t worry – you can still plant tomatoes successfully. However, you may need to take some extra steps to ensure that your plants have enough time to mature before the first frost of fall.
If you are transplanting tomatoes that you have started indoors, be sure to harden them off first. Hardening off simply means acclimating your plants to the outdoors gradually over 7-10 days.
To harden off tomato seedlings, start by placing them in a sheltered spot outdoors for a few hours each day. Then, over a week or so, gradually increase the amount of time they spend outdoors.
Finally, leave them out overnight. Do not transplant your tomatoes into the garden until all danger of frost has passed.
What’s The Optimal Time to Start Your Tomato Plants?
If you are planting tomatoes in your garden this year, you might be wondering when the best time to start them is. While there are a few different schools of thought on this subject, the consensus seems to be that the optimal time to start tomato plants is after the last frost date.
This gives the plants enough time to grow and develop before the warm weather arrives, but not so early that they are at risk of frost damage.
As an example, California is in USDA plant hardiness zones 5-9, Zone-5, 6, and 7 consequently providing the optimum season for April to September, Mid-March to September, or February to September.
For example, Depending on the area, (California) plants typically fall into one of these USDA hardiness zones: 5-9. This means that the optimum season for gardening in California falls between April and September (for Zone 5), Mid-March and September (for Zone 6), or February and September (for Zone 7).
Other than that, there are some additional things to keep in mind when starting your tomato plants. For example, you will want to make sure that the soil is warm enough before planting.
If it is too cold, the plants may not be able to properly take root and grow. You can test the soil temperature by using a digital thermometer.
Another thing to keep in mind is that tomato plants need a lot of sunlight, so make sure to choose a spot in your garden that gets plenty of sun during the day.
How To Survive Tomato Plant From Frost?
Frost can damage tomato plants and make them more susceptible to disease. There are a few things you can do to protect your plants from frost:
- Move plants indoors or into a greenhouse if possible.
- Cover plants with a tarp or blanket if they cannot be moved.
- Apply heat lamps or other sources of heat to keep plants warm.
- Water plants well before a frost is expected. This will help insulate them from the cold.
- Mulch around plants to help insulate them from the cold.
- Harvest any ripe fruit before a frost is expected. This will prevent it from being damaged.
Best Protection For Your Tomatoes in Cold
Though several varieties of tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) are cold tolerant, most will not survive temperatures lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an area with cool winters, you can extend your tomato season by taking steps to protect the plants when frost or snow is forecast.
1) Building a Green House
One way to protect your tomatoes from cold weather is to grow them in a greenhouse. Greenhouses provide an environment that is warm and humid, which is ideal for tomato plants. The extra warmth will help the plants to produce fruit earlier in the season and extend the harvest into late fall.
If you have one you will get an advantage whether it is fall or winter. You can adjust the temperature in the greenhouse to ensure that your plants are protected from frost or snow.
The temperature fluctuation is generally between 10 and 12 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the type of greenhouse.
2) Use a Row Cover
If you don’t have a greenhouse, another way to protect your tomato plants from the cold is to use a row cover. A row cover is a type of fabric that is placed over plants to create a microclimate. It helps to trap heat and moisture, which can protect plants from frost and snow.
Row cover comes in different weights, which are measured in ounces per square yard. The heavier the weight, the more protection it will provide. For tomato plants, you will want to use a row cover that is at least 1.5-2.2 oz./sq. yd with 70%-85% light transmittance.
3) Bring Plants Indoors
If the weather forecast calls for a severe drop in temperature, you may need to bring your tomato plants indoors. This is especially true for young plants that are not yet hardened off.
Hardening off is the process of acclimating plants to cooler temperatures. It helps them to develop the necessary enzymes and hormones that will protect them from the cold.
To bring your tomato plants indoors, place them in a sunny spot near a window. You will want to keep the temperature around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If possible, you should also provide a source of humidity, such as a humidifier or pebble tray.
When It Is Too Late to Prune Tomatoes?
Pruning tomatoes is a process of selectively removing leaves, stems, and fruit to produce a healthier plant with a better yield. It is generally done in the early spring before the plant begins to produce fruit.
However, there are times when it may be necessary to prune your tomato plants later in the season. For example, if you notice that your plants are starting to produce fruit that is small or misshapen, pruning may help improve the quality of the fruit.
But in general, Pruning should be done early in the season after transplanting the seedlings into the garden.
I gave you the whole process of when it is too late to transplant tomatoes and the suitable season, temperature, and weather for transplanting. If you plan and grow your tomatoes according to the seasons in your area, you will be rewarded with a great crop.
I would suggest that you always start your growing season on time so that you can transplant your tomatoes when the weather and seasons are just right. Also, make sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast so that you can be prepared for any sudden changes.
I am a graduate of Bangladesh Agricultural University, where I delved into various agricultural disciplines, equipping me with a profound understanding of agriculture. Beyond academics, I have hands-on experience in gardening and crop cultivation. My passion is to embrace sustainable farming and horticulture. With a BSc in Agriculture, I am dedicated to promoting environmentally conscious and efficient agrarian practices.
Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Agriculture (Hons.)
Master of Science. (Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security ) (MS)
Bangladesh Agricultural University