How late can I get tomatoes?

philippe2007May 10, 2007

I might not be able to plant until august 1st, is it too late to get tomatoes? I'm in Maryland, around Washington DC


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go to walmart see if they have some plants

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 10:34AM
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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

Philippe, I saw your other thread...

You are off by half a season in your timing. Your best bet to get tomatoes this year would be to buy plants and plant them now. If you are thinking of starting seeds, you need to start seeds in early spring (I'm in Buffalo, NY and start around April 1, you are much further south and would need to start them even earlier.)

If you start from seed, you'll need 5 to 7 weeks growing them to a size big enough to transplant them, plus another week to harden them off (get them accustomed to outdoor weather, sun, etc.) Right there you're looking at almost 2 months from the time you start seeds until you plant the plants outdoors.

Then, most tomatoes require anywhere from 2 to 3 months to grow and develop ripe fruits. Some are earlier and some are later--as early as around 40 days and as late as 100+ days.

Timing is important--you need to plant the plants outdoors after all chance of frost is passed, and your growing window ends when you get frost in the fall. Plus we didn't mention anything about temps, sunlight, etc.

I think your best bet would be to buy plants and plant them asap as long as you're past your last frost date for your area, and save any seeds to start til next year--maybe March.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 10:43AM
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instar8(Z 5 N.IN)

Even though MD would have a pretty late frost date, i doubt there'd be enough heat in October, which is when you'd be getting fruit from August planting, to make them taste good, or even ripen them.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 11:01AM
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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

YES. Plus the hours of sun would be reduced, as well as the angle, and colder temps don't help ripening & taste.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 11:17AM
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sillyrib(z5 IL)

pretty late. Cherrys would still work though, and maybe something like Stupice. If you go to a good nursery, they will usually have larger plants to give your late start some help.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 11:26AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

If you cannot plant plants until August 1st, then yes, that is far too late in the season to get any crop. Even using well-established plants. August heat, fruit set problems, time needed to recover from transplant shock, etc. would all likely combine to make it a wasted effort.

But there are many growing options available so if we knew WHY you have this problem then we might be able to offer some suggestions to help you get tomatoes to eat this year.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 1:06PM
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