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How late can I get tomatoes?

Posted by philippe2007 (My Page) on
Thu, May 10, 07 at 9:54

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


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How late can I get tomatoes?

go to walmart see if they have some plants

RE: How late can I get tomatoes?

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.


RE: How late can I get tomatoes?

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.

RE: How late can I get tomatoes?

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

RE: How late can I get tomatoes?

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.

RE: How late can I get tomatoes?

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.

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