Reminder: You risk a setback if you rush tomatoes

basket of tomatoes and cucumber by Stofko
Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

If you’re one of those Western New York gardeners who like to plant your tender vegetables during Mother’s Day weekend, I hope you checked the forecast first.

Last night we had a frost advisory for all of Western New York. Tender vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, can’t tolerate frost!

In fact, they want nights–nights, not days– that are at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be a few days before we see even daytime temperatures getting that warm.

If you have your plants out in poor conditions, it may take time for the plant to recover, said Jen Weber, vice president and manager of Mike Weber Greenhouses in West Seneca.

“If you plant too early, you could stunt your plant,” Weber said. “You might get a setback instead of that head start you think you’re getting.”

See more in this April 2019 article about when you can safely plant tender vegetables in your area of Western New York, as well as what herbs, annuals and vegetables you can plant now. For more on cool weather vegetables, see here.

2 Comments on “Reminder: You risk a setback if you rush tomatoes

  1. I planted very early one year. The weather was great except for two days when I put water bottles in as “heaters” and wrapped the plants up. While growth wasn’t horribly stunted, the tomatoes I put in later (that were much smaller) ended up being just as big as my early tomatoes and I think they produced better. The potted tomato I have in my garage right now looks very unhappy.

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