Reminder: Don’t rush to plant tomatoes in Western New York

tomato on vine
Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Western New York gardeners who like to get their tomatoes planted outside on Mother’s Day should probably wait a bit longer this year.

What are the chances you will get another frost in your area? Even if you don’t get a frost, the forecast calls for lows in the 40s Fahrenheit this week. And the soil is still cold.

Find out why putting out your tomatoes too early can actually cause a setback to your plants instead of the jump start you’re looking for.

2 Comments on “Reminder: Don’t rush to plant tomatoes in Western New York

  1. Hi Terry, thanks for sharing your personal experience. So many gardeners love trying to get a head start.

  2. You are correct and there is no benefit to putting them out early. I did an experiment one year where I made a mini greenhouse with two liter bottles filled with water surrounding my tomato seedlings and the whole shebang covered in clear plastic. It was an exceptionally warm spring (though we did have some frost at the end of May.) I put the plants out in early May. They were healthy and even tolerated the frost with no problem in their mini greenhouse, but by harvest time, they were no bigger and no more bountiful than plants I put out in June. All that effort with no return. If anything, they were a tad smaller than the ones I plated later.

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