bethj
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growing tomatoes

I live in Northeastern PA. This is my first attempt at gardening in my side yard. I have done a container garden on my back deck a few times. I would like to plant tomato seeds in the ground - I know it is the middle of May already, but we just had frost earlier this week and the past few days have been consistently in the 60s for the first time (this is usual weather for us). I know that tomatoes like warmer weather so, I have held off on planting.
2 questions: Is it too late (for my area) to plant from seed in my garden?
If I get about 6 - 7 hours of sun in the location I am thinking of planting, will this be enough?

Thanks for your helpt :D

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rainbowgardener
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Re: growing tomatoes

It is more or less four months (+/- a bit depending on variety and conditions) from planting a tomato seed to eating a ripe tomato. That means, starting now it would be mid-Sept ish before you had your first tomato. If your climate is like mine that would leave you maybe a month of tomato production before fall frost shuts it down. If you don't mind tenderly nurturing a plant for four months to get one month of production, go for it. If it were me I would buy a few well started tomato plants from a nursery to skip the first month or two (depending on how well started) of that.

Usually we in cold climates start tomato seed indoors under lights (I started mine in February) in order to have a reasonable tomato season or buy nursery transplants.

Six hours is about the minimum for good tomato production, but it will work. Less than that will work too, but will (further) slow down ripening of tomatoes and reduce the yield.
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bethj
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Re: growing tomatoes

thanks for your suggestions. I feared I would have to just go and buy some plants :( Oh well... guess there's always next year. Though I may plant some that are already started AND some from seed... maybe I'll extend my harvesting?? :?
Thanks again for your help :)

JayPoc
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Re: growing tomatoes

That's a good plan. Buy a few plants, and then also get a pack of seed for a quick maturing variety. Still though, start your seeds in little pots (bathroom cups, whatever) and then transplant them in the ground. You'll get much better results than direct sowing...IMO

bethj
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Re: growing tomatoes

thanks for the tip Jay Poc I'll start some seeds indoors right now versus planting the seeds directly in the ground. :wink:

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rainbowgardener
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Re: growing tomatoes

bethj wrote:thanks for your suggestions. I feared I would have to just go and buy some plants :( Oh well... guess there's always next year. Though I may plant some that are already started AND some from seed... maybe I'll extend my harvesting?? :?
Thanks again for your help :)

Not really. Your tomatoes will produce until frost kills them, whether they were started in February or now.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

JayPoc
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Location: Virginia, The mountains Zone 6a/6b

Re: growing tomatoes

rainbowgardener wrote:
bethj wrote:thanks for your suggestions. I feared I would have to just go and buy some plants :( Oh well... guess there's always next year. Though I may plant some that are already started AND some from seed... maybe I'll extend my harvesting?? :?
Thanks again for your help :)

Not really. Your tomatoes will produce until frost kills them, whether they were started in February or now.
I've seen this posted many times, but at least at my place I rarely have anything still going by the first frost. My vines seem to mostly run their course before then. Either way though, it sounds like she really just wants to start some seeds...nothing wrong with that :)

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