assorted-color tomatoes on brown wooden surfaceHere it is, almost mid-March, and we are still having periods of rain, lack of sun and temperatures barely in the 60’s. In a typical year, by this time we are planting our summer garden or at least have the earliest tomatoes in the ground. This year we haven’t even begun to bring any summer veggies into the nursery in until this very week, due to the poor weather. I know, as usual, we are ALL itching to plant the summer garden. While it may be tempting to plant whatever veggies you can find, do your best to hold your horses, as we are still 4 weeks away from the average last day of frost.

This means that if warm season veggies are planted now, and we get a very cold night, the plants will be damaged if not killed. Also, early-season tomatoes (and other veggies) are at higher risk of insect and disease damage long before they set their first fruit. Now, if  the weather suddenly changes to warm and dry, your gamble may pay off.

As for me, I am dying to get things planted as well, but I am not. I NEVER plant my tomatoes in the ground before the beginning of March if this is only done with protection like a Wall of Water or in a greenhouse. Yet I still plant the majority of my tomatoes in early to mid-April. I have found after over 25 years of growing veggies at home, the first tomatoes don’t come any earlier than the weather allows.

Due to the wet, cool weather we continue to have, the risk of disease is very high. Read more about diseases and best practices to avoid them, here.


Want to learn more about growing Tomatoes? Watch last year’s virtual Tomato Seminar here.

I’d love to hear from you what will you do? Gamble on the early season, or will you plant? Leave your feedback in the comments!


March 2, 2017

Wow, I didn’t know there was this much that went into growing the best tomatoes. There was a lot of good information in this article for how short it was. Good luck with the planting in the beginning of March and thanks again for the article.

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