Quick Answer: When to Plant Tomatoes in Arkansas
In Arkansas, the ideal time for planting tomatoes is the April or the first week of May. Tomatoes are susceptible to frost. The best time to sow seeds indoors is two months before transplanting. Plant your tomato seeds in February in well-textured and nutrient-rich soil.
This article will assist you in setting up a beautiful tomato garden in Arkansas.
Let us begin!
Best Time to Plant Tomatoes in Arkansas
The suitable season for tomato planting in Arkansas is April and May.
For Transplanting, prepare your garden a week before you consider planting the tomatoes outside.
Check the soil pH, fumigate the soil if required, and clean the area before transplanting tomatoes.
Two weeks after the anticipated last frost in the region is generally suited for outdoor planting. For Arkansas, mid-April or May is recommended for outdoor tomato planting. For sowing, choose varieties a month before you consider planting the tomatoes inside.
Table: Frost Dates For Arkansas
|City||First Frost Date||Last Frost Date|
|Bentonville||October 15||April 21|
|England||November 9||March 24|
|Luxora||November 6||March 29|
|Briggsville||October 26||April 7|
Prepare the selected beds and trays a week before planting the seeds. Check the soil pH of the soil mix and add the desired fertilizer to the soil.
Two months before the predicted last frost and transplantation, plant the tomato seeds in a freshly prepared soil mixture.
Quick Points –
- For Arkansas, mid-January or February is recommended for indoor tomato planting.
- For Harvesting, select early varieties that produce a small but more number of tomato fruits.
- For an early harvest, perform cultural practices in the garden during June and July.
For healthy tomatoes, ripe the fruits partially outside; and let the tomatoes fully mature under the shade in September.
The proper temperature range of air and soil for planting tomatoes in Arkansas is-
- For daytime, air temperature should fall between 70-90 degrees F. A temperature above 90 degrees F might hinder plant growth.
- For the night, air temperature should fall between 60-70 degrees F. A temperature above 70 degrees F will lead to plant death.
The soil temperature must be between 66 to 75 degrees F. For proper growth, tomatoes need warm soil temperature and low moisture.
The Humidity must not rise above 80%. High moisture content in the air increases the risk of tomato diseases. It acts as a catalyst for disease progression.
Check out this video on planting tomatoes in Arkansas-
Arkansas Best Tomato Varieties
For home gardeners, early and small varieties are easy to harvest and maintain.
Indeterminate varieties demand extra care and effort. They are bushy and require extra cultural practices like staking and caging.
Select varieties that tolerate high temperatures and are disease-resistant.
Choose varieties that have less maturation period and are ripe before the expected first frost of the year.
The famous cultivars of Arkansas are-
- Red tomatoes- Better Boy, Celebrity, Big beef.
- Pink tomatoes-Arkansas Traveller, Pink Brandywine.
- Paste tomatoes- Plum Dandy.
- Small Fruited-Large Red Cherry, Super Sweet 100, Juliet.
Use a drip-irrigation system for watering the tomato plants in your garden. The technique is easy, cost-effective, and requires less labour.
It is an effective way of watering the roots of the plant.
The best time to harvest the tomatoes is when they are firm and start to change color. The appropriate color of a partially ripened tomato must be pinkish.
After 20 to 30 days of completing the maturation period, the tomatoes are ready to harvest.
I hope you find the techniques easy and helpful. Now that you have a better understanding of when the best time to plant tomatoes in Arkansas.
Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family so they can also benefit from the best practices of planting tomatoes in Arkansas. Happy Gardening!