Best Time to Plant Tomatoes in Ohio?

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Quick Answer: When to Plant Tomatoes in Ohio

Ohio is very well-suited for tomato cultivation. In Ohio, 2nd week of May is best for transplanting tomatoes in the garden. In southern Ohio, one can grow tomatoes a week earlier,, and in Northern Ohio, a week late to best suited period is suggested. Warm temperatures favour the healthy growth of tomatoes in Ohio.

Planting tomatoes at the right time is essential for a successful harvest.

In this guide, I will discuss the best time to plant tomatoes in Ohio, as well as some tips and tricks to ensure your tomatoes survive and thrive!

Let us begin!

Best Time to Plant Tomatoes in Ohio

Tomato is susceptible to soil-borne, water-borne, and season-borne diseases. The ideal conditions for a wholesome tomato yield are –

  • No frost for over 15-20 days.
  • 10-12 hours of sunlight for inside tomato plants.
  • 7-8 hours of sunlight for transplanted tomato plants.
  • Neutral soil pH.
  • A nutrient-rich, well-drained, and porous soil.
  • An adequate quantity of water.
  • Soil temperature of above 60 degrees F and moderate climatic temperature.
  • Weed-free soil.

Tomato is sensitive to frost, and thus, one should not sow tomato seeds during frost periods.

Always set up your tomato garden 15-20 days after the last frost period.

According, to the frost table of Ohio, time around May 20 will be safe for transplanting the tomato plants in the garden.

Table: Frost Dates For Ohio

CityFirst Frost DateLast Frost Date
ErieOctober 30April 16
LawrenceOctober 5May 4
JeffersonOctober 13April 30
MercerOctober 11April 27

You can prepare the tomato plants inside. Plant your seeds in small pots or containers, and set the plants under sunlight.

Once they reach a height of 2 inches, transplant them into your garden after the frost period is over. 

If possible, prepare your soil before the end of the last frost period. This will give your tomatoes proper time to mature and ripen. Your plant will set fruits before the first frost of the year.

Check out this video for growing tomatoes in containers-

Tomato plants require moderate day and night air temperatures.

An extremely high temperature of the day and shallow night temperature hinder the growth of tomatoes and result in various disease progressions. 

In mid-May, the temperature is right for tomatoes. The day temperature is warm, and night temperatures do not fall below 12 degrees Celsius. 

Set up the tomato garden or tomato transplants near a water source. During the rainy season, 3-5 inches of rainfall is enough for the healthy growth of tomatoes.

Manually water your plants every 3-5 days and pour water until it is 1 inch above the soil bed. 

During scorching temperatures above 80 degrees F, water your plants daily.

How to Take Care of Tomatoes in Ohio

Even though you have mindfully sowed the seeds and transplanted the tomato plants outside; certain preventions must be done to protect them from diseases.

It is essential to keep monitoring the growth of tomato plants. It will provide you with information about the needs of your tomatoes.

Do not expose your plants to direct sun heat during august and September; the temperature reaches above 85 degrees F and can leave your plant’s leaves burnt.

Do not opt for a sprinkler watering system. It will leave your foliage wet and will not provide enough water to the roots of the plant. 

Instead, adopt the Drip system. You can directly water the base of the plants through tubes or hoses. 

Soil provides nutrition to the roots of the plant. Hence, it is advisable to enhance its structure by adding sand, peat, and compost. 

Well-drained soil with good water-holding capacity improves the growth of plants and reduces the risk of disease. Maintain low soil moisture but keep it moist during extremely high temperatures. 

A raised bed is the solution to complex soil requirements. It provides an appropriate soil depth to the plant providing the right soil temperature and moisture content. It will also promote better soil drainage. 

Mulching the raised beds during August and September will prevent your soil from getting too warm. 

Transplant your tomato plants in pots containing a hole for water exit. Do not damage the roots during the process of re-planting. Do not directly set them out in sunlight. On the first day, alternate hours of sunlight and shade are required. 

Add fertilizer to your soil after the seeds have germinated. 

A mixture of 10-10-10 fertilizer with Epsom salt should be placed in the bottom of the pot.

Tomato Cultivars Suited for Ohio

There are various commercially available hybrid tomato cultivars for home gardeners that are nematode-resistant and disease-resistant. 

You should buy a tomato variety that has less maturity period. Any variety with a maturation period of fewer than 60 days and offering resistance to disease and nematode is best for Ohio tomato cultivation. 

Early Girl, Better Boy, Celebrity produces medium to large pink tomato fruits with a maturation period of 60-70 days.


How can I protect my tomato from blossom end rot?

You should provide the right quantity of water inconsistent way.
Blossom-end rot is caused due to deficiency of calcium in the soil, and thus, adding calcium-containing compounds like eggshells, or oyster shells may help you enhance the level of calcium.

Can I use synthetic fertilizers for my tomato plant?

The fertilizers if, not used in the right way, can have counteractive reactions, the use of organic fertilizer is the best possible option. 

You can use compost manure or any commercially available organic fertilizer.

What tomatoes grow best in Ohio?

Sun Gold cherry tomato is an early-season tomato variety with a maturation day of 50-60 days. Jet Star is a high-yielding tomato variety

In the End

I hope this article has been helpful in getting you ready for tomato planting season.

If you have any tips or tricks of your own, we’d love to hear them.

Don’t forget to share this article with friends and family who may be interested in learning about when to plant tomatoes in Ohio.

Happy Planting!