Quick Answer: When to Plant Tomatoes in Georgia
Georgia has a long planting season. Many cities of Georgia experience favorable climates for tomato cultivation. You can start planting tomato seeds inside in late winter- January or February. The ideal time for planting tomato plants outside is 15 days after the last frost in your area. Mid-April is ideally suited for transplanting.
This is the ultimate reference guide for when and how to plant tomato plants in Georgia.
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- Quick Answer: When to Plant Tomatoes in Georgia
- Best Time to Plant Tomatoes in Georgia
- How to Take Care of Tomatoes in Georgia
- Tomato Pests and Diseases
- Georgia Tomato Varieties
Best Time to Plant Tomatoes in Georgia
The favorable circumstances encouraging the planting and transplanting of tomato plant varies from season to season.
Frost severely damages the tomato plant’s growth and affects its yield. Thus, tomato planting requires accurate prediction of the first Frost and Last Frost.
It also demands optimal sunlight, water, and nutrients.
The table given below shows the average frost dates in Georgia-
Table: Frost Dates For Georgia
|City||First Frost Date||Last Frost Date|
|Blairsville||October 11||May 1|
|Cave Spring||October 19||April 11|
|Quitman||November 10||March 22|
|Lincolnton||November 6||April 2|
One can conclude from the table that in Georgia the ideal time for planting seeds indoors is anywhere between Last January and the Whole of February whereas; for transplanting End-April and May are suitable months.
Check out this video on when to plant tomatoes in Georgia-
According to the University of Georgia Extension –
- Tomato plants grow best at temperatures of 70 degrees to 80 degrees F.
- The plants require direct sunlight of six to eight hours a day.
- Tomato thrives in a slightly acidic pH range- 6.2 to 6.8.
- Tomatoes must be provided with 1 to 2 inches of water per week.
Check out this video on planting tomatoes in 7B zone of Georgia-
How to Take Care of Tomatoes in Georgia
Tomato seeds and tomato plants require a different set of conditions. Tomato seeds expect more care and attention than growing tomato plants.
Tips to Care Tomato Seeds
Some great care tips for Tomato seeds are –
- Planting seeds indoors is an assertion of the healthy tomato plant.
- Tomato seeds grow fine in flats or trays. These flats or trays are more economical, easily accessible, and more useful than pots.
- Seedlings require soil with small grains, fine medium, weed-free, and consistent moisture.
- The best way to provide water to the small seedlings is by spraying water through a spray bottle.
- Tomato seedlings do not demand much sunlight but, germinated seedlings need enough sunlight for proper growth. To fulfill the purpose, keep the trays in a south-facing window.
Apart from the above, there are some more aspects to take care of, for example, using warm water in the winters. The water warmed up to a temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit is suitable.
Tomato seeds germinate at temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, seeds germinate faster at temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. To maintain this temperature, one can keep the seed trays on heated mats.
Check out this video on tips and tricks of Georgia tomato planting-
Care Tips for Tomato Plants
Similar to seeds, there are several care tips for tomato plants in Georgia –
- Transplant your tomatoes outside 15 days after the last frost. However, do not abruptly put them in sunlight or shade; give them a short duration of both. You can do these two weeks before transplanting them outside.
- Stake your tomatoes and tie them carefully. The minimum space between two plants should be two feet and 3 feet between two rows.
- Use fertilizer rich in potassium, phosphorus, and Nitrogen. Mix the fertilizer with appropriate water.
- Enrich the soil with lots of organic matter, nutrients, calcium, sulfur, and other essential elements. Adding compost, manure, and leaves are good ways of achieving this.
- Plant the tomatoes in containers. Transplant them very deep in the containers to establish a good root system and ensure water and nutrient absorption.
- Prune suckers with the help of clips or scissors.
- Mulch the soil with a layer of organic matter or leaf. You can add mulching on a raised bed to provide extra security to the plants.
Tomato Pests and Diseases
Tomatoes are prone to various soil-borne or root-borne diseases. That is also true if you are planting them in Georgia.
Spraying copper fungicide helps in controlling the diseases.
Another thing you can do is to maintain a record of water, sunlight, and soil. Keep the garden clean and dry. Clip off the damaged parts and does not let them surface on the ground for too long.
For pests, use insecticidal soap on aphids and mites, or apply carbaryl insecticide on caterpillars and beetles.
Small animals and birds also harm tomatoes, thus harvesting the fruit as it ripens to secure the tomatoes from squirrels and birds.
Check out this video on grown tomatoes in Georgia-
Georgia Tomato Varieties
The suggested tomato varieties for Georgia are-
Determinate Tomato Varieties for Georgia
- Bush Celebrity VFFNTA Hybrid – 67 days.
- Bush Early Girl VFFNT Hybrid – 54 days.
- BHN 444 VFF1TSW Hybrids – 75days.
- BHN 640 VFFFTSW Hybrid – 75 days.
- Celebrity VFFNTA Hybrid – 70 days.
- Mountain Fresh VF Hybrid- 76 days.
- Mountain Spring VFF Hybrid- 72 days.
- Rutgers VFA – 75 days.
- Amelia Hybrid VF123NStTSW – 75 days.
- Mountain Pride Hybrid to F1F2VASCSt – 77 days.
Indeterminate Tomato Varieties for Georgia
- Early Girl VFF Hybrid – 52 days.
- Better Boy VFN Hybrid – 75 days.
- Big Beef VFFNTA Hybrid -73 days.
- Big Boy Hybrid – 78 days.
- Beef master VFN Hybrid
- Bodacious Hybrid
- Medium Rare Hybrid
- Super sauce Hybrid
- Early Pick Hybrid
If you have planted your tomato outside anywhere between April and June; Late summer is the estimated time for tomato ripening.
The shells of the egg provide calcium to the soil. If your soil has low levels of calcium in it then, crushed eggshells are a great alternative for calcium.
I believe this article has helped you get some useful tips on when to grow tomatoes in Georgia and how how to take care of them.
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