Quick Answer: When to Plant Tomatoes in Indiana
In Indiana, a gardener can grow and harvest tomatoes for almost 170 days. A good time to start outdoor tomato planting is April and May. However, one should not transplant the tomatoes after June.
Plant your tomatoes safely in Indiana through this very handy guide.
The guide also includes information on Indiana frost dates and tips for healthy tomatoes.
Let us get started!
Best Time to Plant Tomatoes in Indiana
As a tomato gardener one should be well aware of the time suitable for indoor planting and outdoor transplanting.
It is so important that the chosen date must be strictly based on the frost season and the weather conditions of the region.
For Indiana, generally,
- April and May are ideal for planting tomatoes outside. You can start from 20 April and could plant till 20 June.
- Preparation of garden must begin from last week of the last frost.
- Start looking for seeds catalogs from January onwards.
- Prepare the soil bed in February and sow the tomato seeds immediately.
- Harvest the tomatoes during the last week of September.
Anticipate the beginning of the first frost of the season and accordingly put the plants outside and keep them inside when unfavorable conditions emerge.
Here is the table of average frost dates of Indiana-
Table: Frost Dates For Indiana
|City||First Frost Date||Last Frost Date|
|Saint Joseph||October 13||May 13|
|Perry||October 17||April 22|
|Parke||October 9||April 30|
|Randolph||October 10||April 28|
The weather conditions play an important role in the healthy growth of tomatoes.
The optimum range for soil temperature is 60-85 degrees F. The minimum temperature must be 50 degrees and the maximum must be 95 degrees F.
Tomato cannot withstand cold temperatures so make sure you plant them outside when the nighttime temperature rises above 50 degrees F. The daytime temperature must not fall below 60 degrees F.
Look for the area where you can provide the plants plentiful of sunshine.
How to Take Care of Tomatoes in Indiana
Here are some tips to take care of your tomatoes plants –
It is always a wise step to prepare the soil mix for the seeds and soil bed for the tomatoes a week before you want to plant them.
For home gardeners, using a commercially available weed-free and sterile soil mix is reasonable.
For seeds, you can add compost and fertilizers to the soil mix to enhance the immunity level of the soil.
For plants, supplement the soil with an extra layer of mulch and water mixed fertilizers. It will protect the tomato from diseases and weeds.
Try to monitor the soil pH at least once every month. If the pH falls below 6.2 or rises above 7, add lime or wood ash to the soil.
Use well-drained and fertile soil. Try to till and turn the soil to improve the soil structure and reduce soil compaction.
Add 5-10-5 fertilizer very deeply in the soil. Work with fertilizers that don’t have too much Nitrogen in it. Nitrogen can be harmful for the tomato plants.
Water the plants every week. You can look for the dehydration signs by penetrating a finger 3-4 inches deep in the soil.
Use organic mulch for raising the nutrient level and fighting off the weeds. Mulch maintains the warmth of the soil and reduces soil compaction.
Indeterminate tomato varieties need staking and more space between them than determinate varieties.
To maintain good garden hygiene-
- Prune the suckers with disinfected hands or scissors.
- Remove the bottom parts of the plants so they don’t touch the soil.
- Avoid touching the plants when they are wet.
- Remove all the fallen plant’s parts from the ground and burn them in a burn pile.
- Build narrow trenches for proper water drainage.
Check out this video on how to maximize the tomato yield-
Indiana falls under the hardiness zone of 5 and 6. The USDA Hardiness Zones for Indiana are 5b, 6a, and 6b.
Indeterminate varieties are Brandywine, German Queen, Cherokee Purple, and Oaxacan.
Determinate varieties are ilvery Fir Tree, Siletz, Siberian, and Rocket.
Small tomato varieties are Peacevine, Gold Currant, Yellow Pear, Tocan, and Snow White.
I hope this guide gave you lots of tips to grow tomatoes in Indiana.
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