Quick Answer: When to Plant Tomatoes in New Jersey
The spring season is ideally suited for tomato transplanting, whereas the late-fall season is appropriate for planting seeds. Any day between 1-25 May can be considered a good time for outdoor planting. There must be a two months gap between indoor and outdoor planting of tomatoes.
This is the ultimate article for planting tomatoes in New Jersey.
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Best Time to Plant Tomatoes in New Jersey
The early ripening of the tomato fruit depends on New Jersey weather conditions and the availability of sunlight, water, and nutrients.
New Jersey usually experiences its first frost in October and last frost in April or May. The growing season is generally approximately 180 days.
The tomato varieties must be chosen according to the growing days, rainfall, sunlight, and respective harvesting period.
In New Jersey, a gardener can safely plant tomatoes in May. For seeds, February and March are appropriate months.
The dates must be selected concerning air temperature, soil warmth, humidity, and frost conditions.
Table: Frost Dates For New Jersey
|City||First Frost Date||Last Frost Date|
|Cape May||October 6||May 13|
|Sussex||October 2||May 6|
|Monmouth||October 16||April 19|
|Mercer||October 18||April 22
The general rules of tomato planting are-
- Sow the seeds at least a month before the expected last frost in the area.
- Transplant the young tomato plants at least 20 days after the last frost.
- Ten days before the transplanting, give tomato plants an equal amount of shade and sunlight. It will give the plants enough time to accept the temperature change.
- Let the plant grow to at least 4 inches tall before setting them outside
Before transplanting, check the soil’s warmth and temperature.
The suitable temperature required for the optimum growth of tomato plants are-
- Daytime Temperature – maximum of 75 degrees F and minimum 60 degrees F.
- Nighttime Temperature – maximum 65 degrees F and minimum 55 degrees F.
Check out this video on the correct way of planting tomatoes in New Jersey-
How to Take Care of Tomatoes in New Jersey
It is essential to be careful about the soil structure, weed or pest growth, drainage, space, and nutrient level of the tomato plant.
- Use a well-drained sandy-loam soil or commercially available sterile soil mix for the tomato seeds.
- Check the pH of the soil before planting and transplanting tomatoes.
- Add manure, compost, and soluble salts to the soil. It will enhance the nutrient level of the soil.
- Supplement the bed soil with boron, sulfur, and calcium through naturally available substances.
Weed or Pest Growth
- Mulch the soil with two to three inches of organic matter or plastic. It will keep a check on weed growth and maintain soil warmth or soil moisture.
- Add herbicides for the eradication of existing weeds in the soil.
- Incorporate fertilizer in the soil during the bed making for the tomato seeds and young tomato plants. Do not use fertilizer rich in Nitrogen.
- Stake or Cage the tomato plants for physical support and protection against animals.
- Clip offs the bottom stems and foliage.
- Prune the suckers every second day. Avoid falling the dead plant’s parts on the ground.
- Do not step in the wet garden.
- Disinfect the tools and items used in cleaning procedures of the garden.
Build narrow trenches alongside tomato rows. It will ensure proper drainage of water and reduce soil compaction.
Use a drip irrigation system for watering the plants. Avoid wetting the foliage and directly water the roots of the plants.
Plant tomatoes 24 inches apart from each other. Maintain a gap of 5-6 ft between the rows.
What are the Best available tomato varieties in New Jersey?
Various tomato varieties are-
- Cherry tomato varieties- Mountain Bell, Sweet Chelsea
- Plums tomato varieties- Plum Crimson, BHN 411, Sonoma.
- Grapes tomato varieties- Santa, St. Nick, Smarty.
- Heirlooms- Mortgage Lifter, Prudens Purple
Some other tomato varieties are Sunshine, Sunbeam, Florida 47, Florida 91, and Mountain Spring.
One can harvest the tomatoes after they tomato has completed its harvesting period. You can harvest the tomatoes in the early week of October.
Too much nitrogen present in soil can result in no foliage or no fruits.
Cracking fruit is a condition that occurs due to heavy rainfall. The extreme sun can affect the fruits of the plant. It can cause sun-scalding of the fruits. Lack of calcium in the soil causes Blossom-end rot.
Check out this video on New Jersey tomato planting-
I hope this guide helped you decide the right time to plant tomatoes in New Jersey.
Suggestions and Feedback are welcome!