When to Plant Tomatoes in Pennsylvania?

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Quick Answer: When to Plant Tomatoes in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has very extensive agricultural zones. Some parts of Pennsylvania experience frost at the end of September, while some observe it in October and November. The last frost is generally seen spring season. The soil temperature should be at least 60 degrees F. Transplant the tomatoes when they are six to seven inches tall. Indoor planting of seeds should begin around six to seven weeks before the last frost of your area.

This is your ultimate article for tomato planting in Pennsylvania.

I have also included the average frost dates of Pennsylvania cities with great tips on sustaining the health of your tomato plants.

Let us begin!

Best Time to Plant Tomatoes in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania observes its first frost in September.

Estimating the season for the last frost in your area, you can plant the seeds inside in March or April. The rule suggests sowing your seeds six to eight weeks before the last frost in the area. Many cities of Pennsylvania observe the last frost in April or May.

Transplanting of the tomato plant should be considered after 15-20 days of the last frost.

Table: Frost Dates For Pennsylvania

CityFirst Frost DateLast Frost Date
TiogaSeptember 26May 22
FranklinOctober 14April 27
LawrenceOctober 8May 9
NorthamptonOctober 16April 24

How to Take Care of Tomatoes in Pennsylvania

Taking proper care of your beautiful tomato plants is not a hard thing to do.

Follow these basic practices for beautiful tomatoes –

Soil & Nutrients

Tomato needs soil with a fine texture. Well-drained loamy soil supplemented with organic matter and essential nutrients are excellent for a tomato plant.

Choose a balanced fertilizer. A balanced fertilizer has equal quantities of Phosphorus, Potassium, and Nitrogen

Complement the soil with compost, manure, leaf, and lime. It will enhance the nutrient level. Calcium levels are improved by adding lime. 

Cleaning & Support

Remove the lower leaves and maintain a hygienic garden. 

Plant tomato plant five to six inches deep in the soil. It will establish a strong root system.

Stake, Cage, and Trellised the tomato plant for solid physical support. 

Mulch your tomato plants with 2-3 inches of leaf, hay-straw, and straw dust. It helps in reducing weed growth and soil-borne diseases.

Water your plants in the morning. Do not water the leaves of the plant. Check the root moisture by dipping your finger 2-3 inches deep in the soil.

Best Tomato Varieties for Pennsylvania

You should first assess the available garden space and then your expectations from the tomatoes.

Indeterminate varieties produce fruits until the first frost and require good physical support.

Determinate varieties grow up to a pre-determined height.  They are short and produce compacted fruits. 

Beefsteak, Plum, Cherry, and heirloom varieties are suitable for tomato planting in Pennsylvania. They come in many colors, have great taste, and are ripe within 70 days.

FAQ’s

What is the planting zone of Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania has a planting zone of 5b to 7a. However, some areas of Pennsylvania has 5a and 7b planting zones.

What are the common diseases that affect tomatoes of Pennsylvania?

Blossom end rot, Early Blight, Septoria leaf spot, Late Blight, and Fruit Cracking are some of the major diseases affecting Pennsylvania tomatoes. 

Summary

I hope you find some useful tips from this guide to grow some awesome tomatoes in Pennsylvania!

Do let us know about any suggestions which I can add to make this guide more comprehensive.

Share with your friends and family who love growing tomatoes 🙂