Quick Answer: When to Plant Tomatoes in Texas
Texas has a frost period of around four to five months. The planting season of tomatoes in Texas is Mid-April or early May. In some parts of Texas, the last frost period is recorded in the last week of April so, one should always check for the frost dates before sowing the new seeds. Tomato needs direct sunlight with proper drainage of water. Plant your fresh tomato seeds in the soil rich with organic matter, nutritional fertilizer, and free from weeds.
Grow your tomatoes in Texas with care in the right season with the help of this detailed guide.
Let’s get started!
- Quick Answer: When to Plant Tomatoes in Texas
- Best Time to Plant Tomatoes in Texas
- How to Take Care of Tomatoes in Texas
- Size of the Tomato Plant
- Tomato Cultivars in Texas
Best Time to Plant Tomatoes in Texas
A period of 6-7 weeks before the last frost during spring is the best time for planting the seeds inside under direct sunlight.
Prepare your new tomato plants for outside, and transplant them into your garden during the right season.
I have given a table of average frost dates from four different countries in Texas.
Table: Frost Dates For Texas
|City||First Frost Date||Last Frost Date|
|Hansford||October 13||April 25|
|Hidalgo||December 11||February 9|
|Culberson||November 1||April 6|
|Franklin||November 4||April 1|
From the table, we can estimate that the Last week of April and the First week of May is the safest period for transplanting the tomatoes in your garden.
However, we can expect a sudden shift in frost periods so; one must transplant their tomatoes in Texas after at least 15 days of the last frost in the area.
Tomato is a very delicate fruit and demands the right amount of water, soil, temperature, sunlight, and nutrients.
Tomato prefers warmer climates. A temperature of 65-80 degrees F is suitable for their optimum growth.
But be careful, tomato cannot tolerate extreme hot climates so; avoid transplanting them outside in August and September.
- The soil pH should be between 5.8 and 7.2.
- The temperature of the soil must be above 60 degrees F. (16 C.).
- Soil enriched with beneficial nutrients and high water-holding capacity works as good food for the tomato plant.
Direct sunlight of six to seven hours a day is required for the good health of your tomatoes
How to Take Care of Tomatoes in Texas
You can maintain the good yield of the tomato by providing them with just the right quality and quantity of requirements.
Precautions for Sunlight
- Provide a maximum of 8 hours of sunlight to your transplanted tomato plants during June and July.
- Plant your tomato plants away from big trees.
- Set up tomato seedlings trays towards the south-facing window.
- Before transplanting the plant outdoors, provide them with the same amount of sun and shade for almost a week.
- Provide extra space between two tomato transplants to maximize the sun’s heat.
Precautions for Water
- A drip irrigation system is the best possible method of watering for home gardeners during May. It is cost-effective and practical. It allows the water to reach the base of the stem and prevents wetting of the foliage.
- For indoor plants, watering every day or every alternate day is necessary.
- For outdoor transplanted plants, watering every 3-5 days during the morning is obligatory.
Precautions for Soil
- Maintain a soil temperature of 60-80 degrees F for tomato seedlings, germination, and fruit ripening.
- Do not work with moist soil.
- Fertilize and till your garden soil before planting the tomato seeds.
- The soil should be moderately moist.
- Good garden soil should contain half part of sand and half part of organic matter, manure, and compost.
- For spring season tomatoes, sandy soil is the suitable soil.
- To maximize the water holding capacity of the soil, work for 10-12 inches deep in the soil.
- Mulch your soil to minimize evaporation of moisture from the soil.
- Do not add fertilizer to the soil prepared for tomato seedlings.
- During transplanting, enrich an ample amount of fertilizer in the soil.
- Apply a second dose of the fertilizer after the first ripe.
- Add a handful of 10-10-10 balanced fertilizers to each tomato pot.
- Water your plants slowly to amend the fertilizer deep into the soil.
Check out this video for taking care of tomatoes in Texas-
Size of the Tomato Plant
A determinate type of tomato is ideal for home gardeners of Texas. This type of tomato is thirty inches to four feet tall.
Celebrity, Patio, Roma, La Roma, and Rutgers are some popular determinate tomato varieties.
Determinate varieties are self-limiting and do not require pruning.
These tomato plants are compact and are fine on their own; however, some varieties may require Staking for physical support.
Tomato Cultivars in Texas
For Texas, tomato varieties that produce small fruits, ripe early, and possess heat tolerance are suitable for cultivation.
Chocolate Cherry, Sun Gold cherry, Atkinson, celebrity, Tomato berry, Florida 91, and Sun master are some hybrid varieties of tomato suitable for cultivation in Texas.
Check out this video for top Texas tomato varieties-
Mulching will improve the soil’s organic content, stop weed growth, maintain the moderate temperature of the soil, and prevent evaporation of soil moisture from the soil.
Fertilize your tomato plants every 3-4 weeks and work with your plants deeply enough to kill the weeds. Mulch your plant’s base to reduce weed growth.
I hope this article helps you with tomato planting, growing, and harvesting in Texas.
Do share this with your family and friends!