When to Plant Tomatoes in Virginia

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Quick Answer: When to Plant Tomatoes in Virginia

In Virginia, the ideal time for planting tomatoes is the Last week of May or the First week of June. Tomatoes require warmer temperatures. The best time to sow seeds indoors is during March. Plant your tomatoes in the direction of maximum sunlight; in well-drained; and nutrient-rich soil.

This guide will help you set up a tomato garden in the right season with proper care in Virginia. 

Best Time to Plant Tomatoes in Virginia

The suitable temperature range of air and soil for planting tomatoes in Virginia are-

For daytime, air temperature should fall between 70-90 degrees F. The temperature above 90 degrees F will not allow the tomato plant to set its fruits.

For the night, air temperature should fall between 60-70 degrees F. A temperature above 70 degrees F will negatively impact the tomato plants.

The most reasonable time to transplant your tomato plants is two weeks after the last spring frost.

As the table suggests, last spring frost was observed in the first week of May in some parts of Virginia. 

Table: Frost Dates For Virginia

CityFirst Frost DateLast Frost Date
AltonOctober 18April 24
GloucesterNovember 1April 10
AlleghanyOctober 5May 6
FrederickOctober 10May 1

One can grow new tomato plants indoors during the first week of March and later transplant them outdoors during the last week of May or the first week of June.

Try transplanting your tomato as early as possible to beat the extreme heat of the summer and to harvest fruits before the first frost of the year.

The best possible solution to early transplantation is the early sowing of seeds. 

  • Prepare your soil before sowing the new seeds.
  • Plant the seedlings in sunlight. 
  • Provide your seeds with enough water and sunlight.
  • Take proper care of your plants after they germinate.
  • Fertilize the soil and water it every day after the germination of sprouts. 
  • A week before the last frost set them out in sunlight for a maximum of one hour.
  • For a week after frost, keep them in shade and sunlight for an equal amount of time.

Check out this video on Virginia Tomato Cultivation-

How to Take Care of Tomatoes in Virginia

A key to a successful tomato is to fulfill its need adequately. Tomatoes grow in a narrow range of temperature, sunlight, water, and soil conditions.

Sunlight

A healthy tomato requires a minimum of 7 sun hours per day. You can always compensate for late transplanting with more sun hours. 

One should remember that the most appropriate months for sunlight are May, June, and July. 

Do not let your tomatoes suffer from the extreme heat of August and September sun.

 Balance the sunlight quantity and quality during the sowing month and growing month. 

A maximum of 12 sun hours is necessary for tomato seedlings to germinate.

Garden Soil

The type of soil, pH, and contents of the soil determines the health, faith, and yield of your tomatoes. 

The pH of the soil should be tested a week before sowing the new tomato seeds and a week before transplanting them outside. 

Tomato plants prefer neutral to slightly acidic pH. A pH between 6.2-6.8 works best for tomato growth.

Fertilizer

Good fruit quality is a result of good fertilizer. A good fertilizer should contain-

  • Phosphorus is needed for good root growth.
  • Calcium, magnesium, and sulfur content in the soil determine whether your tomato plant will be exposed to a certain disease. Decomposed organic matter enriches your garden soil with these essential constituents. 
  • Feed your soil with chemicals or organic material rich in Nitrogen. However, check for Nitrogen levels from time to time.

Water

Newly germinated tomato seedlings require constant water to develop stable tap root and adventitious root systems.

A plant should be watered after successful transplantation. This will keep the roots of the plants moist. 

Water your plants in the morning using drip tubes or hoses. It will facilitate the wetting of roots, and roots hairs of the tomato plants. 

Gently watering your plants using your hands works well if you have fewer tomato plants. Avoid drenching of foliage of any part of the plant other than the roots.

Check out this video on How to grow tomatoes at home-

FAQ’s

What are the best tomato varieties for tomato cultivation in Virginia?

Some best determinate and indeterminate tomato varieties having a maturation period of less than 80 day’s are-

Brandy Boy- 78 Days- Indeterminate
Celebrity- 72 days- Determinate
Big Beef- 75 days- Indeterminate
Early Girl- 57 Days- Indeterminate
Mr. Fresh Plus- 79 days- Determinate

What is the ideal soil temperature for the germination of tomato seedlings?

Germination occurs at a minimum soil temperature of 70 degrees F and a maximum soil temperature of 80 degrees F. They require sunlight so, should be kept in a south-facing window.

How can I establish good support for my tomato plants?

You can stake your plants with the help of wooden rods or cage them with aluminum wires. The wooden sticks or wire mats must be placed at least 2-3 inches deep in the soil. 

Summary

I hope this quick guide helped you find the right time to sow and plant tomatoes!

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