Planting tomatoes outside in Texas can take a lot of research and planning. “You can’t beat Mother Nature, but you can learn how she functions.” This is truly the only way to tell when to plant tomatoes, and it takes a lot of experience and patience. It can be hard to wait, but you will get a good understanding of your planting dates just by checking the weather reports and noticing how often you have frost in the year.
Many people will tell you that it’s safe to plant tomatoes as soon as the ground has thawed from the winter cold, but what matters most is when your frost-free date falls. Let’s look at when to plant tomatoes in Missouri, Texas.
When to plant tomatoes in Missouri?
In Missouri, the average last frost date is the 20th of April. It will be safe to plant tomatoes out after this date. Most gardeners in the area recommend planting tomatoes outdoors between the 20th of April and the 20th of May. These dates vary slightly depending on where you live in Missouri.
If you live in Southern Missouri, it’s recommended that you plant your tomato plants outside between the 20th of April and the 15th of May. In Central Missouri, the suggested planting dates are slightly later due to the later last frost day. You can plant tomato plants or seedlings out between the 5th and 20th of May. While in Northern Missouri, the 10th to the 20th of May is the best time to plant tomatoes outside.
These are the date that all risk of frost is lost, and you can plant outside without worrying about young seedlings dying of cold. If you want to plant tomato seeds directly into the ground, then wait until at least the 20th of April if you reside in Missouri.
Another way to tell when to plant tomatoes is by checking out the weather trends for your area. You can use local weather maps to check out the highs and lows on a daily basis and go by those numbers.
Planting tomatoes earlier
Many people start their tomatoes inside under grow lights to get them off to a good start. That means they would be planting out after about May 10 or 11 if they started on March 1st, under optimal conditions.
You can plant the tomato seeds in a pot and cover them with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. This creates a micro-climate that will keep the seeds warm and moist while they germinate. Once the young seedlings have started to grow, you can uncover the plant. Your plants can then be moved outdoors after the risk of frost has passed. You may need to acclimatize your tomato plants by moving them outside during the day and bringing them in at night, for a few days, before leaving them outside full time.
In summary, check out local weather patterns, get your tomatoes from a very reputable source, and plant them in the early spring. If you want to get a head start on the growing season, you can start them inside 4 to 6 weeks before the average last frost date.