When to Plant Tomatoes in Ohio: (Dates + Best Practices)

It’s best to plant tomatoes in the spring in Ohio after the risk of frost has passed. Planting dates will vary depending on the variety of tomato you’re growing. Let’s look at when to plant tomatoes in Ohio.

The four major factors that affect growing tomatoes are temperature, length of the day, sunlight hours, and soil type. Each one can cause a different seed germination time frame. For example, when there is not enough sunlight, or it is too cold, plants may take longer to sprout than normal, even if the temperature is just right.

Best Time to Plant Tomatoes in Ohio?

When to plant tomatoes in Ohio

It is best to plant tomatoes in May if you live in Ohio. A May planting date will provide you with a summer harvest that ends by October. In most of the states, tomatoes can be planted around the 20th of May, while if you live in Northern Ohio, you can wait until the end of May to plant your tomato seeds.

In each growing area, of course, there are various external factors, such as nighttime temperatures and rainfall, which affect the growth of the plants in ways that are not readily apparent. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and consider the last expected frost date before planting your tomato seeds.

In order to grow tomatoes, it is necessary to have sunshine, but too much heat can cause stress on the seeds and slow down germination rates by several days. A temperature range of 45 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit is best for germinating tomato seeds. On average, when soil temperatures reach 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, seedlings start to emerge from the soil.

Seedlings may appear in as little as seven days if soil and air temperatures are warm enough, but this means that the plants must then endure colder nights which could kill them unless they have some type of protection, such as a floating row cover.

Consistent soil moisture is also important in the germination of tomato seeds. Seedlings do not require much water, however, because it can cause root rot. You can water your plants once a day so that the top few inches of soil are moistened.

When growing tomatoes, it’s also essential to keep weeds down because they can compete with the baby plants for nutrients.

Growing tomatoes indoors

Ohio Tomato Planting Dates

Now that you know the best time to plant tomatoes in Ohio, you can extend the growing season by getting them started indoors.

If you want to get a head start on the growing season, you can plant your seeds indoors in March or April. When the soil starts to crack from the growth of new roots, this is an indication that the seeds have germinated and shoots will soon appear.

The seedlings should be transplanted into individual containers and grown at a temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. From here, the plants are ready for planting in their permanent locations once the weather becomes consistently warm.


It’s best to plant tomatoes in Ohio once the last frost has passed.

Planting dates, temperature, and the expected last frost date should all be taken into consideration prior to planting your tomato seeds. Careful monitoring of soil temperatures, sunlight hours, and moisture will help you decide when the time is right to plant your tomatoes in Ohio.