When is the best time to plant tomatoes?
Hardiness Zone: 9a
By Anthony from Riverside, CA
Here is a link to a planting chart for zone 9:
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I live in NJ. What is a good time to plant tomatoes? Once there grown how do I keep the chipmunks from eating them?
Gary from NJ
Around here in SE WI I wait until mid to end of May to plant tomatoes. They like it warm! Be sure you're not going to have any more freezes or frosts! We have plenty of pesky squirrels around here, but they don't seem to consume enough tomatoes to worry about it. I own squirrel guards! I have 3 dogs. All I have to do is say "squirrel" and they all charge out the backdoor on a mission! Lucky for those squirrels they can run up the fence or tree faster then the dogs can get to them! (04/21/2008)
Our rule of thumb is to wait until after the last frost date. You can call your local extension service and ask. At my home in Oregon it's May 15. Not sure what to do about squirrels. We deal with deer here! (04/21/2008)
Try throwing your citrus peels around the plants. No animal, that I know of likes the citrus scent. Chop the peels up rather small and they will spread further. They are not harmful to your plants. I have used this method for many years with success. Just spread new peels as the old lose their scent. I don't have any trouble keeping a supply of peels, as I eat lots of oranges and use lime in my tea each day. I just make it a habit to throw them out as I use them. Hope this will be some help to you. (04/22/2008)
I live in NE PA. We always wait to put plants into the ground until Memorial Day weekend. I'm in the mountains and you are on a coastal plain so it may be a week or two earlier for you. I'm in USDA zone 5b.
Good luck. (04/25/2008)
By Carol in PA
I also live in Oregon, but we rarely get freezes in April. Two weeks ago we had weather in the 70's and we went ahead and planted some seeds and a couple of tomato starts. The next weekend, it was snowing! Looks like we are going to have to replace those starts. You could always grow them inside for a couple of weeks until you are sure that the weather is warm enough. (04/25/2008)
Plant tomato plants in the ground from May 15th. Before that, the cold may kill them. I plant them upside down in plastic contains so they are protected from small animals. I have a clothes line that I hang them from. I tie a large knot on the rope about the plant, poke a hole in the center of a tin pie plate, slide down to knot, tie a knot about plate. Place the plant away from trees. If a small animal jumps on the plate to reach tomato, it will fall. How to plant upside down is on the internet. (05/07/2008)
After you plant the tomatoes put hot pepper sauce around the plants, critters don't like hot stuff, good luck. (09/09/2009)