The Q&A Archives: Date Of Frost / Transplanting Tomatoes

Question: I am afraid I was over anxious with my seeds. I planted my tomatoes in late January and they germinated a lot quicker than I thought (and the guidelines on the back said). I know you aren't supposed to transplant them to late or else they can get leggy, but I know I can't do them to early. Can you tell me when the last frost in spring was in Oakland, CA? (Do we get frosts in Oakland, CA?)

Answer: It does sound as though you're especially anxious to get your garden in and you may have really jumped the gun! You can get frosts in Oakland, but it's rare. While your tomato plants may get leggy, all is not lost. Wait until the soil and air temperatures warm up before transplanting into the garden, or the plants will just sit and sulk. Late March is about the earliest you can tranplant outdoors. If your plants get leggy you can remedy the situation by planting them deeply so that some of the stem is buried. (Remove the lower leaves before planting and roots will develop where the leaves once were.)
Here's an excellent website with particulars on when plants can go into the garden in your growing area:

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