The Q&A Archives: Americans Who Grow Tomatoes

Question: Has anyone ever estimated how many people in the US grow their own tomatoes each summer? How would I find out how many people in Milwaukee grow their own? Is there a map of the US that indicates when home grown tomatoes become ripe in different areasand regions? These may seem like odd questions, but I'm doing some research about when people eat home-growns. Your help is great appreciated, and I'll be starting my Burpee seeds soon. Best regards. Johnathan Crawford Milwaukee, WI

Answer: National Gardening has been conducting a survey of Lawn and Garden Trends for 15 years with the Gallup organization. We do know that of the roughly 30 million households that grow vegetables in the U.S., about 80% grow tomatoes. Doing the multiplication, that's about 24 million households growing tomatoes. Households isn't individuals, but it gives you a rough idea. As far as how many gardeners in Milwaukee grow tomatoes, that's best estimated by your State Extension Service. Our studies don't go into that much detail. I also don't know of a map that indicates when tomatoes become ripe, but generally it would be 60-80 days (depending on weather and variety) after transplanting and transplanting happens around the last frost date in eacharea. So, once you know the last frost date, you again can estimate the maturity time. I hope this helps.

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