The Q&A Archives: Too early for tomoatoes?

Question: I live in southeastern Pennsylvania and am anxious to start container gardening. Tomatoes have been recommended. For my region, is early April too soon to set them outside?

Answer: Tomatoes need warm soil temperatures and do not survive freezing weather or frosts. So they are usually planted a week or two after the last frost in your area. Of course predicting exactly when the last frost will happen is a bit imprecise, you can use the average frost date as a guide. Once nights are reliably in the mid 40's is usually fine. Be prepared to cover the plant if a late frost threatens. Or, you can set it outside during the daytime and bring it in under cover at night to try to get a jump start. Enjoy your tomatoes!

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