When to Plant Tomatoes in Georgia?

When to Plant Tomatoes in Georgia? In GA, you can start off with your tomato plants indoors. Start out from seed between four and seven weeks prior to planting time.

If you do prefer to start from seed as opposed to buying transplants from your local nursery or garden center, the soil mix should be light and the plants require lots of light. 

No south-facing window available to get the light you need for your tomatoes? No greenhouse? As a ‘repetitive’ traveler, it’s a real rarity that I can access a glasshouse. Not that you would need a glasshouse in South East Asia.

Anyway, if no south-facing window available and no glasshouse, likely you’ll want to supplement the light. 

Of course, you can buy transplants from your garden center. Transplants are ready to plant out almost right away. If they are indoor-grown transplants – meaning if you buy them early – harden them off before planting out. You can do that, if it’s practical, by exposing the transplants to increasing hours of sunlight on a daily basis over the first week. 

In Georgia, set your seed-grown or transplant tomatoes out in the garden anytime from the middle of March through early May. Remember that tomato plants can’t deal with frost. That means that any danger of frost must be gone before positioning your tomatoes in the garden. 

What are the dates of final springtime frosts in Georgia? 

The following table lists approximate first and last frost dates for various cities in Georgia, US. Note that the dates provide a probability of 30 percent. Frost dates are averaged from 30 years of data (1981-2010).


Last and First Frost Dates Georgia, USLast and first frost dates Atlanta, GA

Tap the chart to enlarge



In some southern parts of Georgia, it’s possible to produce a second tomato crop if seeds are planted in the latter part of July. 

Tomatoes don’t perform well in cold temperatures. They’ll do best at a temperature of between 70 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They also perform best when they have a minimum of six hours of sunshine. On that note, best to select a location in your garden that receives plenty of sunshine. 



Planting tomatoes in Georgia
When do I plant my tomatoes in GA?



When to Plant Tomatoes in Georgia – Planting Your Tomato Transplants

When you’re selecting transplants both at the time of purchase and at the time of planting in the garden, be sure to choose the healthiest specimens. These should be fully green – no yellowing, and around six to eight inches in height. Nothing too spindly. 

Tomatoes have an amazing capacity for developing roots along the entire length of the stem. As such, plant deeply. 

Some people like to pull all the leaves off their tomato transplants other than the leaves at the very top. Then they plant so the stem is almost entirely in the soil. You can do that, or you can pull the lowest pair of leaves off and plant to that depth. 

Make sure to firm the soil around each plant in turn. This forces out air pockets in the soil around the root system. 

At the time of planting provide your transplants with some fertilizer. You can utilize a fertilizer starter solution that is made specifically for tomato plants. The starter solution will have a nutrient ratio of something like 5-10-5 or 5-10-10 (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium; N-P-K). Add the fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Personally, I prefer a tomato starter fertilizer to have a higher nitrogen ratio. Why do I prefer a higher nitrogen ratio? 

Nitrogen is essential for the growth of foliage. When tomato plants are still small, they need to generate a lot of foliage, and plenty of roots. So a fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of something like 10-10-5 is more suitable. Or 10-10-10 is fine, too.

Later on, however, once the plants are larger, it’s critical to utilize a tomato fertilizer that is high in potassium (K). Potassium is an essential element for the production of fruit. 


If you want to stake or cage your tomatoes space each one about 24 inches apart within the rows. Rows can be between four and six feet apart. 

Spacing is dependent on which type of tomato you are growing. For determinate varieties, spacing can be less than for indeterminate varieties. The spacings above are for indeterminate tomato varieties which are more vigorous than determinate types. 


Read: What’s the difference between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes?


If you are going to stake your tomatoes add the stake when first planting the transplants. By doing so it will cause far less damage to the root system than if you were to knock the stakes in at a later date. 


Planting tomatoes in GA


Image by Natasha Terry from Pixabay


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