Tag Archives: garden

Tomato Time Planting Tips

No home vegetable garden is complete without a good crop of tomatoes. The tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) is a warm-season crop and one of the most popular, and easily grown, vegetables in the country. Once you’ve tasted a fresh picked tomato from your own garden, you’ll wonder what those bland, waxy, tasteless red orbs are that you’ve been getting from your grocery store produce section.

Nutrition Facts
According to the USDA, tomatoes are low in Sodium, and very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. They are also a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium and Manganese.

Tomato Plants
Tomatoes can be grown either from seed started indoors, or from transplants purchased at your local garden center. There is usually a large selection of transplants available at reasonable prices this time of the year, and transplants are usually the easiest way to start your tomatoes. Select healthy plants that are 6 to 8 inches tall. Check to be sure that the transplants are not root bound. That is, that they don’t have a large amount of roots poking out of the bottom of the pot.

To start your own tomato plants from seed, plant the seeds in a light, seed starter type, soil mixture at least 4 to 7 weeks before they are to be planted outdoors in your garden. One week before they are to be planted, harden-off the tomato plants by placing the potted plants in your garden to gradually expose them to increased amounts of sunlight.

Varieties
Tomatoes come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colors, and varieties and are classified as being either determinate or indeterminate. Determinate varieties stop growing once the plant sets fruit and the entire crop is produced all at one time. Indeterminate varieties continue to grow and set fruit as long as the temperature permits.

(See Chart Below for Recommended Varieties)

Soil Preparation
Tomatoes do best in well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter and with a pH in the range of 6.2 to 6.8. They require at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Although tomatoes love warm weather, once daytime temperatures rise above 95 degrees, nighttime temperatures stay above 85 degrees or fall below 55 degrees, tomato flowers will no longer set fruit.

Before planting tomatoes, remove all rocks, trash and weeds from the planting area and till the soil to a depth of 8 to 12 inches. To help prevent disease, be sure to practice proper crop rotation by NOT planting tomatoes in soil in which tomatoes, or any other member of the Nightshade family such as potatoes, peppers, or eggplant, were grown in the past two years.

Planting
Tomatoes should be planted after the danger of frost has passed. The table below lists the Spring and Fall Planting dates for each state but you can refer to our Freeze and Frost Dates Tool to find the Last Frost Date for your specific area. Remember, if a frost is expected after you have planted your tomatoes, you will need to cover them with a “planket” type material or the frost will kill them.

An excellent way to encourage a vigorous root system on your tomato plants is to lay the plant on its side when planting. Dig a hole that is as deep as the transplant root ball is wide. Next dig a shallow trench just below the surface to bury the transplant’s stem in. Leave the top 3 to 4 inches of the plant sticking out of the ground and pile a little bit of dirt under this part to angle it slightly upward. Be sure to carefully trim off any leaves that are to be buried. Within a few days the plant will be completely vertical.

Stakes & Cages
If left to their own devices, tomatoes will grow only so tall before they fall over and grow along the ground. This encourages disease, poor fruit production, and is not an efficient use of space. Use stakes or cages to help support your tomatoes and keep them growing upright. Place the stake or cage in the ground shortly after planting to minimize possible root damage. If using stakes, they should be about 6 feet tall and the tomato plant should be loosely tied to the stake at 10-inch intervals to support the plant.

Weed Control
Keep the garden free from weeds, as weeds will compete with the growing tomatoes for soil nutrients and water. Do not dig too deep when using a hoe, or pulling weeds to avoid damaging the plant’s roots.

Watering & Fertilizing
Tomatoes need about 1 to 2 inches of water per week. A good way to help keep them from drying out and wilting is to put a 2-inch layer of mulch around each plant. If you don’t have adequate rainfall, water them once or twice a week. Consider drip irrigation as it conserves moisture and avoids getting the plant’s foliage wet, which can cause diseases. Fertilize your plants once every week or two with an application of a balanced fertilizer.

Insects & Diseases
Tomatoes are relatively hardy but are affected by several insects and diseases. Hornworms are 3-inch long curled caterpillars that cut plants off at the soil line, chew 1/4’’ holes in pods or seeds, and occasionally chew leaves. Apply a Bacillus thuringiensis based insecticide to control them.

Whiteflies are small, whitish insects that may be found in masses on the underside of leaves. Hose off the underside of leaves to knock off aphids or apply an insecticidal soap.

Neem oil, sulfur, and other fungicides can be used to help prevent blossom-end rot.

Deer or bird net is always a good idea, once the plants have set fruit, to keep our furry and feathered friends from enjoying our tomatoes before we do.

Harvesting & Storing
Harvest tomatoes when they are fully ripe. If you harvest them while they are still green, they can be allowed to ripen over time in the house. Keep unripe tomatoes in a well-ventilated area at room temperature until they are ripe. While fully ripe tomatoes can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for several weeks, never store green tomatoes in the refrigerator.

Recommended Varieties
The following chart list the recommended varieties, days to harvest, spring planting dates, and where applicable, the fall planting dates for tomatoes in each state, Wherever possible, the information in the chart is in accordance with the Cooperative Extension for each state.

StateVariety
- Days to Harvest
Spring
Planting Dates
Fall
Planting Dates
Alabama (AL)Days to Harvest: 70-90
• Atkinson
• Better Boy
• Big Beef
• Celebrity
• Husky Gold
• Monte Carlo
• Small Fry
• Sweet Chelsea (cherries)
Apr 1 - Apr 30July 1 - July 31
Alaska (AK)Days to Harvest: 70-95
• SubArctic 25
• Early Tanana
May 1 - June 7
Arizona (AZ)Days to Harvest: 70-90
• Champion
• Early Girl
• Sweet 100
- Elevation -
[ 10 to 1000 feet ]
• Jan - Mar 15

[ 1000 to 2000 feet ]
• Feb 15 - Mar 15

[ 2000 to 3000 feet ]
• Mar 15 - Apr 15

[ 3000 to 4500 feet ]
• May 1 - June 15

[ 4500 to 6000 feet ]
• May 10 - June 1

[ Above 6000 feet ]
• May 25 - June 1
Arkansas (AR)• Arkansas Traveler - 76
• Better Boy - 72
• Big Beef - 80
• Bradley - 75
• Celebrity - 70
• Gold - 65
• Husky Red - 65
• Juliet - 65
• Large Red Cherry - 72
• Lemon Boy - 72
• Lizzano - 50
• Mountain Pride - 77
• Pink Brandywine - 78
• Pink Cherry - 65
• Plum Dandy - 82
• Super Sweet 100 - 50
• Viva Italia - 80
Mar 15 - May 31July 1 - July 15
California (CA)Days to Harvest: 60-80
• Better Boy
• Celebrity
• Dona
• Dr. Wyche's Yellow
• Early Girl
• Hillbilly
• Snow White Cherry
• Stupice
• Sun Gold
• Super Marzano
• Sweet Million
• Sweet 100
[ North & North Coast ]
• May 1- May 31

[ South Coast ]
• April 1 - July 15

[ Central Valley ]
• Mar 1 - May 31
[ Southern Desert ]
• Dec 1 - Mar 31
Colorado (CO)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Better Boy
• Big Boy
• Celebrity
• Early Girl
• Sweet 100
May 13 - May 31
Connecticut (CT)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Better Boy
• Burpee's Jubilee
• Burpee's Supersteak Hybrid
• Celebrity
• Cherry Grande
• Del Oro
• Early Girl
• Golden Delight
• Mountain Pride
• Orange Queen
• Pik-Rite
• Pilgrim
• Pixie
• Ramapo
• Red Plum
• Roma
• Small Fry
• Super Beefsteak
• Supersonic
• Sweet 100
• Tiny Tim
• Jet Star
• UltraBoy
• Yellow Plum
• Yellow Stuffer
• Zeneith
May 10 - May 31
Delaware (DE)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Burpee
• Burpee's Delicious
• Delsher
• Heinz 1409
• Ramapo
• Roma
• Spring Giant
• Superman
• Supersonic
• Jet Star
May 10 - May 25
Florida (FL)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Amelia
• Beefmaster
• Better Boy
• BHN444-Southern Star
• BHN 640
• Brandywine
• Celebrity
• Cherokee Purple
• Delicious
• Eva Purple Ball
• Green Zebra
• Heat Wave II
• Juliet
• Mortgage Lifter
• Red Grape
• Sugar Snack
• Sun Gold
• Sweet 100
• Sweet Baby Girl
[ North Florida ]
• Feb 1 - Apr 30

[ Central Florida ]
• Jan 1 - Mar 31
[ North Florida ]
• Aug 1- Aug 31

[ Central Florida ]
• Sept 1 - Sept 30

[ South Florida ]
• Aug 1 - Mar 31
Georgia (GA)Days to Harvest: 70-90
• Amelia
• Beefmaster
• Better Boy
• BHN 444
• BHN 640
• Big Beef
• Big Boy
• Celebrity
• Early Girl
• Jolly
• Mountain Fresh
• Mountain Pride
• Mountain Spring
• Rutgers
• Super Sweet 100
• Sweet Baby Girl
• Juliet
Mar. 25 – May 1June 15 – July 15
Hawaii (HI)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Anahu
• Healani
• Kalohi
• Puunui
Year-round
Idaho (ID)• Better Bush - 72
• Champion - 62
• Early Goliath - 60
• Fourth of July - 49
• Golden Girl - 69
• Northern Exposure - 67
• Phoebe's - 65
• Roma - 62
• Siletz - 57
• SubArtic Maxi - 48
• Sweet 100 - 65
May 30 - July 4
Illinois (IL)• Brandywine - 80
• Beefmaster - 81
• Better Boy - 72
• Burpee's Big Girl - 78
• Champion - 65
• Celebrity - 70
• Early Girl - 60
• Mountain Pride - 74
• Roma - 75
• San Marzano - 80
• Supersonic - 79
• Veeroma - 72
• Viva Italia - 80
[ Northern Illinois ]
• May 24 - June 15

[ Central Illinois ]
• May 10 - June 1

[ Southern Illinois ]
• Apr 26 - May 18
Indiana (IN)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Amelia
• BHN 411
• BHN 589
• Big Beef
• Biltmore
• Carolina Gold
• Celebrity
• Crista
• Golden Sweet
• Fabulous
• Florida 91
• Florida 47
• LaRossa
• Lemon Boy
• Mountain Belle
• Mountain Fresh
• Mountain Spring
• Plum Dandy
• Red Sun
• Santa
• Sun Brite
• Sun Leaper
• Sunshine
• Sweet Olive
• Jet Star
[ Northern Indiana ]
• May 15 - June 10

[ Central Indiana ]
• May 10 - June 15

[ Southern Indiana ]
• May 5 - June 10
Iowa (IA)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Better Boy
• Big Beef
• Celebrity
• Jet Star
• Lemon Boy
• Mountain Delight
• Patio
• Roma VF
• Small Fry
• Sunrise
• Super Sweet 100
May 5 - June 20
Kansas (KS)Days to Harvest: 75-85
• Amelia
• Beefy Boy
• Carolina Gold
• Celebrity
• Floralina
• Florida 47
• Florida 91
• Jetsetter
• Jet Star
• Juliet
• Margherita
• Mountain Belle
• Mountain Fresh Plus
• Mountain Gold
• Mountain Spring
• Plum Crimson
• Plum Dandy
• Roma
• Scarlet Red
• Sun Gold
• Sun Leaper
• Suncherry
• Super Marzano
• Supersweet 100
• Sweet Olive
• Tumbling Tom
May 3 - May 27
Kentucky (KY)• Basket King - 55
• Better Boy - 72
• Big Beef - 70
• Big Early - 62
• Brandywine - 78
• Bucks County Hybrid - 74
• Carolina Gold - 72
• Celebrity - 75
• Cherry Grande - 60
• Cupid - 71
• Early Girl - 58
• Fabulous - 77
• Jolly - 70
• Juliet - 60
• Kentucky Beefstake - 90
• Mountain Belle - 65
• Mountain Fresh - 77
• Pink Girl - 72
• Plum Dandy - 76
• Plum Crimson - 80
• Roma - 76
• Solar Set - 76
• Sugary - 60
• Sun Gold - 57
• Supersweet 100 - 65
• Sweetie - 65
[ Western ]
Apr 20 - June 1

[ Central ]
May 5 - June 15

[ Eastern Mountain ]
May 15 - July 1
Louisiana (LA)Days to Harvest: 70-75
• Better Boy
• Bella Rosa
• BHN 981
• BHN 876
• Big Beef
• Carolina Gold
• Celebrity
• Champion
• Crista
• Cupid
• Floralina
• Florida 91
• Heatwave II
• Jet Star
• Juliet
• Mountain Fresh Plus
• Mountain Spring
• Muriel Roma
• Picus Roma
• Pink Girl
• Phoenix
• Small Fry
• Solar Fire
• Solar Set
• Sun Gold
• Sun Gold Cherry
• Sun Leaper
• Sun Master
• Sweet Million
• Talladega
• Terrific
Mar 1 - May 1July 1 - Aug 15
Maine (ME)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Bellstar
• Big Beef
• Celebrity
• Daybreak
• Early Cascade
• First Lady
• First Pik
• Juliet
• Matt’s Wild
• Moskvich
• New Girl
• Plum Crimson
• Pruden’s Purple
• Red Brandywine
• Redsun
• Royal Mountie
• San Marzano
• Striped German
• Sunchief
• Sun Gold
• Sunstart
• Sweet Million
• Ultrasonic
May 28 - June 15
Maryland (MD)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Amish Paste
• Banana Legs
• Better Boy
• Big Beef
• Big Boy
• Big Rainbow
• Brandywine
• Bucks County
• Cherokee Purple
• Celebrity
• Delicious
• Early Girl
• First Prize
• Fourth of July
• Gardener’s Delight
• Georgia Streak
• German Johnson
• Giant Belgian
• Golden Boy
• Golden Sweet
• Green Zebra
• Jet Star
• Juliet
• Kellogg’s Breakfast
• Lemon Boy
• Mammouth German Gold
• Mortgage Lifter
• Park’s Whopper
• Paul Robeson
• Pineapple
• Pruden’s Purple
• Red Candy
• Red Pear
• Roma
• Rutgers
• San Marzano
• San Remo
• Santa
• Smarty
• Solid Gold
• Striped German
• Stupice
• Sun Cherry
• Sungold
• Super Italian
• Supersonic
• Supersteak
• Sweet Chelsea
• Sweet 100
• Sweet Million
• Tomosa
• Yellow Pear
• Viva Italia
May 1 - June 15June 15 - July 5
Massachusetts (MA)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Amish Paste
• Beefsteak
• Big Boy
• Black Cherry
• Brandywine
• Celebrity
• Cherokee Purple
• Early Girl
• Gold Nugget
• Opalka
• Orange Banana
• Roma
• San Marzano
• Sungold
• Super Sweet 100
Apr 26 - May 15
Michigan (MI)Days to Harvest: 60-70
• Betterboy
• Bigbeef
• BHN 826
• BSS 832
• Celebrity
• Cherokee Purple
• Delicious
• Early Girl
• Fletcher
• Heinz 1439
• Kellogg’s Breakfast
• Linda
• Mountain Glory
• Mountain Spring
• Polbig
• SVR 1400
• Reba
• Rocky Top
• Roma
• Townsville
• Yellow Pear
May 17 - June 5
Minnesota (MN)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Basket Vee
• Better Boy
• Big Beef
• Big Boy
• Big Rainbow
• Black from Tula
• Black Prince
• Box Car Willie
• Brandywine
• Celebrity
• Early Cascade
• Oregon Spring
• Patio Hybrid
• Red Mountie
• Red Rider
• Roadside Red
• Sunrise
• Sunstart
• Sunshine
• Sweet 100
• Sweet Million
• Tumbler
• Johnny's 361
May 15 - June 1
Mississippi (MS)Days to Harvest: 70-85
• Better Boy
• Celebrity
• Mountain Pride
• Mountain Spring
Mar 15 - May 7
Missouri (MO)Days to Harvest: 70-85
• Avalanche
• Beefmaster
• Better Boy
• Big Beef
• Carolina Gold
• Celebrity
• Floralina
• Florida 47
• Florida 91
• Jet Star
• Mountain Delight
• Mountain Fresh
• Mountain Spring
• Mountain Supreme
• Show-Me
[ North Missouri ]
• May 15 - May 30

[ Central Missouri ]
• May 10 - May 20

[ South Missouri ]
• Apr 20 - May 10
Montana (MT)Days to Harvest: 65-85
• Black Sea Man
• Bloody Butcher
• Celebrity
• Coldset
• Early Girl
• Early Pick
• Early Sub Arctic
• Fantastic
• Gem State
• Juliet
• New Yorker
• Northern Exposure
• Oregon Spring
• Patio Princess
• Pixie
• Prairie Fire
• Siberian
• Springset
• Stupice
• Sungold
• Sub Arctic Plenty
• Sugary
• Super Sweet 100
• Sweet Baby Girl
• Tumbler
• Yellow Pear
May 17 - June 15
Nebraska (NE)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Amish Paste
• Better Boy
• Big Beef
• Big Mama
• Bush Celebrity
• Husky Red Cherry
• Mountain Pride
• Quick Pick
• San Marzano
• Sungold
• Sweet Million
May 15 - June 1
Nevada (NV)Days to Harvest: 70-80
• Ace 55
• Celebrity
• Champion
• Early Girl
• Floramerica
• Garden Delight
• Heartland
• Large Cherry
• Patio
• Spring Giant
• Sweet 100
Mar 15 - Apr 20
New Hampshire (NH)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Big Beef
• Biltmore
• Brandywine
• Cherokee Purple
• Fabulous
• First Pik
• Florida 47
• Jolly
• Matt's Wild
• Mortgage Lifter
• Moskvich
• Mountain Fresh
• Mountain Spring
• Plum Dandy
• Polbig
• Pony Express
• Pruden's Purple
• Red Grape
• Royal Mountie
• San Marzano
• Striped German
• Sun Gold
• Sunguard
• Sunoma
• Super Sweet 100
• Sweet Million
• Tami G
June 6 - June 30
New Jersey (NJ)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Burpee
• Burpee's Delicious
• Delsher
• Heinz 1409
• Ramapo
• Roma
• Spring Giant
• Superman
• Supersonic
• Jet Star
May 10 - June 25
New Mexico (NM)• Ace 55 - 80
• Beefmaster - 80
• Beefsteak - 75
• Better Boy - 75
• Burpee’s Big Boy - 78
• Celebrity Hybrid - 72
• Fantastic Hybrid - 85
• Hybrid Early Girl - 52
• Rutgers - 75
• Brandywine - 85
• Lemon Boy - 72
• Red Cherry - 75
• Supersweet 100 - 65
• Sweet Million - 65
• Yellow Pear - 78
• Amish Paste - 82
• Roma - 76
• San Marzano - 80
• Tuscany - 75
• Viva Italia - 76
[ North New Mexico ]
• May 3 - May 24

[ South New Mexico ]
• Apr 14 - May 7
New York (NY)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Basket Vee
• Better Boy
• Big Beef
• Big Boy
• Big Rainbow
• Black from Tula
• Black Prince
• Box Car Willie
• Brandywine
• Cascade
• Celebrity
• Cherokee Purple
• Classica
• Cosmonaut Volkove
• Currant, Daybreak
• Early Cascade
• Early Cherry
• Early Girl
• Fruity Orange
• Gold Dust
• Gold Rush
• Golden Queen
• Green Zebra
• Jet Star
• Jubilee
• La Roma
• La Rosa
• Lemon Boy
• Moskvich
• Mountain Fresh
• Mountain Spring
• Mr. Stripey
• Nova
• Plum Dandy
• Roma
• Sarah's Goldstar Cherry
• Striped German
• Striped Roman
• Sunbeam
• Sungold
• Sunrise
• Supersonic
• Supersweet 100
• Tappy's Heritage
• Taxi
• Ultra Sweet
• Viva Italia
May 14 - June 10
North Carolina (NC)Days to Harvest: 85-95
• Whopper5
• Mountain Pride
• Celebrity
• Better Boy
• Husky Gold
• Patio
• Big Beef
• Golden Boy
Apr 20 - July 15
North Dakota (ND)Days to Harvest: 60-100
• Keepsake Brandywine
• Banana Legs
• Early Wonder
• Yellow Currant
• Opalka
• Dr. Neal Striped German
• Gold Nugget
• Kellogs Breakfast
• Valencia Wonder Light
• Verna Orange
• Dr. Wyche’s Yellow
• Moskrich
May 28 - June 24
Ohio (OH)• Beefmaster - 80
• Better Boy - 70
• Big Beef - 73
• Bush Steak - 65
• Celebrity - 70
• Early Girl - 50
• Golden Boy - 80
• Jet Star - 72
• Jolly - 70
• Jubilee - 78
• Juliet - 60
• Lemon Boy - 80
• Mountain Gold - 70
• Mountain Delight - 70
• Mountain Pride - 74
• Pik Red - 71
• Small Fry - 65
• Sugary - 60
• Sungold - 56
• Supersonic - 79
• Supersteak - 80
• Super Sweet 100 - 65
• Sunsugar - 65
• Sweet 100 - 65
• Sweet Million - 65
• Yellow Pear - 75
May 9 - June 5
Oklahoma (OK)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Better Boy
• Big Beef
• Brandywine
• Carmello
• Carnival
• Celebrity
• Flora-dade
• Heatwave
• Jet Star
• Juliet
• Milano
• Mountain Bell
• Mountain Pride
• Pik-Red
• Roma
• San Remo
• Small Fry
• Summer Flavor 5000
• Sungold
• Sunny
• Sunray
• Sunrise
• Sweet 100
• Sweet Million
• Yellow Pear
Apr 10 - Apr 30July 1 - July 15
Oregon (OR)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• All Star
• Better Boy
• Carnival
• Celebrity
• Cold Set
• Earlirouge
• Earlibright
• Early Cascade
• Early Girl
• Fantastic
• Fireball
• Gold Nugget
• Golden Boy
• Heavyweight
• Jetfire
• Jubilee
• Keno
• Large German Cherry
• Medford
• New Yorker
• Orange Queen
• Oregon Spring
• Pilgrim
• Pik Red
• Pik Rite
• Santiam
• Setmore
• Small Fry
• Spring Giant
• Springset
• Supersonic
• Sunny
• Sweet 100
• Sweetie
• Yellow Plum
• Willamette
[ Medford ]
• May 17 - June 10

[ Ontario ]
• May 13 - June 6

[ Portland ]
• Apr 15 - May 10
Pennsylvania (PA)• Better Boy - 74
• Big Beef - 73
• Big Girl - 78
• Brandy Boy - 78
• Bush Early Girl - 60
• Carolina Gold - 75
• Celebrity - 70
• Cold Set - 65
• Delicious - 79
• Early Girl* 60
• First Lady (II) - 65
• Health Kick - 75
• Husky Gold - 70
• Italian Gold - 70
• Jolly - 75
• Juliet - 60
• Lemon Boy - 72
• Mini Charm - 60
• Mountain Delight - 76
• Navidad - 65
• Patio - 70
• Pink Girl - 76
• Puebla - 75
• Roma - 75
• Sun Sugar - 62
• Sugar Snack - 65
• Super Sweet 100 - 65
• Sweet Chelsea - 64
• Sweet Million - 65
• Sweet Tangerine - 68
• Tami G - 61
• Tough Boy - 75
• Ultra Sweet* 62
• Victoria Supreme - 70
• Viva Italia - 72
May 9 - June 5
Rhode Island (RI)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Big Beef
• Biltmore
• Brandywine
• Cherokee Purple
• Fabulous
• First Pik
• Florida 47
• Jolly
• Matt's Wild
• Mortgage Lifter
• Moskvich
• Mountain Fresh
• Mountain Spring
• Plum Dandy
• Polbig
• Pony Express
• Pruden's Purple
• Red Grape
• Royal Mountie
• San Marzano
• Striped German
• Sun Gold
• Sunguard
• Sunoma
• Super Sweet 100
• Sweet Million
• Tami G
Apr 29 - May 20
South Carolina (SC)Days to Harvest: 55-105
• Better Boy
• Better Bush Improved
• Big Beef
• Celebrity
• Early Girl
• Juliet
• Park's Whopper
• Small Fry
• Super Sweet 100
• Sweet Million
• Terrific
• Tropic
• Viva Italia
[ Piedmont ]
• May 1 - May 30

[ Central ]
• Apr 5 - Apr 25

[ Coastal ]
• Mar 25 - Apr 10
[ Piedmont ]
• July 10 - July 20

[ Central ]
• July 10 - July 20

[ Coastal ]
• July 25 - July 30
South Dakota (SD)Days to Harvest: 65-80
Days to Harvest: 60-100
• Keepsake Brandywine
• Banana Legs
• Early Wonder
• Yellow Currant
• Opalka
• Dr. Neal Striped German
• Gold Nugget
• Kellogs Breakfast
• Valencia Wonder Light
• Verna Orange
• Dr. Wyche’s Yellow
• Moskrich
May 25 - June 21
Tennessee (TN)Days to Harvest: 75-85
• Big Boy
• Betterboy
• Celebrity
• Early Girl
• Enchantment
• Sweet Million
• Lemon Boy
• Sweet Cluster
Apr 10 - June 10
Texas (TX)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Amelia
• BHN444
• Bingo
• Carnival
• Celebrity
• Cherry
• Florida 47
• Florida 91
• Grape
• Porter
• Red Cherry
• Roma
• Solar Fire
• Sunpride
• Sunchief
• SunLeaper
• Tomatillo
• Top Gun
• Yellow Pear
[ Plant Hardiness Zone 6 ]
• May 10 - June 1

[ Plant Hardiness Zone 7 ]
• Apr 10 - May 1

[ Plant Hardiness Zone 8 ]
• Mar 15 - Apr 10

[ Plant Hardiness Zone 9A ]
• Feb 20 - Mar 10

[ Plant Hardiness Zone 9B ]
• Feb 10 - Mar 10
[ Plant Hardiness Zone 6 ]
• June 1

[ Plant Hardiness Zone 7 ]
• June 15

[ Plant Hardiness Zone 8 ]
• July 1

[ Plant Hardiness Zone 9A ]
• July 10

[ Plant Hardiness Zone 9B ]
• Aug 1
Utah (UT)• Celebrity - 70
• DX 52-12 - 70
• Early Cascade - 65
• Longkeeper - 78
• Oregon Spring - 52
• Pole King - 75
• Presto - 55
• Roma - 75
• Royal Chico - 75
• Sweet 100 - 60
Apr 15 - June 15
Vermont (VT)Days to Harvest: 65-80
• Basket Vee
• Better Boy
• Big Beef
• Big Boy
• Big Rainbow
• Black from Tula
• Black Prince
• Box Car Willie
• Brandywine
• Cascade
• Celebrity
• Cherokee Purple
• Classica
• Cosmonaut Volkove
• Currant, Daybreak
• Early Cascade
• Early Cherry
• Early Girl
• Fruity Orange
• Gold Dust
• Gold Rush
• Golden Queen
• Green Zebra
• Jet Star
• Jubilee
• La Roma
• La Rosa
• Lemon Boy
• Moskvich
• Mountain Fresh
• Mountain Spring
• Mr. Stripey
• Nova
• Plum Dandy
• Roma
• Sarah's Goldstar Cherry
• Striped German
• Striped Roman
• Sunbeam
• Sungold
• Sunrise
• Supersonic
• Supersweet 100
• Tappy's Heritage
• Taxi
• Ultra Sweet
• Viva Italia

May 14 - June 10
Virginia (VA)Days to Harvest: 55-105
• Better Boy - 105
• Big Beef - 73
• Celebrity - 70
• Mountain Spring - 75
• Plum Dandy - 70
• Sweet 100 - 65
Mar 15 - May 1July 1 - Aug 1
Washington (WA)Days to Harvest: 70-90
• Early Girl
• Oregon Spring
• Patio Hybrid
• Sweet 100
• Sungold
• Celebrity
• Glacier
• Sweet Baby Girl
• Taxi
2-3 weeks after last frost
West Virginia (WV)• Beter Boy - 75
• Big Beef - 73
• Celebrity - 75
• Mountain Delight - 68
• Roma - 75
• Rutgers - 82
• Supersonic - 80
May 1 - June 15
Wisconsin (WI)Days to Harvest: 60-70
• Beefmaster
• Beter Boy
• Brandywine
• Burpee's Big Boy
• Campbell 1327
• Celebrity
• Early Girl
• Flash
• Floramerica
• Gardener's Delight
• Heinz 1350
• Jet Star
• Jubilee
• Lemon Boy
• New Yorker
• Patio
• Pink Girl
• Pixie
• Roma
• Small-Fry
• Super Sweet 100
• Tiny Tim
• Ultra Sweet
• Viva Italia
• Wayahead
• Yellow Pear
May 20 - June 10
Wyoming (WY)• Celebrity - 70
• Cold Set - 65
• Early Girl - 52
• Gardener’s Delight - 65
• Good ‘n Early - 62
• Italian Gold - 70
• Lemon Boy - 72
• Roma - 75
• Sub-Arctic Plenty - 51
• Super Sweet 100 - 65
May 20 - June 10

Keep Deer From Devouring Your Yard and Garden

(ARA) -Springtime means sunshine, blooms, birdsong – and the dreaded “deer drama” that will inevitably wreak havoc in your beautiful backyard this season. Deer are now a permanent part of our landscapes, brazenly entering our yards and eating our gorgeous gardens. They are majestic animals, and beautiful to look at – from a distance. Up close, trampling and tasting your tulips, they’re just not a welcome sight.

Springtime is when deer damage is most noticeable, particularly as plants awaken from months of dormancy and prepare to bloom. Deer are the poster critters of natural adaptability. As suburbia has encroached on their wild habitat, deer have adjusted easily, finding plenty to eat in residential landscapes.

“In the early part of the 20th century, the deer population in the U.S. was less than half a million animals,” says Greg Ecsedy, owner of Bobbex Inc., which manufactures deer repellent. “Today, estimates place the deer population at between 15 million and 20 million animals that cause about $1 billion a year in damage to farms, gardens, yards and timber.”

“We know that deer will eat more than 500 different types of plants, so there’s a good chance that something you’ve planted will appeal to them, and you can bet they’ll eat it,” Ecsedy says.

Since deer need to consume a high volume of calories to survive – bucks weighing 125 to 250 pounds need 4,000 to 6,000 calories per day – their foraging can cause significant damage to suburban landscapes. Deer seldom travel alone, so a small herd can devastate a neighborhood quickly. Deer’s close proximity to people over the course of time has dulled their natural fear, so it’s quite common to see multiple deer nonchalantly noshing away – right outside your window.

Deer’s adaptability stems from their capacity to learn. Homeowners can defend their landscape by putting deer’s natural learning ability to good use. Deterrents that convince the deer your yard is no longer a desirable dining destination can successfully protect your home environment from these foraging foes.

Several methods can be effective in deterring deer, including the use of repellents like all-natural Bobbex Deer Repellent. Common solutions include:

* Deer Repellent – Deer rely heavily on their sense of smell to assess the desirability of an area for feeding, and to alert them to danger. Disrupting their sense of smell can disrupt their sense of security, which is why scent-based repellents often prove effective. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station gave Bobbex a 93 percent protection index – second only to a fence, at 100 percent, for effectiveness. The repellent uses ingredients that blend the scents of putrescent eggs, garlic, fish, clove oil and other proteins, so it smells and tastes awful to deer. It’s environmentally friendly and safe for animals and your family.

Apply it in almost any weather, it dries clear, won’t wash off after heavy rain or burn plants and grass. Bobbex Deer Repellent is available online at www.homedepot.com and in garden retail stores. To learn more, visit www.bobbex.com.

* Deer Deterrent Devices – Motion-activated noise makers and lights can scare deer off for a short time. Deer’s movement in the yard can activate motion lights at night, scaring them away, during the day you can use motion-activated sound. It’s likely, however, that deer will become acclimated to both tactics over time, and the sound and motion might not have an effect on them.

* Deer Fence – Fencing is considered the only surefire way to keep deer out of a garden, but keep in mind that deer have been known to jump 10-foot fences, and many communities restrict the height of fencing. You may not be able to put up a fence high enough to keep deer away – plus, fencing might not be practical and can be costly.

* Deer Resistant Flowers – Another option is to grow plants that deer don’t like. A hungry deer will eat just about anything, but you may have some success by planting deer-resistant flowers and plants like catmint, hellebore, yarrow, fuzzy lamb’s ear, and cleome near the plants you want to protect.

“Gardening on a rural acreage with a large deer population proved challenging in all seasons until we discovered Bobbex Deer Repellent,” says garden writer Jan Patrick. “We like that the same product we used to protect our shrubs and dwarf conifers in winter also effectively protects the summer garden. The fertilizer value of Bobbex is an extra plus.”

Now is the Time to Plan Your Spring Garden

As we turn the calendar page from February to March here in Central Texas, signs of the approaching spring are becoming more and more evident.

Signs of Spring
When I looked out the window this morning, I was delighted to see the first peach blossoms just starting to bloom. My fall vegetable garden is reluctantly offering up its last harvests of the season. The gentle rain of falling oak leaves is just beginning to hit the ground and offers a foreshadowing of the fluttering brown deluge yet to come. Of course what once was my front lawn, before our record heat and drought last summer, has been vigorously sprouting strange, green, alien intruders that seem to mock the last dry brown remnants of St. Augustine grass.

Get Started
As our thoughts also turn to spring, now is the time to take stock of our yards and make plans for our warm season garden. So grab a cold drink and find some shade, or huddle over a hot cup of cocoa and put on a warm sweater depending on what these unpredictable mornings hold, and let’s get started. By planning, and where appropriate planting now, your landscape and garden will be ready to flourish in the months to come.

Clean it Up
The best way to start getting your garden ready for spring is to clean it up. Remove any dead or spent plants from the garden and, if they are not diseased, add them to your compost pile. Pull any weeds that may have started to take hold. Once you’ve cleaned up, you will want to amend your soil by adding compost to garden beds and tilling it in. This will help replace nutrients taken up by the previous planting.

Draw a Plan
Grab a pencil and some paper and draw a diagram of your yard. You don’t need a degree in art or an expensive software program to draw a rough sketch of your landscape and garden plan. If you have the original survey from when you bought your house, make a copy of it and use that as a starting point. If not, just make a rough sketch of the footprint of your home. Draw in existing landscape features, and planned garden areas. Indicate which way is north and make note of any shady or poorly drained areas.

Plant What you Like
When planning what vegetables to plant, it’s easy to get carried away and want to grow everything under the sun. It’s always fun to try something new, but focus on growing what you really like. Make a list of the warm season vegetables for your area that your family likes and rank them from most to least liked. Plan on planting what you like. If no one in your family likes lima beans or squash, for example, then plan on planting more of what is most appealing.

Can, Store, or Eat
Once you know what you want to plant, decide what the intended use for each vegetable and herb will be. Do you plan on canning enough to last through the winter? Will you be freezing or dehydrating? Or, will you just eat and enjoy what you harvest this spring and summer. Different varieties of many vegetables are better suited to a specific purpose such as canning. Do your research.

Don’t Forget the Flowers
When planning your vegetable garden, it’s easy to overlook the importance of flowers. Look at your landscape as a whole and determine what native or locally adapted flowers are best suited to the different areas of your yard based on their color, size, water requirements, and the amount of sun needed. Flowers are an attractive, and highly effective way of drawing pollinators into the yard and garden.

Add New Beds
Now that you know what you will be planting and what your harvest will be used for, you can determine how much of each variety you should plant. Look at your existing bed space and any areas of your yard that you may want to convert to garden beds. For new beds, avoid low-lying, poorly drained areas. Clear the ground, till and amend the soil now. Better yet, try raised beds. They are a great way to avoid having to deal with the rock filled soil around here, and will maximize your harvest in the space available.

Order Seeds Now
As soon as you’ve determined which vegetables, what varieties, and how many of each you will be planting, go ahead and buy your seeds now. This will ensure that you get exactly what you want and have them ready to plant when the time arrives; however, wait until just before planting to purchase transplants.

Know When to Plant
One of the most important factors in having a successful home garden is planting each vegetable at just the right time. The Williamson County Texas AgriLife Extension Service recommends the following:

[ Spring Planting Dates for Central Texas ]

Asparagus: After February 1
Beans, snap bush: March 5 – May 1
Beans, snap pole: March 5 – April 15
Beans, Lima bush: March 15 – April 15
Beans, Lima pole: March 15- April 15
Chard, Swiss: February 1 – March 10
Collards: February 1 – March 25
Corn: February 25 – May 1
Cucumbers: March 5 – May 1
Eggplant: March 15 – May 1
Lettuce: February 1 – March 15
Cantaloupe: March 15 – May 1
Mustard: February 1 – April 1
Peas, southern: March 25 – May 20
Peppers (transplant): March 15 – May 1
Potato, sweet (slips): April 10 – May 15
Pumpkin: April 1 – April 20
Radish: February 1 – May 1
Squash, summer: March 5 – May 1
Tomato (transplant): March 15 – April 10
Turnip: February 1 – March 10
Watermelon: March 15 – May 1

– Note: The planting dates for your geographic area will vary –

To find the appropriate spring planting dates for your specific area, check with your local Cooperative Extension Agency, or refer to our Planting Guides for Fruits and Vegetables on the top menu.

Don’t Lose Track of Today
Well, there you have it. It may seem like a lot of work, and it probably is, but if you haven’t already done so, now is the time to start getting ready for your spring garden. Sometimes it’s easy to become overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done in the garden this time of the year, but remember to enjoy each day on its own merit. These pleasant spring days working in the yard will soon give way to hot summer days of weeding, harvesting, and canning. So don’t let the anticipation, or dread, of your spring garden, and the promise of warmer temperatures yet to come, distract you from today. Remember, “To everything there is a season.”