When to Plant Tomatoes in Ohio? (Best Time in 2023)

Written by

William Golder


Dorian Goodwin

when to plant tomatoes in ohio

Whether you consider them fruits or vegetables, tomatoes are undoubtedly delicious and versatile enough to suit many recipes, whether savory or sweet.

If you want to grow this crop for consumption and are wondering when to plant tomatoes in Ohio, we have the answer here. Put simply, tomatoes should be grown when there’s no frost, whether you’re in northeast Ohio or other regions.

Specifically, the time of year for planting will be around the start of May for southern Ohio, 5 days after mid-May for central Ohio, and near the end of the same month for northern areas.


Best Time for Growing Tomatoes in Ohio

Although you now know what month to plant Ohio tomatoes in, I still recommend looking up the frost dates for your city or county, as they will be more accurate than the regional estimates above.

With that in mind, below are the spring and fall frost dates for some Ohio areas. You should grow tomatoes between these two points in time.

  • Delaware – April 28 & October 18
  • Elyria – April 28 & October 27
  • Fairborn – May 1 & October 12
  • Findlay – April 29 & October 19
  • Grove City – April 27 & October 20
  • Mansfield – May 2 & October 15
  • Mayfield Heights – May 2 & October 25
  • Niles – May 15 & October 6
  • Willoughby – May 2 & October 25
  • Youngstown – May 9 & October 10
  • Zanesville – May 3 & October 14

In addition to the frost dates, it’s best to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Pay attention to your weather forecast and delay your gardening if there’s still snow and ice around May.
  • Alternatively, suppose you’re too impatient to wait until there’s no frost outdoors. In that case, you can plant tomatoes indoors and transplant them outside later.

To be safe, there should be 60 days between sowing tomato seeds and the first ice date in autumn.

Furthermore, there are other guides on the best time to plant lettuce and other vegetables in Ohio if you needed.

Other Conditions for Growing Tomato Plant at Home


Now that you know the season to grow tomatoes (spring or fall), it’s vital to be aware of other conditions that dictate whether this crop can thrive.

1. Temperature

For tomatoes to survive, the ambient temperature should not be under 50 degrees. When your weather forecast says 50 degrees or less, transfer your tomato pots indoors or cover them with cardboard boxes.

For the second method, don’t use any material or tarp that’s too heavy, and don’t place the cover directly on the tomato.

Furthermore, remember that night temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit will cause blossom drop. Therefore, move tomatoes indoors to keep them cool when the weather’s hot.

2. Sunlight

Like other plants, tomatoes, whether grown in Cleveland Ohio or elsewhere, require sunlight to thrive. In practice, 6 to 8 hours of direct sunshine should suffice.

3. Soil

Before you start planting tomatoes, make sure the soil has a pH of 6.5 to 6.8. It’s ideal to test the soil pH at least 6 months before the growing season, so you have sufficient time to adjust the ground’s alkalinity or acidity if necessary.

4. Water

Tomatoes require about 1.5 inches of water a week. You can use sprinklers, hoses, watering cans, or whatever irrigation device suits your preference.

However, no matter how you give plants moisture, water the roots, not the foliage.

Best Tomatoes to Grow in Ohio

It’s a fact that different plant varieties suit different climates. Therefore, to grow tomatoes in Ohio successfully, it makes sense to use cultivars that adapt to the state environment well.

With that in mind, below is a list of tomato types you should grow in the Buckeye state.

1. Roma


Roma tomatoes are wonderful in sauces and pastes, especially Italian dishes. Plus, this variety will take at most 80 days to mature, so you can grow two batches of tomatoes if your planting season lasts at least 160 days.

For instance, places like Mansfield and Findlay certainly allow for this possibility.

2. Early Girl

The Early Girl variety suits parts of Ohio with a cool climate, and it doesn’t take very long to grow either — only around 52 days.

This bright red cultivar will taste delicious in sandwiches, bagels, and salads. Even better, it can resist drought and blossom-end rot well.

3. Sungold


The Sungold can be transplanted and harvested within 60 days, making it one of the fastest-growing tomato breeds.

This variety can resist tobacco mosaic virus and fusarium wilt. What’s more, its sweetness will appeal to even kids.

4. Jet Star

Similar to the Sungold, the Jet Star variety can resist fusarium wilt. This flora can be grown after the last spring frost date until the first frost in autumn, allowing gardeners to cultivate tomatoes as much as possible.

5. Juliet

The last tomato variety on this list, the Juliet, looks as pretty as it sounds. Bright red and oblong, this cultivar will be phenomenal in salsas and pasta sauces. Its resistance to blight is a huge advantage as well.


When to plant tomatoes in Ohio? You should do this task when there’s no frost, when the soil, temperature, and other environmental factors facilitate tomatoes’ development.

If you keep this tip in mind, you should be able to plant Ohio’s state fruit without worrying about the weather. But each state has different weather conditions, so the time to plant tomatoes is also different. There are articles for each state if you need:

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