When to Plant Tomatoes in Wisconsin? (Best Time)

Written by William Golder

Fact checked by Dorian Goodwin

when to plant tomatoes in wisconsin

Growing tomatoes in Wisconsin requires a good understanding of the most ideal time to plant them and this varies greatly on location.

So, when to plant tomatoes in Wisconsin? Do so 5 to 7 weeks before the last frost date of your area. Usually, it’s ideal for planting tomatoes from March 8 to March 25 in this state. However, this also depends on the method of planting—whether you’re starting tomatoes indoors or transplanting them outdoors.

If you want to know more about the appropriate planting schedules of tomatoes in your area, simply read further this article!

Best Time to Plant Wisconsin Tomatoes

Don’t know what vegetable to grow in Wisconsin? Tomatoes can provide a great starting point for everybody! Generally, you should start growing tomatoes 5 to 7 weeks before the last frost date, depending on your area and method of planting.

Here’s a guide to the last frost dates per region in Wisconsin and what month and day you should start growing tomatoes indoors and transplanting outdoors:

Area Last Frost Date Start Tomatoes Indoors Start Transplanting Outdoors
Eau Claire April 30 March 4 to 19 May 7 to 28
Green Bay May 13 March 18 to April 1 May 20 to June 10
Hayward May 29 April 3 to 17 June 5 to 26
Kenosha / Milwaukee April 25 February 27 to March 14 May 2 to 23
Madison May 7 March 11 to 26 May 14 to June 4
Manitowoc May 6 March 10 to 25 May 13 to June 3
Sheboygan May 1 March 5 to 20 May 8 to 29
Stevens Point May 10 March 15 to 29 May 17 to June 7
Wausau May 12 March 17 to 31 May 19 to June 9

Keep in mind that these dates are merely estimated averages, which means some years may have longer or shorter spring seasons. 

When to Start Tomato Seeds Indoors?


Begin planting tomatoes by seeds indoors 5 to 8 weeks before the expected date of planting them outside. The plant-out date varies on your area’s weather conditions, growing season, and soil temperatures.

For Northern Wisconsin, the plant-out date is usually in the last week of May while in Southern Wisconsin, it is in the middle of May.

When to Transplant Tomatoes Outdoors?


If you want to plant tomatoes outside, you should first try planting tomatoes in a greenhouse for 4 to 6 weeks before transplanting them outdoors after the last frost date—as what most tomato farmers in Wisconsin usually do.

Best Tomatoes to Plant in Wisconsin

Tomato varieties in Wisconsin are categorized based on how they are used: as an early crop, main crop, cherry, or paste.

The following are the best tomatoes for Wisconsin and their distinctive characteristics:

1. Early Girl


Use: Early Crop


  1. Reaches maturity in 50 to 64 days
  2. Hardy to cold temperatures
  3. Does not require much space and is ideal for vertical gardening

2. New Girl


Use: Early Crop


  1. Reaches maturity in 62 days
  2. Produces large and continuous harvests from the start of the season up until frost
  3. Can be eaten fresh or incorporated in cooking

3. Orange Blossom


Use: Early Crop


  1. Reaches maturity in 60 days
  2. Best for small-sized container gardening
  3. Has a mild but delicious flavor, making it ideal for hamburgers and salads

4. Celebrity


Use: Main Crop


  1. Reaches maturity in 70 days
  2. Highly resistant to insects and diseases
  3. Best for beginners and for those that have smaller gardening areas

5. Brandywine


Use: Main Crop


  1. Reaches maturity in 80 days
  2. Tolerant to high levels of heat and humidity
  3. Perfect for planting in pots and other containers

6. Green Zebra


Use: Main Crop


  1. Reaches maturity in 80 days
  2. Green-colored tomato ideal for frying, pickling, and canning
  3. Adaptive to any region in Wisconsin

7. Sun Gold


Use: Cherry


  1. Reaches maturity in 60 days
  2. Heat-tolerant and can grow well in rainy weather
  3. One of the tastiest cultivars and has various uses in cooking: steaks, salads, sauces, and more

8. Sweet Million


Use: Cherry


  1. Reaches maturity in 60 days
  2. Produces large, bright red, and smooth yields early into the season
  3. Has a vigorous growing habit best for larger-sized gardens

9. Yellow Pear


Use: Cherry


  1. Reaches maturity in 70 days
  2. As the name suggests, it produces small, yellow, pear-like shaped fruits
  3. Provides a constant and abundant supply all throughout the growing season

10. Roma


Use: Paste


  1. Reaches maturity in 50 days
  2. Produces little to no seeds, making it ideal for sauces and pastes
  3. Best for gardens with compact space as well as for urban gardening

11. Viva Italia


Use: Paste


  1. Reaches maturity in 76 days
  2. Considered one of the first tomato paste hybrids and most commonly used in making soup, sauces, and ketchup
  3. Heat-tolerant and can produce large harvests

12. San Marzano


Use: Paste


  1. Reaches maturity in 85 days
  2. Looks similar to the Roma tomato, but has a pointed tip
  3. Produces a smooth-skinned, deep red fruit with a thick, semi-firm consistency


Hopefully, you found the answer on when to plant tomatoes in Wisconsin. Essentially, it involves knowing the last frost dates in your area and knowing if you want to start tomato seeds indoors or eventually transplant them outdoors. 

Of course, you also need to consider why you want to plant tomatoes: is it to have an early crop or main crop? For making pastes? Or out of personal preference for cherry tomatoes? It is definitely up to you!

Best time for planting tomatoes in other states:

5/5 - (2 votes)

A Few Words From the Author


Hi, I am William – Floridayards’ digital content creator. My job is to find answers to all your concerns with thorough research and our team’s expert advice. I will also bring you honest reviews on the best products and equipment for raising your beautiful garden. Please look forward to our work!

William Golder