Asked on Mar 13, 2012

When is the best time to put my tomatoes and eggplant in? I hear Mother's Day is a good rule of thumb.

Erica GlasenerDouglas HuntPat S


Last year I was very late and still had enough to share. This year I'd like to share my organic crop with the food bank.
3 answers
  • Pat S
    on Mar 13, 2012

    I used to live on Long Island and that was the rule I followed.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Mar 13, 2012

    It really depends on when Mother's Day falls. What you need to know is the average last frost date and base your decision on that. I'm not exactly sure where you are in New Jersey, but for the central part of the state it is around May 15. Regardless of date, if there is a danger of frost or cooler temperatures after planting, you should cover tomatoes, eggplant and other sensitive plants with a large container such as a frost cap, bucket or garbage can to protect them from the cold. Row covers available at many garden centers can be draped over larger plantings to protect them but only provide a few degrees of protection. Place row covers on small stakes or wire hoops so they do not touch the tops of sensitive plants. Good luck, and good for you for planning to share your bounty.

  • Erica Glasener
    on Mar 16, 2012

    Doug has given you good advice. Tomatoes won't do much if the soil is not warm enough. Wait until May 15th and plant them deep, up to the second set of leaves.

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