when to plant tomatoes - boston
i live in an apartment in boston, so i have a small balcony where i can do window-box herbs and last summer i had a topsy-turvy tomato plant. it worked out great, and the tomatoes were delicious, but we planted it way too late into the season.
when is the best time to plant tomatoes in the boston/new england area, and are there any types you might recommend to plant for the weather?
For pretty much everywhere now, you should be starting tomatoes inside from seed. But if you buy seedlings, it will be late May, perhaps, for you. Evening air temp. and soil temp. are key.
Each state, I believe, has an agricultural extension office--ours in Indiana has a very useful website--and those folks have solid information tailored to your specific area. Here's the onsitee for MA:
Also, a good plant nursery or farmer's market will have great info. Good luck!
An easy rule of thumb is that tomatoes, peppers, eggplants all need night time temperatures of 55F and higher to grow well.
We use the Weather Channel's Farmer's Forecast for our area and find it very helpful. Here's a link to yours: http://www.weather.com/outlook/agriculture/forecast/USMA0046?lswe=Boston,%20MA,%20United%20States&from=agriculture_36hr_zip1_typeahead
And here's the almanac for your area: http://www.weather.com/outlook/agricu...
If you keep an eye on the lows in the historical averages section, it will tell you when you can expect to see the night time temps you're looking for.
Keep in mind that many varieties of plants need 60 or up to 90 days for the plant to fully mature and deliver ripe fruit. So, always plant in the last two weeks of May to be sure.
I find the Roma tomato to be very versatile for uses in salads, sauces, etc. I like the Yellow Boy tomato for a splash of color in foods, and let's not forget the Beefsteak tomato to impress your neighbors with for its sheer size.