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When to Plant Tomatoes in Texas? | A Detailed Guide!

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Tomatoes are one of the world’s most popular and widely grown vegetables.

Many people are fond of indoor gardening and love to grow their tomatoes at home.

If you want to know when to plant tomatoes in Texas, you are at the right spot!

Many gardeners in Texas plant tomatoes during early spring and late summer to get a year-long harvest. While plating tomatoes at home, we don’t have a controlled environment like that to protect our tomatoes from frost damage or the harsh summer sun.

Therefore, planting tomatoes during frost or hot summer might not be a great idea.

The safest time to plant tomatoes in Texas would be during the spring season—that’s late March or early April, with the harvesting period ranging from late May to early June. That’ll provide the optimal growing conditions for tomato plants to thrive at their max.

However, if you want to plant tomatoes during fall, that’s also doable.

The Lone Star State is famous for growing tomatoes because it provides gardeners with a longer growing season.

Now that you have an idea of when to plant tomatoes in Texas, there is much more to discover.

Let’s begin!

When to Plant Tomatoes in Texas – 4 Factors to Consider

When planting tomatoes in Texas, it would be best to consider the following factors.


Temperature is the most crucial factor to consider before planting tomatoes.

If you are passionate about indoor gardening, you might already know that tomatoes grow well in warm temperatures.

The ideal daytime temperatures for growing tomato plants range between 70–85°F (21–29°C), while the preferable night-time temperature range is 59–68°F (15–20°C).

As you can see, the average temperatures during the spring (mid-March to mid-May) and fall (September–November) are around the ideal temperature range (70–85°F) to plant tomatoes.

Therefore, it would be best to plant tomatoes during these temperature ranges.

If you look at the graph presented below, you’ll see the daily average (high and low) air temperatures of the four representative places in Texas:

Average Weather in 4 representative places: Houston, Dallas, Austin, and El Paso | Image Credit: Weatherspark.

As you can see, the average temperatures during the spring (mid-March to mid-May) and fall (September–November) are around the ideal temperature range (70–85°F) to plant tomatoes.

Climate Zones and Frost Dates

Another factor to consider when planting tomatoes in Texas is the climate zones and frost dates.

Texas state offers a diverse range of climatic variations.

In Texas, the climate varies from USDA hardiness zones 6, 7, 8, 9a, and 9b.

  • Zone 6 covers a small area of the Texas panhandle, including parts of Dallam, Hartley, and Sherman counties.
  • Zone 7 covers much of central and north-central Texas, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio.
  • Zone 8 covers south-central and southwest Texas, including cities such as Houston, Corpus Christi, and Laredo.
  • Zone 9a and 9b cover the southernmost tip of Texas, including Brownsville and McAllen.

Zone 6 experiences cold winters; therefore, planting cold hardy tomato varieties in these regions is better. Zone 7 and 8 cover much of Texas and offer hot summers and occasional winter freezes; therefore, you’ll need to protect your tomatoes from the harsh sun in summer and freeze spells in winter. Finally, zone 9a and 9b are characterized by hot and humid summers and mild winters; therefore, you’ll need to plant heat-resistant tomato varieties.

Different climate zones affect the growth and yield of tomato plants. Moreover, these climatic zones offer different temperatures and weather patterns.

Therefore, it is better to be well-prepared and well-versed in different situations.

Secondly, knowing the average frost dates of your location is essential, as they can help you schedule the planting period for your tomato plants.

Planting your tomatoes before the last frost date can expose them to freezing temperatures that can damage or kill your plants. On the other hand, planting your tomatoes without keeping the first frost date in mind has a risk of exposing your harvest to frost.

So, you must know the first and last frost dates of your region.

Here’s the list of the first and last frost dates of different regions of Texas:

First and Last Frost Dates by ZIP Code | The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Choosing the Right Spot

Now that you know the ideal temperature and different climatic zones to grow tomatoes, it’s time to choose the perfect spot to plant them.

There are a few things to keep in mind:


Tomato plants need plenty of sunlight to thrive at their maximum. You should choose a spot that receives at least 6–8 hours of direct sun.


Tomato plants prefer well-draining and loamy soil. If your garden soil is heavy or clay-like, you’d need to amend it with compost, peat moss, or other organic material to improve its richness and drainage.

Also, tomatoes grow best in soil pH of 6.0–7.0.


Tomato plants need constant moisture, especially during hot summers. Therefore, you’ll need to choose a spot with proper water access.


Choosing a spot with enough space to house your tomato plants is better. This step ensures you do not run out of the growing area. Spacing your plants 2–3 feet apart allows proper air circulation and prevents diseases.


Strong winds can damage your tomato plants, as they have a risk of toppling over. So, choose a place sheltered from the wind, or use windbreaks like fences or trellises.

You’ve learned everything you need to know about when to plant tomatoes in Texas.

Now, it’s time to choose the right tomato varieties according to your location.

Choosing the Right Tomato Varieties

As discussed earlier, Texas state has different climate zones featuring different temperature ranges.

  • Therefore, you must choose different tomato varieties according to your zone. For example, if you live in a colder region, select tomatoes that are more cold-tolerant; if you live in a hot and humid area, choose more heat-tolerant varieties.
  • Choosing the right tomato variety also depends on the length of the growing season, as some varieties are better suited for shorter growing seasons, while others require a longer growing period. Choose a variety that will mature within the length of the growing season.
  • Moreover, depending on your taste, you can choose tomato varieties of different shapes, sizes, and flavors. Also, planting disease-resistant varieties increase the chances of a successful harvest.

Early Girl, Juliet, Celebrity, San Marzano, Sweet Chelsea, Sweet 100s, Grape Tomatoes, and Cherry Tomatoes are some of the best tomato varieties to grow in Texas.

Now, let’s take a look at some FAQs.


Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:

Are Tomatoes Poisonous for Dogs?

Ripe tomatoes are not considered toxic for dogs.

However, some parts of the plant, such as leaves and stems, contain oxalate crystals (oxalic acid) and solanine (a poisonous alkaloid).

If your dog ingests large quantities of tomato leaves, stems, or unripe fruit that contain oxalic acid and solanine, he may experience gastrointestinal distress, including vomiting and diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, and confusion.

Moreover, tomato seeds contain a substance called tomatine. Tomatine is a natural pesticide; however, the amount of tomatine in tomato seeds is relatively low and is considered harmless to dogs.

If you think your dog has ingested some parts of the plant, consult a professional veterinarian for advice.

You can find the best mobile vet in Dallas here.

What Are the Common Pests and Diseases that Affect Tomato Plants in Texas?

Common pests and diseases that affect tomato plants are Tomato Hornworms, Aphids, Whiteflies, Early Blight, Late Blight, Fusarium Wilt, and Verticillium Wilt.

  • Organic pest control methods like neem oil or insecticidal soap can help you fight against different pests.
  • Additionally, choosing disease-resistant tomato varieties can help reduce the risk of these problems.

Keeping your garden clean and debris-free is essential to prevent and control these pests and diseases.

Related Post: Why Are Marigolds Good For Tomatoes? 5 Important Reasons To Grow Them With Tomatoes

Can I Plant Tomatoes in the Fall?

Planting tomatoes in fall is best suited for areas with milder winters, such as the southern regions of Texas.

  • If you plant tomatoes in the fall, you must consider the frost dates to prevent frost damage. For a successful harvest, choose cold-hardy varieties with shorter maturity times.
  • Moreover, planting your tomato seedlings in late summer or early fall would be best when temperatures are still warm enough to support growth.

Additionally, you may use some protective measures such as row covers or cold frames to help protect your plants from potential frost damage.

Can I Grow Tomatoes in Containers in Texas?

It’s a great idea to grow your tomatoes in containers. That way, you’ll have much more control over the growing conditions.

Just make sure to use large enough containers while growing tomatoes. Moreover, use a good quality potting mix, water frequently, provide your plant with proper sunlight, and practice regular fertilization.

That’s all!


With all that said, we’ve covered everything you need to know; from when to plant tomatoes in Texas and what factors to consider when growing tomatoes to some of the most frequently asked questions by you guys!

To conclude the talk, I must say that it would be best to take care of everything from temperature and climate to choosing the right spot and the suitable varieties. Also, keep your pets safe and away from your plants.

That would be all for today!