This is an estimate of the sowing, planting and picking times in the area where I live – the UK, and will give some idea as to what to expect throughout the season.
If your last frost date is around the end of May, these time will also apply to you.
Growing in an Unheated Greenhouse
This is about a month earlier than when growing outside.
- Sow – Feb/March (indoors)
- Planting Out – April/May (in Greenhouse)
- Picking Time – July Onwards
The later you leave it before planting out, the better chance your plants have of staying healthy. Keeping them in a sheltered spot will also help.
- Sow – March/April (indoors)
- Planting out – May/June
- Picking Time – August Onwards
Times will vary depending on favourable weather conditions. For example, if the weather is good around the middle of May, it may be safe to plant out sooner.
Picking times will also vary depending on which variety you are growing – Red Alert will be among the first to mature and some of the beefsteak varieties the last to ripen. To play it safe in a short season area, it’s best to grow both varieties!
Even in the UK there are regional variations – areas in the South should be earlier than Scotland by around two weeks.
From Seeds To Ripe Tomatoes
This depends on the varieties – whether early or late to mature. However, from seed to a plant in flower takes two to three months, and from flowering plant to ripe tomatoes takes about the same time.
The quickest seed to ripe fruit is around four months and the longest duration will be around six months.