Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable grown in home gardens, according to the University of Tennessee. This claim is certainly open to debate, but the importance of tomatoes as a home crop is hard to dismiss. If you plan to add tomatoes to your Tennessee garden this year, planting at the right time is essential.
If you grow tomatoes from seed, you can plant them in containers indoors in late winter, but many gardeners choose to buy seedlings from a nursery instead. In either case, tomato plants are usually ready to be transplanted to the garden when they are 6 to 8 inches tall.
The date on the calendar is not as important as the weather conditions. Tomatoes are highly sensitive to frost, so be sure to wait until the last freeze of the season is behind you before you plant them outdoors. Late April is usually safe to plant tomatoes in Tennessee, but you can wait well into June.
For best results, do not plant tomatoes in the same section of your garden two years in a row. Rotating crops so that they are planted in the same location only once every three or four years will help prevent disease and nutrient depletion.