~~~~~~~~Planting timing and tips for tomatoes~~~~~~~~
When to plant? Plan to plant your tomatoes between May 5-20. The old wisdom of planting tomatoes and flowers Mother's Day weekend is a good one. Some people plant early (with some extra risk of frost damage) and some wait until early June. We have risk of a night frost through May, so watch the forecast if you plant early. You can even rig up a sheet or row cover over some t-posts, chairs or tomato cages for a cold night!
How to plant? Dig a hole deep enough to bury the lowest leaves. You can even bury a couple sets of leaves if the stem is that long. Tomatoes like it that way. They are really vines and will grow quite tall. Put the compost from your pot, and extra if you have it, into the hole too, or pour it around the plant. Pour a couple cups of water around the stem area, to melt the soil around the plant. Sometimes the leaves look sad for a couple days but then they perk up. In a week the leaves will deepen green and be happy. Put a sturdy tomato cage over each plant, right away or within a week before the plants get too big.
Transition time-- Your plants would benefit from a couple days of protection, if you can offer it. You can keep them in the pots on the sunny side of the porch for a couple days, bringing them in on colder nights. Next to your house, they will have some wind protection.
Fedco Seeds has a chart with planting dates for different vegetables.