How Long Does It Take For Tomatoes To Grow? 2024

BY Khushvinder Dagar
Last Update:

Tomatoes are GREAT to produce as a home garden crop. They are comparatively EASY to grow and can be used in a RANGE of dishes, from salads to sauces.

But one thing that confuses many beginners about tomatoes is how long it takes them to grow.

Still, you don’t need to WORRY about it. Because HERE we are, the tomatoes EXPERTS. 

Our years of GARDENING EXPERIENCE are to simplify the practical actions you need to TAKE.

We ASSURE you that after reading this post, you won’t need to WORRY about the period tomatoes require to grow. 

LEARN how long does it take for tomatoes to grow and how you can choose the best tomato seed to grow. 

How Long Does It Take For Tomatoes To Grow

What are the ideal conditions for tomatoes to grow?

What are the ideal conditions for tomatoes to grow

Tomatoes THRIVE in warm, sunny weather and require certain conditions to grow optimally.

Here are some IDEAL conditions for growing healthy and DELICIOUS tomatoes.


As MENTIONED earlier, growing tomatoes require warm temperatures to grow and produce fruits.

Tomatoes NEED about 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day with an IDEAL temperature of 65-85°F. Getting my point?

Insufficient sunlight can LEAD TO

  • Weak stems
  • Poor fruit development
  • Susceptibility to diseases

Tomatoes are heliophytes and require HIGH TEMPERATURES. Still, temperatures above the 90°F can cause STRESS to your own tomatoes.

Contrarily, temperatures below 50°F can damage or kill the entire plant.


Tomatoes DEMAND well-drained, nutrient-rich, and loamy soil to grow.

  • The soil with a pH between 6.2 and 6.8 is also ideal for growing healthy tomato plants.
  • REMEMBER that the soil should be LOOSE and CRUMBLY.
  • Also, it should RETAIN moisture without becoming water-logged.

But how can you improve your soil conditions?

WELL! Adding a 3 to 4 inches deep layer of compost and mixing it with 10 to 12 inches of soil HELPS to improve soil texture and drainage.

Apart from that, it also increases the nutrient content of the soil.

Suggested reading: Soil PH For Tomatoes: Expert Tips To Plant

Water and Fertilizer

Growing tomatoes NEED constant watering to produce, grow, and ripe fruit.

They REQUIRE about 1-2 inches of water per week, either from rainfall or drip irrigation. Isn’t that awesome?

It is BEST to water the young plants deeply and infrequently to KEEP the soil moist. But make sure to aim just for moist soil, not soaking wet.  

Adding mulch around the plant REDUCES weed growth while maintaining soil MOISTURE.

On the other hand, growing tomatoes require a BALANCED fertilizer that is rich in

  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium

A fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 5-10-10 or 10-10-10 is IDEAL for tomato plants. 

How to choose the best tomato seeds to grow?

How to choose the best tomato seeds to grow

There are DIFFERENT varieties of tomatoes. Among such wide varieties to choose from, how do you pare down?

Actually, choosing the BEST seed to grow involves a few SIGNIFICANT factors.

Some concerns to KEEP in mind when selecting the best tomatoes seed include:


It is crucial to KNOW which type of plant you WANT to grow. It is because the growth habits of tomatoes are broken down into two main categories:

  1. Determinate
  2. Indeterminate  

But what’s the difference between them? That’s what you are thinking, Right?

LET ME TELL you concisely.

Determinate plants are BEST for small spaces and container gardens. They grow two to three feet tall and PRODUCE fruits over a shorter period.

Alternatively, indeterminate plants are vining plants. They can grow 6-8 feet tall and CONTINUE to grow and produce fruits until frost.

Just consider your space and growing goal while selecting a plant type. 


There are many different varieties of tomatoes, each with a different

  • Taste
  • Color
  • Size

Consider how you are going to use the growing tomatoes and which type you like the most. In short, consider your PERSONAL PREFERENCE when selecting a tomato variety.

Growing season

When selecting tomato plants, you must DELIBERATE your area’s growing conditions.

It is BECAUSE some varieties of tomatoes are WELL-SUITED for hotter climates.

At the same time, others may REQUIRE specific soil conditions and irrigation.


Few VARIETIES of tomatoes are more RESISTANT to diseases than others.

READ OUT the seed packet and try to choose those labeled as resistant to common tomato DISEASES.

Cool, right?

Some common tomato plant diseases or insect pests include

  • Fusarium Wilt
  • Tomato hornworm
  • Black Mold-fungal disease
  • Tomato Mosaic Virus similar to the tobacco mosaic virus
Suggested reading: Tomatoes Not Turning Red? Proper Tips For You

When to plant tomatoes?

When to plant tomatoes

Tomatoes are long-seasonal, heat-loving plants that won’t TOLERATE frost. It grows best at temperatures between 70 to 75°F.   

But what’s the right time to plant tomatoes?

Tomatoes must be planted after the LAST FROST DATE when the soil warms to at least 60°F.

Early-season tomatoes ripen faster than late-season tomatoes. 

So, if you are STARTING tomatoes, start them indoors. Roughly about 6-8 weeks before your last spring frost.

Doing so provides your tomatoes with ENOUGH time to grow.

When the temperature rises above 60°F, transplant your tomato seedling outside.

Using season EXTENDERS helps you to PROTECT your plant from cooler temperatures. Thus EXTENDING the growing season. 

Suggested reading: When To Pick Tomatoes: Handle Tomatoes Like A Pro

How long does it take for tomatoes to grow?

How long does it take for tomatoes to grow

The time it TAKES for tomatoes to MATURE depends on various factors, including:

  • Specific variety
  • Growing conditions
  • Climate

Generally, you can make a ripe tomato harvest BETWEEN 55 and 100 days after transplanting.

Tomatoes also require an EXTRA TIME of several weeks to develop up to the point of transplanting.

Here is the GENERAL TIMELINE for the growth stages of tomatoes:

Seed Germination

Tomato seeds TYPICALLY germinate within 5-10 days. But it all DEPENDS on the temperature and moisture levels.

Seedling Growth

When the seed has BECOME germinated, the seedlings will DEVELOP their first true leaves within 7-14 days.

Vegetative Growth

During vegetative growth, young tomato plants will grow

  • Leaves
  • Stems
  • Branches

But they require CONSISTENT watering and fertilization during the vegetative growth period.

Flower Development

After a few weeks of vegetative growth, tomato plants BEGIN to produce yellow flowers. These flowers will EVENTUALLY develop into a fruit.

Fruit Development

Fruit is the last step in the plant’s life cycle. When the fruit has FORMED, it will take further 20-30 days to ripen. 

But this ripening process also DEPENDS on the variety of tomatoes. 

What are the tomato ripening stages?

What are the tomato ripening stages

Tomatoes go through DIFFERENT stages of ripening before they become FULLY mature.

The main ripening STAGES of tomatoes include:

Green Stage

In this stage, you will get mature green tomatoes. The red color SLIGHTLY develops inside the fruit but doesn’t APPEAR on the surface.

Get this?

LISTEN! You shouldn’t pick tomatoes at this stage. The reason is that they are STILL growing and accumulating nutrients.

Also, at this stage, tomatoes don’t develop their TASTE properly. So you should wait till the NEXT ripening stage.

Beaker Stage

In this stage, tomatoes START to show signs of ripening with a SLIGHT CHANGE in color from green to pink or yellow.

Tomatoes in the beaker stage become mature and develop full flavor or are very CLOSE to it. They also BEGIN to soften tightly.

Turning stage

This stage allows the tomatoes to TURN from yellow or pink to their FINAL color, i.e

  • Red
  • Orange, or
  • Purple

The tomatoes will continue to SOFTEN at the turning stage. Also, they REQUIRE less ripening time than those picked from the beaker stage.

Pink Stage

In the pink stage, tomatoes are primarily pink or red but are not yet FULLY RIPE.

WELL! Till this stage, tomatoes haven’t DEVELOPED their sweet taste.

The tomatoes will CONTINUE to soften and ripen faster than in the turning stage.

Ripening Stage

The ripe tomatoes are fully mature and ready to harvest at this stage. They BECOME pinkish-red or red in color and are SOFT to the touch.

During the ripening stage, tomatoes develop a SWEET taste. It means you can eat tasty tomatoes or can make flavorsome dishes.

Red Stage

It is the FINAL stage of tomato ripening, where tomatoes FULLY develop their red color.

The fruit is NEITHER too hard NOR too soft at the red stage. But if you leave them on the vine for too long, they will become overripe.

Tomatoes become soft and mushy and develop a fermented smell as they get red. 

Determinate tomatoes vs. Indeterminate tomatoes

Determinate tomatoes vs. Indeterminate tomatoes

There is a WIDE RANGE of tomato varieties. But you can CATEGORIZE all these tomato varieties into two primary groups.

Tomatoes are CATEGORIZED as determinate or indeterminate based on their GROWTH HABIT.

Let’s DISCUSS both of these types:

Determinate Tomatoes

Determinate tomato plants are often called “bush” tomatoes.

It is because they grow to a certain HEIGHT of around 2-3 feet and then stop growing.

They also tend to produce tomatoes in a short period, typically in a FEW weeks to a FEW months.

When you harvest determinate tomatoes, the plant will DECLINE and ultimately DIE.

Indeterminate Tomatoes

On the other hand, indeterminate tomato plants are often called “vining” tomatoes.

It is because they GROW tall and can reach up to 10 feet or more.

Want to know how awesome this is?

Indeterminate tomatoes CONTINUE to grow and produce fruits throughout the entire season. They only STOP INCREASING when the frost kills them. 

The best time to transplant tomato seedlings outdoors

The best time to transplant tomato seedlings outdoors

The best time to transplant tomatoes from seed OUTDOORS is after the last frost date in your area.  

Typically, when the soil has WARMED UP to at least 60°F.


Remember! It is CRUCIAL to wait until after the last frost to avoid damaging the seedlings.

If you started your seeds indoors, you should wait 50-60 days from when the seeds were planted. 

While transplanting tomato seedlings,

  • Make sure to choose a sunny LOCATION with well-draining outdoor garden soil.
  • You should also HARDEN OFF the seedling for a week or two before transplanting.
  • Gradually expose your tomato seedlings to outdoor conditions for a few hours.
  • It will help them to adjust to the change in environment. 

FAQs about How Long Does It Take For Tomatoes To Grow

1. Does picking tomatoes make more grow?

Picking tomatoes can ENCOURAGE the plants to produce more and more fruit. It signals the tomato plant that EXISTING fruit has been harvested, and now it’s time to PRODUCE more.
The more FREQUENTLY you harvest tomatoes. The more energy the plant redirects to grow more fruit. 

2. What are the signs of uneven watering?

Overwatering plants may have wilted or yellow stems and leaves.
The tomato leaves may also develop bumps and blisters or fall out completely if they get TOO MUCH water.  
Slow growth or LACK of fruit PRODUCTION is also a possible sign of overwatering. 

3. What can you put on tomato plants to make them grow better?

The EXCELLENT thing you can do for your tomato plants is to improve the soil quality. Growing tomatoes from seed prefer soil that is RICH in organic matter and nutrients.
Therefore, adding compost to the soil provides ESSENTIAL nutrients to thrive.
Apart from the soil, use ORGANIC fertilizer like bone meal or fish emulsion to FEED your plant. 

4. Why do tomatoes flower but no fruit?

It happens because of inadequate sunlight. A FULLY GROWN tomato requires about 6-8 hours of daylight to PRODUCE flowers and fruits.
Without SUFFICIENT light, the tomato plant will have leggy growth and little or no fruit.
Tomato may also flower but have no fruit due to
· Environmental Stress
· Poor Pollination, or
· Diseases

What’s Next

You have GOT so many DETAILS about how long it takes for tomatoes to grow.

Tomatoes require about 2-3 months to grow after the transplantation.

MAKE SURE to provide your plant with the ideal conditions. Also, try to CHOOSE the BEST TYPE of seeds before planting.

That’s all for today. I hope this article HELPS you a lot.

If you really FIND this post helpful, don’t forget to share it with your friends.

Also, if you want to know MORE about gardening, you must visit AsterGardening. We ASSURE you will get quality reads HERE. 

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Khushvinder Dagar

Hey, I'm Khushvinder. I am a marketer by profession but love the feeling of getting my hands dirty and watching plants grow and have a particular interest in native plants and sustainable gardening practices. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with others and have written articles on gardening for various publications.