Can I plant tomato seedlings right into the ground?

I usually plant tomato seeds in peat pellets, then pot up to 2" peat pots, before finally transplanting them outside.
This year many of my young tomato plants died, so I started a new batch in peat pellets. The plants all have four new true leaves; some have six or eight. It is about time to pot them up to the larger pots, but I am wondering if it would be okay to simply put them out in the ground now. I know that first transfer helps to develop their roots, but I wonder if they would still be okay without that intermediate step.
I live in southern Utah, zone 7 or 8, where it is currently about 90 degrees in the day and 65 at night (around 40 C day and 20 C night). --S.
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Suzanne D. wrote:

I transplanted mine year straight from the seed flat into the ground. I put a 4 or 5 inch piece of 4" PVC sewer pipe around them to protect them from the wind and sun for a couple of days; they did just fine.
bob
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Yes. Why do an intermediate step? Let them develop the roots in the ground.

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Good to hear the same thing from two people. I'll let them grow just a little more, then carefully transplant them outside with some cardboard collars for protection. Thanks! --S.

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Considering that half the time my "weeds" are very healthy volunteer tomato plants that come up from seed, I'd say they do fine. In fact, sometimes they just about catch up to the big tomato plants I just put in the ground, and might outdo them if I didn't weed them out.
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