Thursday, January 6, 2011

Overwintering Tomatoes

O.k. so I'm struggling with blogger to allow me to upload the pics of my tomato plant, but I will do that as soon as I get the problem figured out. The plant is a Marzano plum tomato, which I particularly like for canning for use in cooking. The plant is getting a little leggy as I have been remiss in turning on the grow light to supplement the light in the sunroom. It has several small yellow blooms on it, which I will hand pollinate this weekend. I'll also be taking cuttings off of the plant at the end of next month to start next year's plants with. What I have learned is that you can successfully overwinter a tomato inside wish sufficient sunlight, warmth water and fertilizer. The plant needs to receive these things consistently in order to keep producing. I have kept my plant in a sunroom that has an overnight temp of 68 as I keep tender or subtropical plants in there in the winter. The daytime time may rise by as much as 15 degrees due to the numerous windows and the amount of sunlight, but the heater makes sure that the room is never below 68. I use a manure tea or sometimes a 10-10-10 organic water soluable fertilizer every couple of weeks. The plant gets about 8 hours a day of winter sunlight, which as I said earlier I should have been supplementing as a result, production has fallen off. I think if I had used the grow light and continued to use it through the rest of the winter, I would not have seen the slow down. Also, I'll need to do a little pruning to get rid of some of the legginess that has developed. I have used the tomatoes in pasta sauces and they taste like tomatoes and not the cardboard you get at the market pretending to be tomatoes. Hope to have those pics up soon.

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