Gardening Projects and Tips

Wintering Tomatoes
Wintering over a tomato isn't all that hard. The basics are sufficient heat at least mid sixties, sufficient light - tomatoes need at least 10 hours a day of light (even in a well lit sun room window like I have, you need to supplement with a grow light), sufficient water and nutrients. I like to water at least 2-3 times per week as we experience dry conditions indoors in the winter and fertilize once every 2-4 weeks with a manure tea or organic water soluble fertilizer. I plant some plant in the ground, but also utilize containers, so that it is easy for me to move a planter indoors around October before we experience our first frost here in my hardiness zone, if you live further north you will want to bring in your plant prior to your first average frost date. Then I just treat my tomato like a subtropical plant and take care it along with my other houseplants. You should mulch, since I use clover as a cover crop, I don't have to do much extra mulching and the soil get the added benefit of added nitrogen from the clover. Easy Peasy. Some tips are to keep the plant from touching cold frosty windows and make sure you turn on the grow light (Ask me how I know this, as you can see in the pic above, I forgot the light and while the plant is still producing, it has slowed significantly and gotten leggy. Time for pruning and the light.) or you will be pruning. Then about 6-8 weeks before your set out date for your zone, you can take cuttings off the plant and have tomatoes producing long before your neighbors. When my new plants start producing, I'll retire this plant to the compost heap, along with the soil, wash my planter and put a new plant in for next year. I usually choose a tomato that I can use for a lot of things and I am looking at bringing in two next year. The hardest thing is to choose which one to save, if you grow more than one or two varieties.