Is Overwintering Tomatoes Possible?
Just because the temperatures are dropping doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy home-grown tomatoes. As long as they’re kept out of frosty conditions, there are a few tricks and tips that will help ensure your perennial plants stay thriving all winter long!
How to Prepare Tomatoes for Winter
When it comes to overwintering tomato plants, the earlier you start, the better! You don’t want to be rushing to get everything done right as the first frost rolls in!
Firstly, keep your tomato plants well-watered for a few weeks before the first frost. This will help them store up energy for the rough winter ahead.
Secondly, make sure to give your plants a good trimming. Remember that tomato vines are full of leaves and branches that aren’t responsible for producing fruit – so cut these back! This will redirect your plant’s energy from unnecessary surface area into keeping the healthy fruit-producing leaves in good shape.
If you notice any pests or diseases on your plants during this time, take care of them right away! You don’t want any issues coming back to haunt you later.
Overwintering Tomatoes: Tips and Tricks
If your tomatoes grow in the ground, you will need to dig them up and plant them in pots. While doing it, be sure to use new, good-quality potting soil. Make sure to take as much of the root system as possible.
Give your tomato plants a good pruning before you move them indoors. This will help them fit comfortably into the pots and give their foliage room to breathe once inside.
If your tomato plant still produces fruit, be sure not to leave it on the vine for too long. Once the temperatures drop into freezing territory, you don’t want your tomatoes to be fully ripe – pick them as soon as they turn red. And don’t forget about fertilizer, even if you keep your plants indoors for the winter!
Where to Overwinter Tomato Plants
You have a few choices when deciding where to overwinter your tomato plants. We will go over a few of the most popular options.
Overwintering Tomatoes in Your House
When overwintering tomato plants inside, you will want to place them in the brightest room that receives as much sunlight as possible. You also want to make sure it isn’t too cold! Some gardeners even put them on their south-facing windowsill for the best results.
You can also use grow lights to give them the light they need while they’re indoors. Some people even use a hydroponic system just to help keep their plants happy inside!
Overwintering Tomatoes in an Unheated Greenhouse
If you have an unheated greenhouse or shed, this is also a good option for overwintering tomatoes. Just make sure your greenhouse isn’t in a place that will get too cold (it can happen in colder climates).
In this type of setting, it’s also important to keep your tomato plants pruned and well-watered before you move them indoors for the winter. Leaving any fruit on the vine during overwintering can cause issues later down the road as well!
Using Only Stem Cuttings to Overwinter Tomatoes
If you can’t find room for all your perennial tomato plants, or simply don’t want to go through the effort of overwintering them indoors in a pot, you can still get use out of them. You can take tomato cuttings and put them in water until they grow roots!
Simply cut off a few perfect stems and put them in a glass of water. Keep it by a sunny window, and watch your new tomato plants take off. You can later plant your tomato seedlings in your garden.
Whether you’re overwintering tomatoes inside or outside, the most important thing to remember is that your tomato plants will need regular care until the temperatures warm back up again. Now you know how to grow tomatoes indoors to help them survive the winter!
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