Glory's Garden

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Tomato plant query




I received a query recently about tomato plants and I thought I’d answer it here.

Does a tomato plant die after one year or will it continue to grow next year?

Good question!

Most gardeners grow the tomato plant as a tender annual, which means it will die after it flowers and bears fruit. Technically, though, it could live longer than most annuals if given warmth and enough sun. Tomatoes come from Mexico, is what I’ve been told, so it could be that they are perennials there. Not totally sure about that, but I’m wondering if you could trim it down, it might regrow.

I know my father-- who gardens in the tropics in what could be USDA zone 10-- grows tomatoes, but he has to replant new ones each growing season. (His growing season is all year except for 2-3 of the hottest months) There, it is too hot and dry for tomatoes to grow well and bear fruit during the summer, but during the rainy season—which conveniently coincides with cooler weather--

If a tomato plant gets frost on it or temperatures get much colder than 40
it's a goner. I have been able to extend a tomato plant's life almost until the next spring by placing it in a large pot and bringing it indoors, but it was looking rather scraggly after a few months--hardly much sun for it in winter. By spring, all I could do to save some of it was to take cutting from it to make new plants. 

Those worked out well. They rooted in water nicely and I potted them up. I had early tomato plants to place out in the garden as soon as snow, danger of frost and cold weather was gone.

5 comments:

  1. Good question (grin), excellent answer.

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  2. You should put this on Bubble too Glory. (Just a thought)

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  3. I thought of that as well. Think I will, soon.

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  4. We have grown tomatoes in the garden, had them produce heavily, brought the plants in for the winter in pots, had them produce over the winter, replanted them out in the garden where they continue to produce for the second year, by they seem to die off when brought in for the second time indoors. That may have been from lack of water and sunshine. Good question. ":))

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    1. See? I thought you could prolong its life, but the trick is getting it what it needs, SUN!

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