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Still have a healthy tomato plant!

January 14, 2019

Yep! Mid January and this plant is huge! It's right next to the house and we're now in the city, so we don't seem to get frost.

I've had tomato plants last into January during the worst of the drought, but they usually ended up diseased and had to be chucked.

Should I do an experiment and see if it does some flowering in the spring, or just figure it's just sucking nutrients from the soil and pull it?

I'm pretty sure it was an Early Girl.

I'm just amazed that it is so healthy! Nancy

Comments (16)

  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)

    Tomatoes are technically tender perennials grown as annuals. If it weren't for frost, they'd produce for a few years. As long as it is indeterminate (which Early Girl is), they'll keep producing, once it gets warm enough and sunny enough.

  • Labradors

    You could always hedge your bets and keep a cutting (which would be easy to root in water). Keep both plants and see how it goes. You could bring the new plant inside on cold days.

  • nancyjane_gardener

    I think I'll give it a try! If I don't get some flowers in spring, or I see some disease, I'll pull it.

    Labradors- If it doesn't work I'll just get new plants in the spring. Just an experiment! Nancy

  • windberry

    Definitely keep it and see how it is doing. Gardening without experimenting is like summer without flowers!

  • Humsi

    I'd keep it. I have about 6 plants left from last summer, most with green fruit on them (they sure are loving all the rain this winter). In my experience, once it warms up this spring they should start really pumping out the tomatoes.

    I'll usually pull them once my spring planted tomatoes start setting fruit because I need the space for other stuff, but you could probably just let them keep going if they're healthy.

    My winter tomatoes are usually a lot healthier than the summer ones since they don't have to fight all the insect and disease pressure that come with warm weather.

  • CA Kate z9

    I had a Boxcar Willie last out the winter last year. It did give tomatoes early on, but finally died last summer. The tomatoes where large and delicious. I kept the seeds from one of the tomatoes and started the seed. I now have an abundance of Boxcar Willie plants growing in the window in the garage. It will be interesting to see how the "kids" fare.

  • windberry

    @CA Kate z9: Tomatoes almost always self-pollinate. Cross-pollination can occur, but is rare. Only a few varieties of Tomatoes cross-pollinate, so if your variety doesn't belong to this group you can rest assured that the babies will be true to their parent.

  • nancyjane_gardener

    Found a little tomato the other day!

  • windberry

    How nice!

  • CA Kate z9

    windberry: thanks for the info; I didn't know this. In this case I wasn't too worried because they were the only tomato plants anywhere near me... no one else gardens. It will still be fun to see how much they are like their parent(s). Now I just need to figure out where to plant all of them. ( I plant only in pots in my city garden.)

  • edweather USDA 9a, HZ 9, SE GA

    Why some people in a gardening forum, don't have their zones in their usernames is really strange. Tired of asking gardeners where they are located. :-/

  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)

    But USDA zones are really lousy indicators of gardening weather. My USDA zone here in central Texas is exactly the same as what it was when I lived in Oregon. Summer gardening couldn't be more different between the two places. The USDA zones are all about how cold it gets in the winter, which has almost nothing to do with how hot it gets in the summer. What I'd really like to see called out by posters is a STATE, not a zone.

    Two letters (a state postal code) instead of one number. C'mon, get with it.

  • CA Kate z9

    There is also a Heat Zone chart. Once i found it i better understood why i was losing so many plants in our mid-California garden.

  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)

    Yup, you can add an HZ number if you live in a big state that covers several climactic regions. I do.

  • edweather USDA 9a, HZ 9, SE GA

    State, HZ, USDA Zone....anything, I agree.

    Link to heat zone map: http://solanomg.ucanr.edu/files/245158.pdf

    Still have a few plants left from last year. A couple Big Beef, and an Indian Stripe PL. Not producing great, but the few January tomatoes we are getting are a luxury. The squirrels are a pain, and next week's forecast of mid 20s should finish them off.

  • nancyjane_gardener

    Oops, DH was helping and pulled it up! It filled our green bin! Oh well, maybe next year.

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