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Old October 2, 2018   #1
AlittleSalt
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Default Growing Tomatoes in Winter?

This thread is because I read a friend's thread that said he we wants to overwinter some tomato plants. That perks my attention. I want to do it too. I have wanted to do this for 8 years. Every post/talking said I needed to live in certain places or have an expensive greenhouse, and so many discouraged it saying that I need some space-aged lighting.

I know it's possible without all of those things. After all, we heat our homes - it might take some extra lighting, but we humans like 72F 22C to 80F 26C. So do tomato plants.

I know that we have all read that it takes special conditions, but why not try? We are not getting any younger, and decorating a tomato plant in December might be pretty cool.
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Old October 2, 2018   #2
saltmarsh
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I've overwintered tomatoes. It was very educational, and disappointing. It was also before I found out how to have good tasting tomatoes year round.

It's easy, cheap and a 6 year old can do it. It gives consistant results and only takes a week to grow a crop of tomatoes.

A Hot Water Bath.

125 degrees F. for 5 minutes; ripen on the counter for a week.

I eat about 5 pounds of tomatoes a week. And I've been doing the hot water bath for 2 years; ever since I read a 2 paragraph blurb about the Univ. of FL doing research to improve the flavor of commercial tomatoes. They "thought" the hot water bath worked by activating the flavonoids in the tomato. This makes sense in hindsight because different varieties have different flavonoids.

I was lucky. I was skeptical. I went to the grocery store intending to buy some "Tomatoes on the Vine". This was Feb. and the store had the red cardboard slicers on sale for 88 cents per pound. The label on the tomatoes said the variety was "Product of Mexico". Not much to lose for the test, so I picked out 5 pounds of less than ripe blemish free tomatoes. I already had a little meat probe so I ran a pot of water 125 degrees F. and put the tomatoes in the pot. They floated. So I put a saucer on top to hold them down. After 5 minutes I removed them and let them air dry on a kitchen towel. It's tempting to eat them before seven days. Don't. After letting them ripen on the counter for a week, I made a mayo and tomato sandwich. I couldn't believe the difference in flavor and texture. It tasted almost as good as my home grown tomatoes. Grinning ear to ear, yeah.

So I bought some "Tomatoes on the Vine" for the next batch, bathed them, waited a week and NOTHING. No change in texture or flavor. If I had tried the "Tomatoes on the Vine" first, I would've thought the blurb was BS and I wouldn't be telling you how to have really good tomatoes year round.

Enjoy, Claud

By the way, the tomatoes don't require light to ripen. They will ripen in a closet. But if they are close at hand, you can keep an eye on them and if one starts to go bad you can use it rather than letting it spoil.
When picking out your tomatoes, look at them in profile. That flat spot is really a bruise and it will rot before it ripens.

Last edited by saltmarsh; October 2, 2018 at 11:15 AM.
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Old October 2, 2018   #3
carolyn137
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Here is your answer,direct from instructions from here at Tomatoville.

https://www.google.com/search?q=How+...&bih=815&dpr=1

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Old October 2, 2018   #4
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I left some details out when I wrote this last night. For me, this will be a pet project - more for the fun of it than anything else. The varieties will be ones that only grow to 18"-24" tall. That way, it's easy to move them in and out of the house. If this winter is like last winter - the plants would be spending a lot of time outside. However, forecasting winter weather in Texas is like gambling on horses when you don't know what a horse is.

Carolyn, I did go back and reread those links. Thank you for the links.
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Old October 2, 2018   #5
Cole_Robbie
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Neat tip about the hot water bath to ripen.

I start my seedlings under CFLs, but I think for your project any light you can find that is metal halide or high pressure sodium would be better, like an old security or aquarium light.
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Old October 2, 2018   #6
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Here Peron Sprayless harvested on Jan. 1, 2012. Notice the uneven ripening. These had about 6 hours of direct sunlight.



Here are some of the plants about a mounth earlier Dec 3,2011.

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Old October 2, 2018   #7
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http://tatianastomatobase.com/wiki/P...b=General_Info

Above is from Tania's data base.

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthrea...eron+sprayless

Above is from here at Tville.

You saw Glecklers mentioned in the last link,and yes,that's where I got my seeds from and no,I'd never grow it again.

Foliage disease free?

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Old October 2, 2018   #8
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Robert, since you and your family like cherry tomatoes, I thought I'd recommend Tiny Tim. It's an old (1945) micro-dwarf that generally stays under 24" in height. I've grown it a few times on my office windowsill. I started some about a year ago and ate the first ripe tomato on Jan. 22. I just picked the last ripe one on Friday, and am about to start a few more. I think they taste good! Nothing fancy, just a red cherry with a nice flavor.



I'm sending seeds to the MMMM swap, or PM me if you'd like some; I'm always happy to trade...
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Old October 3, 2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HudsonValley View Post
Robert, since you and your family like cherry tomatoes, I thought I'd recommend Tiny Tim. It's an old (1945) micro-dwarf that generally stays under 24" in height. I've grown it a few times on my office windowsill. I started some about a year ago and ate the first ripe tomato on Jan. 22. I just picked the last ripe one on Friday, and am about to start a few more. I think they taste good! Nothing fancy, just a red cherry with a nice flavor.



I'm sending seeds to the MMMM swap, or PM me if you'd like some; I'm always happy to trade...
Thank you for your offer. I have Tiny Tim seeds. I haven't grown them yet.

I just mentioned this to my wife about an hour ago about the overwintering thing. There is one variety that I got from the MMMM swap that Tormato does. I saved seeds in 2015 for a tomato called Pinky Blast. All I learned about it was that it came from someone overseas (I don't remember the country.) I did grow it in 2015. Pinky Blast produces like some pepper plants do - with the fruit on top of the plants. Again, the plants are about 2 feet tall. I don't know if one would call those a dwarf plant. I like the term, "Micro Mini" The tomatoes tasted okay. but that was during a year of record rainfall of over 73".

Without much information and a bad year to grow tomatoes in 2015 - it's my pet project to see what these tomato seeds can do. I used Carolyn's method to save the seeds, but the bad weather that year might have messed up the seed production? I won't know until I try.
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Old October 3, 2018   #10
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I might pull it off with them being outside all the time as far south as I am.
Points to consider.
Keep soil temps up, wont grow if you dont.
Protect from frost and freeze.
Pick tomatoes.
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Old October 3, 2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
I might pull it off with them being outside all the time as far south as I am.
Points to consider.
Keep soil temps up, wont grow if you dont.
Protect from frost and freeze.
Pick tomatoes.
Worth, I know where you live,you know that,but when you say protect from frost and freeze,that brings up another question from me.

In many parts of the country as temps get lower in late fall what happens is that the fruits get anthracnose.

Don't you see anthracnose?

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...10.bzDFoxVDFyQ

I know I see it which is why many of us pick fruits that are colored about half way up and either wrap them in newspaper to ripen them up or put them in a paper bag with some sliced apples,he latter gives off ethylene gas which hastens ripening.

Then shut the bag.

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Old October 4, 2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolyn137 View Post
Worth, I know where you live,you know that,but when you say protect from frost and freeze,that brings up another question from me.

In many parts of the country as temps get lower in late fall what happens is that the fruits get anthracnose.

Don't you see anthracnose?

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...10.bzDFoxVDFyQ

I know I see it which is why many of us pick fruits that are colored about half way up and either wrap them in newspaper to ripen them up or put them in a paper bag with some sliced apples,he latter gives off ethylene gas which hastens ripening.

Then shut the bag.

Carolyn
I have never seen it, our weather is rather odd to say the least where I live.

In the winter you could almost say it is like an Alaska summer at times.
The sun is about the same angle in the sky but theirs is up longer.
If we dont get a cold front from the jet stream it stays warm.
Some winters the plants here dont even die back.
Cant remember the last time I even saw a frost.
You just never know what to expect from one year to the next.

The area I live in is far different than where Salt lives since I live below the Balcones escarpment/fault.

Just about 10 miles north of me there is a spot that stays around 7 to 8 degrees cooler than the rest of the area in the morning.
There are several places like this in the area and most people have no idea they are there.
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Old October 4, 2018   #13
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Hi Claud-


That's pretty cool. I've read some very scant info on hot water treatment, but not nearly as detailed as you provided. Definitely will try your procedure! It's interesting that the tomatoes on the vine did not respond the same way.



Anyone have any theories as to why they did not?


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Old October 4, 2018   #14
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Vladimír

Last edited by MrBig46; October 4, 2018 at 10:38 AM.
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Old October 4, 2018   #15
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It's a variety. The tomatoes "from Mexico" were what we cultivate. Tomatoes "on the vine" are commercial varieties for sale in the winter, they are labeled LSL (long shelf life). They lack some genes that control ripening. Tomatoes are a beautiful red, but never ripen. They will never be tasty.
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