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Rocky Mountain Deserts
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Discussion Starter #1
How long will tomatoes continue to produce fruit if they never freeze?

I started my tomatoes indoors in Feb, then got distracted and didn't get them out into the garden. Mid June, they got put in large pots and put out on the porch. Just before frost, they had lots of fruit, but nothing ripe - so My husband brought them inside. They are doing very well despite the space they take up in the kitchen, but I'm wondering how long can I keep them before they die off? Most of them have new growth since they were brought in, and are blooming again. We are pollinating them by hand in the hopes of fresh tomatoes all winter long. They are from heirloom seeds, and if I can stop myself prom picking the ripe ones long enough to look up seed preservation in my seed to seed book, I'll take some seeds from them too.
 

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Are they determinate or indeterminate? Supposedly indeterminate plants will live a few years. Determinate plants produce their crop and usually die shortly after, at least all mine have.

Seed preservation isn't hard. Just squeeze some seeds out onto a paper towel, let dry, plant at the proper time. You don't have to ferment the seeds but a lot of people do the fermentation thing. The seeds might stick to the paper towel, you can either soak the towel off the individual seeds or plant them with the tiny scrap of paper. Doesn't hurt anything either way.
 

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Depends on the variety. Determinate produce a large crop all at once. Indeterminate produce a few at a time and continue to grow, sometimes to amazing heights. You can take cuttings from either and root those also. Cuttings are the only way to get more of the same plant if you have a hybrid.
 

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Rocky Mountain Deserts
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Discussion Starter #5
well, where they put off fruit, then started growing branches again, does that give us a clue? I got the seeds from a family friend who passed away in November, so I really have no way of knowing the exact breeds - just that she had the same tomatoes my whole life, seed to seed anyway.
 

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thats not actually the proper definition of determinate or indeterminate; determinate plants will stop branching once they reach a gene-specified height, while indeterminate plants will continue to grow indefinitely.



as far as lifespan, they can grow for years; Epcot Center at Disney World has a plant that is about 15 years old, 25 feet tall, and produces 12 tons of tomatoes a year

check this thing out!:



but keep in mind that the typical tomato plant becomes less productive with age, as does almost everything, unfortunately. Commercial growers almost always toss them out after a season.
 

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@maddy:

optimally, you want to match the sun's energy as closely as possible, so make use of windows for free energy if possible (southern exposure is best). You can go to about 150 Watts per square meter and still get a respectable crop, but below that, you'll begin to lose productivity - basic rule of thumb is about 1% reduced biomass production per 1% reduced radiation.

HID lamps will get you the most energy per unit, but have the hottest operating temps, so you cannot put them close to the plant, and deending on your room, you may even ned some sort of cooling mechanism; fluorescents would probably require too many units to make it worth growing a tomato plant - they are usually better for smaller crops.

Radiation fall-off is inverse squared - in other words, for every foot you move the light source away from the plant, the energy is reduced to a quarter strength: a 400 Watt output at 1 foot away from the plant canopy = 100 Watts at 2 feet from the plant, and 25 Watts at 3 feet from the plant...
 

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One year I took in a tomato plant that just started to blossom from my green house.
After all that work I demanded at least one fruit.

I live in Alaska...so winter is not sun filled.Yet thought it took over a 3x5window darkening that room from any sun....we got tomatoes...we hand pollinated using child's paint brush.
 

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I plant the tomatoes I put in the greenhouse in July. They grow in large black tree pots summer and fall. I put them in the greenhouse before any chance of frost. No lights, they have many green tomatoes so they just grow larger and ripen. I have tomatoes until around July 1st when my new Feb planted tomatoes start producing in the garden. I plant Early Girl and Better Boy. Throw out old plants, disinfect everything and start all new, again. I use the warm water from my fish tanks in the greenhouse to feed the tomatoes, peppers and strawberries that produce all winter....James
 

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Rocky Mountain Deserts
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Discussion Starter #11
Crazyness, I asked this question back in mid October when i thought my tomato plants were going to croak even tho I brought them inside. Here it is mid January, and I had fresh tomatoes for new years! No, the plant that has survived isn't putting off a lot of fruit, but it has never stopped slowly growing. The old vines from summer have all died off, but it has put out new branches on the main stems and those stems are growing and bearing fruit. I think I will just keep that one in the pot for another year and see just how long it lasts. It has plenty of sun through a south facing window and has become one of my favorite house plants.
 

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Hey, you can end up with many tomatoes plants with a head start... root a part of your GROWING ng plant...
Cuttings ...there is away to do it I have to look it up each time I do it. Look it up or cheat and ask over in the gardening spot you snip it above...or is it below...a node...that's why I always have to look it up. But you make clones of the plant skip the seed go strangers gut to the leaf....just have to grow the root.
 
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