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Tomato plant - how to keep it alive over winter?

shoktichaishoktichai Posts: 25
I have managed to grow two beautiful Tumbling Toms on my balcony this summer, and I've grown rather attached to them, and don't want them to die over the winter. Now I could bring them indoors - but they are positively huge now.

Is there some way to keep them outside and alive over the winter? 
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Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,126
    If you live in West Africa, yes.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,528
    I imagine it would be possible, but it'll be a lot of trouble and the plants will have lost their vigour - there's no point. 
    Tomatoes are grown as annuals and once they have produced seed the plants have done their job and they die.
    If you do live in a warm climate, then you may have better luck

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • shoktichaishoktichai Posts: 25
    Pete.8 said:
    I imagine it would be possible, but it'll be a lot of trouble and the plants will have lost their vigour - there's no point. 
    Tomatoes are grown as annuals and once they have produced seed the plants have done their job and they die.
    If you do live in a warm climate, then you may have better luck

    Ok thanks - feels like a shame - after all the care and attention that goes into getting them to fruit - especially in the UK and on an apartment balcony in central London to boot!
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,895
    The sole job of a plant is to propagate, once its done that its finished, done it’s job, you may be able to keep them if you never let them flower, it will then keep producing flowers inproduce seed, 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • shoktichaishoktichai Posts: 25
    So it's normal to let the tomato plant die each season, then to grow new ones next summer? I hate to let plants die, but if that's the normal cycle...
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,126
    A friend, who comes from West Africa, says that they keep themselves alive there by rooting along their stems. Anywhere that a rooted stem touches the ground, the tomato plant sets off again.

    A very common way for plants to propagate themselves.


    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,095
    In this country it's probably only realistic with a heated greenhouse or conservatory.  New tomato plants aren't expensive to buy or grow from seed so I would think new ones are cheaper than keeping a greenhouse warm enough to overwinter them.
  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 2,112
    I had a plant over winter two years ago (but autumn sown). The main problem is the lack of light. Even on a bright windowsill, UK winter light levels are not enough. I got fruit from it in May but I would say it's not worth it, tomatoes are easy from seed. I doubt you can overwinter a plant that fruited.
  • shoktichaishoktichai Posts: 25
    I guess after they're done fruiting, I'll have to bin these two. Is it ok to leave the roots in the soil - and reuse the soil next year (i.e. just cut the stem at soil level)? Or should I try to remove the whole root system if I want to reuse the soil next year? 

    They're currently in balcony troughs. 
  • Hello Shoktichai

    I would think it best to renew the soil or at least mix it with some fresh soil.One thing to bear in mind is that reusing the same soil in a pot can harbour pests etc that could cause big problems the following year when growing new crops.Glad that you are making good use of your balcony.A good tomato variety is the moneymaker 

    Happy Gardening

    Jolly G
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