Winterizing tomato plants ? - Knowledgebase Question

Goodyear, Ar
Avatar for rsprince
Question by rsprince
November 27, 2010
Hello Cathy,
This past season was my first as a novice gardener. I've got the bug, I'm having fun, and I had pretty good results. Can tomato and bell pepper plants be saved or somehow winterized so they can produce next season ? My garden is in a bed. Thank you.

Answer from NGA
November 27, 2010
Glad you're having such a great time with your new hobby. Gardening is so rewarding! Tomato plants can live and produce nice crops for 2-3 years if you can protect them from frosty weather. In winter when temps cool down the plants won't grow much but if you cover them when frost threatens they will survive and resume growing when the weather warms. It's not necessarily the cold temperatures but the duration of the frost that will do the damage so that means you'll need to cover your plants overnight but remove the covers the next morning. There are some frost blankets you can purchase but if you have an old sheet that you can use, that's usually enough to keep frost from damaging the leaves and stems of tomato and pepper plants. In February when temperatures warm up and new growth begins you can prune away any winter damage. You should start to see flowers and fruits developing in March or April. Hope this information is helpful and I hope you have a bountiful harvest!

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