The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Thriving winter tomato

Winter tomato

Whatever magic Daddy worked on this little tomato plant, the effects have been quite impressive.  Despite leaving his climate-controlled sunroom to live in our not-too-sunny trailer where the night lows can drop into the 30s, the plant has continued to bulk out and thrive.

Friday, I noticed that the plant was already sending roots out the bottom of its half-gallon pot, so I potted it up into a two-gallon container, sinking the tomato plant deep enough so that the first set of leaves are only barely visible above the soil line.  Tomatoes root well from the stems, so this will give the plant more root area and will prevent it from getting leggy, even though the plant doesn't seem to have any problems in that area.

I'll be very curious to see how big this little guy gets in the next two months before our frost-free date, and whether it gives us ultra-early tomatoes.  Daddy plans to upgrade his tomato all the way to a five-gallon bucket while it's indoors, then to dig the plant a huge hole with post-hole diggers.  I may have to follow suit.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I saw plants in local hardware last night. Way too early for tomatoes here. Didn't matter, I picked one and walked all around the store hugging the pot and breathing in the aroma! The guy selling me a refrigerator just looked at me like I was nuts, worth every minute! If I can keep it alive, I'll get tomatoes early in May :)
Comment by Donna Sat Mar 15 11:41:27 2014
My plant bloomed today, when, incidentally, I saw our first asparagus shoot. If you just keep repotting in larger pots, it will keep till frost is past. I used to keep tomatoes in the sun room all winter where they reached the ceiling.
Comment by Errol Sat Mar 15 15:45:22 2014
There is just something about the aroma of a tomato plant , isnt there? I have two volunteers that came up in some compost I used to re-pot our aloe Vera, they have taken over completely, and I am afraid to disturb them. I have no idea what variety, or hybrid offspring, they might be. Even though I planted only open pollinated varieties, the compost gets scraps from the produce boxes I get from the food Co-op, so it could be anything. But just seeing a tomato plant here in late winter cheers me up, regardless of what kind of fruit they bear!
Comment by Deb Mon Mar 17 02:21:13 2014

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