Winter Tomato Plants
If you're interested in continuing to grow fresh
tomatoes to eat after hard frost you could start new potted tomatoes from slips
taken from mature garden plants. Considering these will be kept
indoors in pots during inclement weather, choose varieties such as Viva Italia, San Marzano,
Mountain Princess, or Lemon Drop that will stay confined. These needed to
be started at least ten weeks before your anticipated first hard freeze to avoid a
lull in fresh harvest. Also, the best growth will be while the noon
sun rays are still high in the sky, so consider late July or very early August
to start the new plants.
Remove a branch from a variety you like and place it in a bottle of water. After a week or so, roots will form slightly above where the plant enters the water. Once the roots have developed, snip off the stem slightly below the new roots and pot the plant in a small container filled with fertile potting soil. If there are blossoms already beginning to form on the vine, it is a good idea to snip them off so all the nutrients and energy will be going to vine and root development. New blossoms will again form once the plant is well established.
Repot in larger containers as needed. In a couple of months you should have ripe tomatoes.