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Anyone grow tomatos indoors over the winter?

 
pollinator
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Location: Ontario - zone 6b!
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I am basking in late season homegrown tomatos right now.... And mourning the return to "tomato's" those weird tasteless red supermarket things. Alas, not enough this year that I have more than a  few preserved for winter.

I have three led lights/grow lights and a timer and have killed all my apartment houseplants by abandoning them for 5months. They are mostly clones of other people's plants so I could replace them. But... What if I had tomatos, instead?

Does anyone here grow indoor tomatos or peppers? Do you keep a plant in a pot over the summer and move it in, or take cuttings or grow new from seed or??? Indeterminate or determinate, and do you prune?
 
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Last year, the cherry tomatoes in my greenhouse kept turning red, very slowly, until early December, but they were not getting sweet. They were very sour. The plants were looking ragged, so I pulled them up and threw them in a pile in the greenhouse. A couple months later I realised that despite nights below freezing, some of those little green tomatoes had turned red, but alas they were sour and not at all tasty. I guess there just wasn't enough sun in the winter, even in this low-latitude, high altitude desert, for them to form the sugars.

However, I think there could be value in keeping a tomato plant alive over the winter in order to take a nice large plant outside in spring and have it produce much earlier than a new plant.
 
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when i lived in zone 9(although pacific north wet zone 9), and because i wanted to see some tomatoes being perennials...i have tried various times to grow tomatoes indoors some.

but i find it's not that worth it...they dont grow during the winter, and even the lack of sunlight hours...well even though you can keep them alive, thats all they do. they survive, but don't thrive.

i suppose it's worth it if you really want to keep a variety, and sometimes people do cuttings or layer them...late in the year you can take cuttings or ground layers of your winner strains...to start them off early for next year.

and i do that, start tomatoes in fall for next year...just to get them really developed for next spring.

the thing i thnk is a better way for tomatoes in january and beyond, is to uproot the WHOLE PLANT. just before winter...when they are starting to turn funky/stop growing for the year/frost...and especially if there's already lots of green tomatoes.

it's a bit messy with a monster huge tomato plant, but carefully, if you dig it up by roots, get off most dirt/root prune...and then hang it up in a dark/cool spot...they will very very slowly ripen over many months...and you can then...just pick them off as you go...but now in a corner of your house.
 
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I have plans to try it this season. I will have to use lights.
 
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Location: Southern New Hampshire (Zone 5)
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there just isn't enough light for thriving tomato plants indoors.

The figure of merit for light intensity is PAR (photsynthetically-active radiation)

The absolute top-of-the-line money-is-no-object LED for indoor cannabis growers is the Fluence Spydr:
https://fluence.science/technology/spydr/
A single 4' x 4' LED fixture costs $1,400 and claims 1,060 ┬Ámol/m2/s PAR output

for comparison, the free nuclear reactor in the sky provides 2,000 ┬Ámol/m2/s PAR on a cloudy winter day, and 3,000 PAR on a sunny summer day
https://www.maximumyield.com/definition/794/photosynthetically-active-radiation-par

So spending an ungodly sum on money on LED lights will get you at best 30-50% of the light that your outdoor tomatoes got in the summer
and cheaper grow lights will provide even less
 
Catie George
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So this is a probably not a good idea then? Darn.  

Well,since there is nothing to lose but a  bit of vermicompost,I may try it with a few rooted cuttings from a few favourite varieties (white cherry,orange cherry, orange large tomato,all indeterminate) and my most productive pepper plant (either Hungarian wax or a bell type or the chili that are just about to bear))   alternatively if anyone has an arguments for determinates I could plant seeds from Subarctic maxi.
 
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