We have long been accustomed to the fact that tomatoes are an annual culture. Harvested at the end of August or September - that’s all. Used plants are sent to compost or burned. If this is not done, then they will still be beaten by late blight and the very first night frosts. Have you tried to dig out bushes of undersized varieties of tomatoes, put them in pots and bring them into a warm room? Even better if they were originally planted in containers. What do you think will happen to them?
And the following will happen:
- all small and undeveloped fruits are poured and ripen;
- in winter, tomato leaves turn yellow and some of them dry out, but the bushes themselves will remain alive;
- in late February or early March, young stepsons will begin to grow from axillary buds on the trunk;
- at the end of March, flowers will bloom on these new branches;
- in May, you will have tomatoes with almost ripened fruits on your windowsill.
But this will only happen if you manage to preserve tomato plants in the winter months - to provide them with a period of rest. To do this, they must be in a cool, but not cold place, have enough light and a moderate amount of moisture. In a city apartment, it can be a window sill, near which there are no heating appliances.
It is necessary to water such “perennial tomatoes” very carefully - 1-2 times a week - only so that the earth does not completely dry out. With the advent of young green shoots, watering needs to be increased.
Artificial light in the spring usually does not require such tomatoes, unless the pots are not on the north window. In March-April, you can feed with a weak solution of fertilizer for tomatoes or sprinkle in pots of fresh soil.
By the way, part of the appeared stepsons of tomatoes can be plucked when they reach 4-5 cm. If you stick them in moist soil or sawdust, then in a couple of weeks you will have excellent seedlings that will begin to bloom a few weeks earlier than the one grown from seeds. It is only necessary to ensure that the earth in the early days was constantly wet.
Such seedlings do not require special care. It doesn’t have to be illuminated or dived — it can be planted immediately in separate cups, from which you will be planted directly on the garden bed. Young plants fully retain all the signs and properties of the mother bush, as they were born as a result of vegetative propagation.
And what will happen to last year’s tomato bushes next?
If you take care of them like ordinary houseplants - water, feed, cut off unnecessary stepsons in time, then they will delight you with a crop. Maybe only this crop will be slightly less than in a greenhouse or in open ground. And in the fall, everything will happen again.
The only thing to remember is that not all tomato varieties are suitable for home growing - many of them are strongly affected by vertex rot under these conditions. But such varieties as Gift, Balcony Wonder, Precious, Grape, Sweet Tooth grow splendidly on the windowsill.
Tomatoes can grow and bear fruit in the same pot or container for 3-4 years. And maybe longer. Who does not believe, try it yourself!