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Accidental Tomatoes

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Project by MsDebbieP posted 146 days ago 2306 views 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

February 26, 2014

Last summer, my cumquat plant sat outside on the deck, and at some point in time a tomato plant started growing in the same pot.

Come fall, the plant was rather large but rather than ripping out the tomato plant and disturbing the roots of the cumquat I just snipped it in two, removing most of the plant growth. I assumed that it would just wither away over the winter months.

Well, it didn’t. .. wither, that is.

In fact, it flourished.

A little backtracking: I’m not sure why, but my cumquat didn’t produce fruit last summer – until the end of the season. Bringing it inside, covered with little green balls of potential, I didn’t want to stick it in some dark corner, so I took a chance with my south-facing door. I didn’t know how long this would last but I gave it a try: I took the door off its hinges and stored it away in my porch. I installed two layers of the insulation plastic in the doorway. The aluminum door (which is almost all windows) protected the doorway from the wind and provided the first layer of insulation. A sheet of plastic was in the middle of the doorway, creating barrier number two and then a third layer, the typical use of the plastic barrier, was installed inside the room. My plants were then placed in front of the doorway where they got lots and lots of winter sunshine. (The plastic worked really well—never any signs of cold air coming into the room and lots and lots of sunshine.)

So… now it is February.
Over the past couple weeks I watched the blossoms appear on my tomato plant and, having watched the video about using an electric toothbrush to help along pollination, I gave the blossoms a giggle or two.
And then the first little green ball appeared… and then a second, and a third.

I now have three tomatoes growing in my living room …. in winter … in Canada.

Now I have to figure out how to stake up the plant as it will start getting really heavy from my “spring crop”!

UPDATE – APRIL 10/14

yes… they are pink!! So close to eating. Best tomatoes I have ever grown :D

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)



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MsDebbieP

14670 posts in 2566 days
hardiness zone 5b

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tomatoes winter zone 5

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17 comments so far

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4296 posts in 1828 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 146 days ago

What a clever idea, to turn your door into a greenhouse window for the winter. It sounds like it really worked, too!

Congratulations on the tomatoes and the successful hand-pollination. I hope you enjoy every delicious bite!

So how does your cumquat plant like its bright, warm, sunny exposure?

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View jroot's profile

jroot

5046 posts in 2196 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 146 days ago

Well done, MsDebbieP. .... the beginning of a brand new growing season. :)

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

192 posts in 1868 days
hardiness zone 7b

posted 146 days ago

Wow!! Is that picture of tomatoes actually set this month?

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14670 posts in 2566 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 146 days ago

Yes, TS … that picture was taken this morning….

The cumquat—interesting—the little green cumquats that were there this fall are still green cumquats.
But, I will have some this year, anyway .. they are just taking a very long time to ripen.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

192 posts in 1868 days
hardiness zone 7b

posted 145 days ago

WoW!! I usually have trouble getting fruit set before late July or August here on the coast. Nights drop into the low 50s or below.

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14670 posts in 2566 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 145 days ago

and I just saw that I have at least 3 lemons starting on the lemon tree AND 3 blossoms on my “little blue” pepper plant (this pepper plant is now in its 4th year—I keep bringing it inside in the fall and it keeps growing and producing)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14670 posts in 2566 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 145 days ago

it was funny watching out my doorway this morning—the blowing snow was so bad that I couldn’t see more than 6 feet outside the door .. and inside my little fruit were growing.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View justjoel's profile

justjoel

1058 posts in 1946 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 143 days ago

You “giggled” the tomato blossoms, I love it. And love the idea of homegrown, spring tomatoes too!

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14670 posts in 2566 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 143 days ago

you should see my tomatoes .. they have such a big smile on their faces :)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4296 posts in 1828 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 142 days ago

Regarding your cumquats…. I have read that citrus trees need 12 hours of daylight to ripen fruit. If you want your fruit to ripen faster during the winter, you might need to supplement your daylight with artificial light. Of course you could also just wait until the days get longer naturally. : )

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View justjoel's profile

justjoel

1058 posts in 1946 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 142 days ago

Well, either your smiling tomatoes don’t know what is ultimately in store for them, or they are at peace with their purpose in life, and are happy with their current living situation in your home, MsDeb. :-)

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14670 posts in 2566 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 142 days ago

Oh how I wish my doorway stuck out so I could give it glass on three sides instead of one!

Every time I check out my tomatoes now, I “giggle”. :)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2346 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 140 days ago

What a wonderful story to cheer me up on this cold winters day Debbie.It’s hard to believe that you have tomatoes starting already.You are definitely an inspiration to all of us.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14670 posts in 2566 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 140 days ago

pure luck… oh, and laziness! :)

They are getting bigger… can’t wait til I see a hint of pink.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14670 posts in 2566 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 126 days ago

just an update—no pink yet, just more and bigger.

And while I’m here, here is the first of three hibiscus blossoms to open

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4296 posts in 1828 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 125 days ago

You might be enjoying tomatoes in April or May, MsDebbie!

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14670 posts in 2566 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 121 days ago

crossing my fingers .. won’t they be delicious!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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