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[Tomato Dirt] What to Know About Protecting Tomatoes at Frost
September 21, 2013

Tomato Dirt Newsletter
Volume 3, Number 17

Dear Tomato Dirt reader,

Welcome back to Tomato Dirt! Once or twice a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with tips about growing tomatoes and using them.

Practical Canning

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Feature: What to Know About Protecting Tomatoes in a Frost

Photo: Plow and Hearth

Protecting tomatoes from frost and freezing is important to having healthy crop – both at the beginning of the season (for our southern hemisphere readers) and at the end (those in the northern hemisphere.) Here are the top tips you need to know about protecting tomatoes in a frost.

  • Frost can occur when temperatures are as high as 40ºF. Moisture, rather than temperature, is the determining factor.
  • Low-lying areas, where cold air settles, are more susceptible to frost. If your tomato patch is in a low area, pay special attention as temperatures dip into the 40s.
  • Tomatoes cannot withstand frost. When a frost warning is forecast for your area, choose from various types of frost protection to safeguard young plants in the spring and mature plants in the fall. Grow tunnels , wall o water, plant covers – even sheets, blankets, and plastic – can help save tomato plants from frost injury. (Find out more about different types of frost protection).

    And be sure to check out our Tomatoes and Frost board on Pinterest for more helpful ideas about protecting your tomato plants when temperatures turn cold.


    August Tomato Masters Winner: How She Did It!

    Congratulations to Tina Stalker of Beaverton, Oregon who nabbed this month’s award with her beautiful Pineapple Tomato, which clocked in at an amazing 36.0 ounces (that’s 2 pounds, 4 ounces of luscious tomato flavor.)

    Tina shared these keys to her success:

    • good compost
    • consistent watering, but with adequate drainage
    • Gardens Alive Tomatoes Alive enzyme boost
    • grooming and staking tomato plants to allow them to continue to produce
    Get the full story here.

    Thanks to all our wonderful Tomato Dirt-ers who submitted entries this year to Tomato Masters. Your photos have been absolutely beautiful and inspiring!


    Tomato of the Month: Pineapple Tomato

    Named for its shape, not flavor, the Pineapple tomato is a bi-color beefsteak tomato. Its outer ribbing is reminiscent of a pineapple’s ribbed exterior. Pineapple is valued for three standout qualities:
    • Beauty. Pineapple is a very pretty fruit, with a beautiful streaked red and yellow exterior and interior kaleidoscope swirl of red, pink, orange, and yellow.
    • Taste. Known for its excellent flavor particularly among bi-color tomatoes, Pineapple is mildly sweet with low acidity, somewhat fruity, and includes a hint of citrus.
    • Size. Pineapple tomatoes range from one pound to often more than two pounds in size.
    What else you need to know about the Pineapple tomato … (click here.)


    More about Tomatoes and Cold Weather ...

    The Difference Between Frost and Freezing How to Extend Harvest of Homegrown Tomatoes Ripening Green Tomatoes to Extend Your Harvest Protecting Tomatoes from Frost and Freezing

    That’s it for now. More next time!

    Until then, happy gardening!

    Kathy with Tomato Dirt
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