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[Tomato Dirt] Take These 6 Steps to Protect Tomato Plants During Cold Nights
October 03, 2014

Tomato Dirt Newsletter
Volume 4, 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.

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Join us on Pinterest! Browse our 100+ boards (and growing) for all kinds of tomato inspiration and practical information: growing tomatoes, tomato seeds, cold frames for tomatoes, tomato books, tomato greenhouses, , indoor tomatoes – even crafts to do with a tomato theme, now that cold weather is here. Happy pinning!

Feature: 6 Steps to Protect Tomato Plants During Cold Nights

Image: Masters of Horticulture

As nights begin to cool, the big question for tomato gardeners is this: should you take steps to protect tomatoes on the vine or should you pick them?

One fact is certain: tomatoes do NOT like to be cold. If you’re eager to continue to harvest fresh tomatoes well into autumn, you can do so with these simple steps.

  • Use a thermometer. Your local forecast will differ from what takes place in your backyard or on your patio. Set a thermometer at plant level to monitor air temperatures that will directly impact your tomato plants.
  • Cover plants.When frost or even temperatures (mid-30s or even 40ºF) are in the forecast for overnight, cover your tomato plants with clear plastic or a tarp. If you face an extended cold pattern, consider using quality frost protection each night.
  • Use light. Set up a work light – or even a string of Christmas lights – underneath the tarp or plastic to get plants a bit of extra heat.
  • Water plants. Well-hydrated plants tolerate cooler or near-freezing temperatures better than dry ones.
  • Give plants daylight. Remove coverings in the morning or once temperatures rise over 50ºF to give them extra light and warmth.
  • Grow cold-tolerant tomato varieties.If you live in a northern area, have a short growing season, or are growing a second crop in one season, then consider choosing early tomato varieties or varieties that tolerate cold.
Read more tips for to take to protect tomatoes during cool nights and learn about different kinds of frost protection for tomatoes.

And check out some helpful pointers and visuals on our Tomatoes and Frost Pinterest board.

Tomato Fun! Channel Your Inner Gardener at Halloween

Image: Blueberry Junkie

Tomato lovers and gardeners can steal the show on Halloween by dressing as a tomato or other fruits or vegetables. It’s easy and fun to make a tomato costume! Dressing up as a tomato is unusual and creative. Invite siblings or friends to dress up as tomatoes, too, so you can make a “bushel.”

To make a tomato costume you will need just a few items: an extra-large red sweatshirt, green or red sweatpants, green felt, material for stuffing, string, and a hot glue gun.

Gather your materials and then read the easy-to-follow instructions here. Or you can simply purchase a tomato costume for adults or children.

Get more tomato costume ideas on our Tomato Costumes Pinterest Board.

Check Out These Helps for Protecting Tomatoes

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Agribon AG-19 Floating Row Crop Cover / Frost Blanket / Garden Fabric Plant Cover Grow Tunnel with Garden Fabric Cover, Hoophouse Kits, 10'x25' Wall Water,Plant Cover,Frost Protectors,Season Extender,3 Pack

More on Protecting Tomatoes in Cool Weather

Protecting Tomatoes From Frost and Freezing Types of Frost Protection for Tomatoes 10 Tips for Ripening Tomatoes on Vine in the Fall How to Grow Fall Tomatoes to Get an Extended Harvest

That’s it for now. More next time!

Until then, happy gardening!

Kathy with Tomato Dirt
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