Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Growing tomatoes in winter

Although we experienced our first night of freezing temps last night, my thoughts are on starting tomato and pepper seeds early this winter.  It has been a mild winter for us in Zone 9 Florida and I've done it before, but it has been a long time since I experimented with this theory.  

Once the seedlings are big enough to transplant, they need to be grown in containers so they can be moved inside in case of a prolonged freeze.  We may just leave the containers in our carport area where they are protected.  It is worth a try to get a jump start on the growing season.  The containers are currently sitting out there empty . . . and seeds are relatively inexpensive.  

Time to order seeds!

Check out the Customer Favorites Tomatoes,
 now available at!


momto8 said...

I was just thinking about seeds! we are still getting lettuce and radishes! In Jan in Pa! What fun gardening!

Gina Alfani said...

WOW that is awesome! If you can do it in PA, we can do it in Florida :) I've also been thinking about expanding on new things to grow this year. Herbs for sure, maybe different types of beans.

Kevin said...

Many tomatoes are grown hydroponically. Hydroponic tomatoes can taste as good as tomatoes grown in rich soil outdoors. Hydroponic vegetable gardening is fun and easy but there are some factors that influence their growth:-
Temperature - Tomatoes do best within a range of 55-85 degrees F. Tomato plants can be severely damaged or killed by prolonged cold or even a brief exposure to frost. Tomatoes can handle high temperatures, but are damaged by prolonged temperatures over 93 degrees F.
Nutrients - Tomatoes need properly-designed nutrients that are easily absorbed, properly balanced, and rich in nitrogen and other components.
Light - Whether grown indoors or outdoors, tomato plants need exposure to full, strong light for at least five hours each day.
Pollination – If tomatoes are to bear fruit, they need to be pollinated. Unless growers are going to engage in artificial pollination, the plants must be accessible to pollinators, which can include insects and wind. Obviously, it is difficult to provide pollinator access to plants grown indoors or in greenhouses.
Overall environmental conditions - Tomato plants suffer when there are windy conditions, extreme heat or cold, polluted air or soils, or presence of insects, blight or disease. Tomatoes need adequate water, but they do not need to be drowned. Avoid overwatering as much as you guard against drought.
Calcium deficiencies first appear at the terminal growing point, the newest growth. Underdeveloped leaves exhibit yellowing between the veins and browning of the tissues at the leaf's margins. Symptoms show up in the newest growth because Ca is dependent on an active transpriational flow, so it moves to the older larger leaves with more surface area available for transpiration.

Gina Alfani said...

Thanks for the awesome information Kevin . . . much appreciated!

My interest in hydroponics was peaked during a visit to Disney World's Epcot Center, at The Land Pavillion. They have an awesome display of all types of vegetation grown in different ways which also serves as a food source for their restaurants. It is amazing!

Irvin said...

I really love tomatoes.. God bless!

Bonnie said...

I'm in the same zone as you Gina. I started thinking about getting tomatoes and peppers started for transplanting later this spring. I think by late Feb it's time to put them in the ground. My father-in-law puts his seeds in a big wide mouth and shallow pot. He spreads them around and then uses the best plants to put in the ground. I did it that way a couple of years ago which worked great. I'm debating on using egg cartons to start the transplants. Great post and looking forward to reading more gardening tips.

Gina Alfani said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting!

@Bonnie . . . I use egg cartons to start my seeds all the time which works out great for me. I found that starting plants in egg cartons early is easy to move from inside to outside in case of cold nights.

I've also planted them directly in the container they are going to grow in . . . similar to what your father-in-law does . . . that method also works great.

I miss having freshly picked tomatoes and peppers!

@Irvin . . . I love cooking with fresh tomatoes :)

hydroponic said...

Thanks for the awesome information.I really love tomatoes.Many tomatoes are grown hydroponically. Hydroponic tomatoes can taste as good as tomatoes grown in rich soil outdoors.I love cooking with fresh tomatoes.Thanks..


alocasia Amazonica annuals apartment gardening aphids aucuba azalea back yard projects bamboo hydroponics basil beneficial insects birds. bird watching black eyed susan blooms blue plumbago boulders bromeliad photos bromeliads bugs Busch Gardens butterfly gardening calender calissia fragrans candles Christmas Cactus cilantro coffee coleus colorful container planting companion planting composting concrete concrete container concrete countertop concrete leaves concrete project container container gardening container gardens container plants containers contrast coriander craft projects crafts cranberry hibiscus crinum crinum lilies croton cuttings cycads DIY DIY insecticidal soap DIY projects eggshells elephant ear epiphyte fall gardening fallen tree faux rocks fire pit fireplace florida beauties Florida gardening flower tower flowering perennials flowers France garden garden decor garden design garden fountain garden maintenance garden path garden suppies gardening gardening basics gardening mistakes gardening tips gardens garlic gazebo gingers grass grasshoppers greenhouses ground covers growing from seed growing tomatoes herb gardening herbs HGTV holiday plant houseplants hydroponics hypertufa hypertufa containers illumination impatiens indoor gardening insecticidal soap insects inspiration June gardening Kalanchoe landscape landscape design landscaping lawns leaf casting leaf casting water feature leaf mold lemon tree lettuce lighting lily limes log planter mandevilla Monet monthly gardening notes mosaic mother of millions native plants organic organic gardening organic pest control outdoor fireplace outdoor kitchen outdoor lighting outdoor projects outdoor shower outdoor spaces painting Paradise past path paths patio gardening Paul James pavers peppers perennials pest control pests photo tips photos photos garden plant plant containers plant damage plant profile plant swaps planter plants plumbago pond propagation pruning pruning tomato plants raised beds recycle recycling redesign rocks rooting basil rooting tomato plants sago palm saving money scrub seed saving seed starters seed storage box seed swaps shade shade gardening shade plants slugs soil soil mix spring staghorn fern starting from seed stepping stones stump removal succulents summer summer gardening terracotta tin cans tips tires tomato tomato plants trash to treasure trash-to-treasure trees trellis tropical tropical plants tropicals turf vegetable gardening video water feature watering weed control weed identification weeds winter winter sowing wood path wood projects yard art zones 9-11