Search the Archives


Keeping tomatoes and eggplant alive question

Keeping tomatoes and eggplant alive question

So last winter I took my pepper plants which were pitiful and potted them. The purple bell pepper was reduced to stems, but survived, A chile pepper (forget variety) died as temps finally started to warm. The Thai Dragon peppers actually kept producing in winter although the peppers had no real heat like the seeded summer ones (should have hand pollinated I guess) . Now the Thai Dragons are going crazy. Plants much bigger then first years ,etc.

So my question is how hard would it be to try and keep eggplant or tomatoes alive through winter? Any recomended varieties for this? Anyone done this outside of a hothouse?

The following thread was started by Brian on June 16, 2009 at 12:42 am PST

Jeff in Modesto has, mine die here

Jeff in Modesto has, mine die here, even when I leave them in the ground and cover them totally and seal to the ground.

But Jeff is warmer in Modesto, and I have seen his over wintering peppers. He had on pic, where the plant was like 8 feet tall or abouts. It got caught in a photo of something else. Modesto is blessed with ideal air flow, and city Island heat.



The above followup was added by David Johnson, Waterford CA, zone 14 on June 16, 2009 at 1:06 pm PST.

probably not if you tear them out of the ground

I've had tomatoes in the ground go on producing through mild winters in So. Cal. and into as late as February. Generally I would have already pruned such plants back and "cleaned them up" after the typical fruiting season.

Here in Los Osos, where it is on average much cooler I've accidentally carried over a bell pepper that was already in a pot (large black nursery container). But it weakened in our damp, frigid winter mornings and I finally threw it out.

I think that these kind of tender perenniels could be protected and maybe nursed through, but plant vigor in our climates will decline under the less than favorable conditions. These plants want to be growing steadily, not sulking and waiting for temperatures to rise. Already virus prone, many of them will fall prey to various ills and die. Those that survive will probably not do well.

A better experiment might be to start with a containerized plant in the first place. Fall and Winter heating of the soil--if you use a black plastic container--would be a plus, but cold air is still not deal.

Greenhouses (which I covet)............and remember, people grow tomatoes and cukes in greenhouses all the time--and for fruit. Varieties bred for that environment abound in seed catalogs (parthenocarpic or otherwise). I'm going to try a short vine parth. cuke in my little cold frame in late summer (potted) and see what happens. Ditto with a small non-parth. tomato.

The above followup was added by Steve in Los Osos on June 16, 2009 at 3:11 pm PST.

Varieties for winter Green house


You might try a tomato that is recomended for its ability to set fruit in cool weather (most wont). I believe someone at origon state released a few varieties, and ther is another called San fransisco fog that may set better in a cool winter cold frame. No need for parth, as tomatoes self polinate naturally without the need for insect polinators (gravity does the work).


The above followup was added by Jeff (woodland) on June 16, 2009 at 4:38 pm PST.

Annual - Biennial

Aren't tomatoes all annual, meaning that you might nurse a plant into winter, but it is unlikely to come out the other side?

Peppers can be perrenial or biennial so they can cover at least two years. My pernnial peppers in the garden carry fruit almost all through winter. They may get smacked in August (our winter depths) but push new leaf and fruit again in spring. I have one right now with fruit that's 4 years old. I had a 'gringo killer' perrennial that I cut out once it reached
5' x 4' in the vegetable patch. Thjis was at least 5 years old.

The above followup was added by Nigel(NZ) on June 16, 2009 at 4:50 pm PST.

exclusively cool weather here

Jeff: if someone has bred it, I've tried it, including "Oregon Spring" and the others. Only five short blocks from the back bay and subject to dense marine fog when the inland areas heat up in the summer, one has to be creative when dealing with the heat-loving vegetables of summer :-)

I think tomatoes will pollinate freely when the blossoms are jostled sufficiently. Some greenhouse growers actually use electric toothbrushes to "buzz" the flowers slightly in order to increase the fruit set for non-parth varieties.

Nigel: tomatoes are definitely perenniel and rampant growers in favorable climates, but very tender. Disease generally finishes them off in less favorable situations.

The above followup was added by Steve in Los Osos on June 16, 2009 at 7:00 pm PST.


I can get them to go for a couple of years at least if we have a happy winter (tomatos), I think they live for years in QLD

The above followup was added by Jason on June 16, 2009 at 7:11 pm PST.

Cherry tomatoes

I've had cherry tomatoes stay alive against a sunny wall and make it through the Winter. On the hill they would not die.

But the problem is with wetness - the rainy season will cause them to get diseased, especially when it's on the cool side.

In Pasadena, I used to grow tomatoes as perennials through the Winter, and I would get ok quality fruit all the way through the Winter on some varieties,

As a whole, it's really a waste of time. You're best off growing them as annuals in Norcal.

The above followup was added by Axel on June 16, 2009 at 9:03 pm PST.

thanks, what about Eggplant?

Thanks for all the info.

What about the Eggplant? I've seen some pics of those from warmer non-USclimates and from the size it looks like they've been growing for a couple of years.

The above followup was added by Brian on June 16, 2009 at 9:49 pm PST.

Ed Hume Seeds specializes in seeds for short seasons and cool climates...

They have the Oregon State tomatoes(cool weather resistant): Oregon Spring, Legend, Siletz. I'm trying these to see how late in the year they will produce fruit, and also how early in the spring they will bear.

They're also the only source I could find for Prizehead lettuce seeds.

The above followup was added by John 9b Topanga, Ca on June 17, 2009 at 1:52 am PST.

Some plants that we consider annuals are perennial in more tropical areas

Some plants that we consider annuals are perennial in more tropical or warm winter areas, peppers are like that, and just one of many plants. I think tomatoes would be too, and would grow like other similar plants in the family.


The above followup was added by David Johnson, Waterford CA, zone 14 on June 17, 2009 at 7:19 am PST.

Territorial Seed Co.

in Oregon has the whole slew of "oregon etc." tomatoes as well as other early varieties bred for short seasons.

FWIW, here in Los Osos I have *always* had luck with "Taxi", a yellow, sub-acid variety. It may be a bit mild for some people, but it is reliable in this iffy tomato growing area, reasonably disease resistant and an generous yielder.

Eggplants have even higher heat requirements than tomatoes and I would be surprised if you could nurse one through the Fall, Winter and Spring. Of course, I've yet to nurse one through the *Summer* here....but I keep trying :-)

The above followup was added by Steve in Los Osos on June 17, 2009 at 8:28 am PST.

Tomatoes in SD

I have let the tomatoes go through winters but find that they do not produce well. Here a new seedling will quickly outgrow and outproduce a Tomato that has gone past one year.

The above followup was added by George on June 17, 2009 at 2:12 pm PST.

guess I'll see what makes it.

Well I also suspect that a lot of varietis since they are treated as "one year" things have been selected for early fruiting at expense of year 2+ health and fruiting.

I have about 10+ varieties right now. I guess I'll just see what makes it.

The above followup was added by Brian on June 20, 2009 at 11:00 am PST.


Use a greenhouse, even a small plastic one, for winter tomatoes, using relatively young vigorous plants or cuttings. Even then, flavour and vigour are likely to suffer if night temperatures drop very much.
Capsicum plants are more long lived and can survive well in the garden; perhaps with a bit of extra protection. Phoenix -like, they reshoot in the spring, although probably not all that much sooner than fresh plants.
The only eggplants I've seen survive the winter well have been grafted onto a big spiny Solanum - I forget the exact name.

The above followup was added by Lachlann, Sth Coast, NSW on July 05, 2009 at 7:29 am PST.

Please note that you are viewing posts from the vintage Cloudforest forum. These are un-moderated posts made by un-registered users. Every effort has been made to clean up the old archives, but we cannot guarantee the contents. If you find an offensive post, please bring it to our attention and we will remove it.

It is not possible to post to the old archives. If you wish to follow up on one of the posts in the archives, please make a reference of the post URL and start a new topic in the Fruits, Rare Fruits and Exotics forum.

Welcome Guest

Please register or login if you would like to post. It is currently Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:21 pm. (All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]).

Getting Around the Cafe


Who is online

In total there are 558 users online :: 7 registered, 0 hidden and 551 guests (based on users active over the past 300 minutes)
Most users ever online was 977 on Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:19 pm

Registered users: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], Google Feedfetcher, Magpie [crawler], Majestic-12 [Bot], Twitter, Yahoo [Bot]