As a gardener, who doesn’t like to grow some juicy and round tomatoes in their garden? But if those tomato plants gonna die after they had ripened, how sad they are going to be? Actually, do tomato plants die after harvest?
Tomato plants usually die after harvest for two main reasons. Determined tomato plants are dying because they have been completed there living period after the last fruit has matured. Indeterminate tomato plants die after harvest because they produce their last crop just before the winter season comes in.
Today, I would like to give you the best information that I could gather about “do tomato plants die after harvest them” and many related important questions. Keep reading to get the most out of it!
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Why do tomato plants die after harvest?
This may be one of a point that you are so interesting.
But before I give you the answer to this question, you have to realize, there are two main types of tomatoes that we use to grow in our garden.
Those are determinate tomatoes and indeterminate tomatoes. These two types of tomatoes have a huge difference in their crop, and life expectancy.
Determinate tomato plants explanation and why they die after harvest
Gardeners called determinate tomato plants for which are growing up for a specific height and size.
They are not over grow from that height, but they provides a big amount of tomatoes within sometihing like just four months.
And the plant is gonna die after picking up the last tomato. So the special feature of the determinate tomato plants is they die after they provide their first yields.
If there is not a special disease or a fungal attack on the plant, the determinate tomato can be live for 3 – 4 months without dying. But when they reach their few months of lifetime, nothing can almost save them from death.
Also, determinate tomato plants are performing well even when they grow in containers.
Therefore, the key take is determinate tomato plants die after harvest them.
Do indeterminate tomato plants die after harvest?
If you remember the day that you bought seeds of the tomato plant that have been planted on your garden for more than six months.
At the moment if you have that packet, just look at that carefully. I bet you 99% of the time there will be a tag that says “indeterminate” somewhere else on that packet.
What are called indeterminate tomato plants?
Indeterminate tomato plants are the type of tomatoes, that most of the gardeners often grow on their gardens. Because their lifetime is longer than determinate tomato plants.
When we consider the lifetime of indeterminate tomato plants, it’s important to know about do they die after harvest them?
Let me answer it this way.
Indeterminate tomato plants are gonna die once the frozen is been hit to your area. Because as same as most other plants, tomatoes also hard to fight against the cold weather.
But that doesn’t totally means that indeterminate tomato plants die after harvest them in summer.
They don’t provide you the tomatoes anymore when it begins the winter. These plants giving out their yield until the end of the summer and dies quickly once the frozen arrives.
So sometimes it could seem like indeterminate tomato plants die after harvest. But if you look at that scientifically, you will find that is not totally true.
You can read about USDA recommended tomato grades and standards from here.
When is the end of tomato season?
Most of the time seasonality for tomatoes is affecting indeterminate tomato plants. Because determinate tomato plants are dying after they end up the first harvest season
According to my experience and the data, I have collected, I have found that the end of tomato fruiting season is when the frost is being hit.
Tomato plants can also be known as perennials which same as sweet potatoes and bell peppers. Perennials are often dying in the winter season. They love warm weather conditions and they are uncomfortable in low and cold weather conditions.
That’s why the frozen is the end of tomato season and tomato plants die after the last summer harvest. Many perennials including tomatoes getting weak the temperature becomes lower than 10 C.
End of tomato season plant care
Now imagine your tomato plants are almost at the end of tomato season. So you completely know that your tomato plants gonna die after you harvest the last juicy tomatoes!
So what could you do to get some better results with your plants at the end of the tomato season?
I have brought you some secret tips. Let’s go together!
.(1) Cutting flowers
When it has started the winter season your tomato plants don’t provide new flowers, leaves, or fruits anymore. Because the power and the strength of the plant are decreasing day by day.
So to get some better results at the end of the tomato season, you can cut the flowers that hanging on your tomato plants.
You might think, “what the hell is that” because flowers are the signals that your plant is going to be rich with fruits recently. But this will not happen when the frost season arrives.
Because of the cold weather it getting, the plant won’t able to provide its best to the flowers and fruits. So you will miss chances to have some more juicy tomato fruits if your plants got more flowers when the winter arrives.
And your tomato plants will die after they have done their best for the fruits they’ve got on their branches at that moment whether you harvest them or not.
So when you cut those flowers they will use their every single nutritions to improve those fruits and make them juicier.
Also if you can do this process while you putting some fertilizers or compost on your tomato plants, I think that can make you happier as a gardener.
(2) Hanging the tree
This method is really secret among gardeners. Only the most experienced gardeners know this.
As that heading sounds you have to hang up your tomato tree somewhere else.
Let’s see how it’s gonna work.
As the first step, you have to do is pull out your tomato plant from the soil which you think will die on the frost.
Then you all have to do is hang the tree upsidedown in a covered place that doesn’t have the sunlight. Also, you have to support it with a temperature of 16 C to 22 C. A place like a garage will fit for this job.
Actually, I don’t know the scientific reason for this process. But I know that this works really well. And I have seen the effect of this method in my life of gardening.
You can read the pros and cons of hanging a tomato tree upside down from here.
(3) Putting tomatoes on a paper bag
This method is often use by many gardeners.
You know determinate tomato plants die after the first crop, and indeterminate tomato plants die after harvest before the frost arrives.
So whenever we are picking up the crop of last season on tomato plants, we don’t need to leave the green ones on the plant. We need to clear the all tomatoes on the plant because the tomato plant is going to die.
After you picked up those fruits, you have to put green ones into a paper bag. Then also put an apple on that paper bag.
When you put that apple in, it will give your tomatoes the chemical called Ethylene, which helps fruits to ripen. But this will never bring the same delicious taste that you will get from the tree.
As an alternative to this method, you can put the green tomatoes in a rice bag. It will also help them to ripen quickly.
What to do with tomato plants end of the season?
Now the end of the tomato season has arrived and you harvested the tomatoes and plants are dying right now. What should you do now?
This process can be known as the finishing process of tomato planting in the garden.
However, firstly you have to pull out the tomato plant from the soil. Don’t just cut it.
Then most gardeners are doing a huge mistake in the next process. They bury the dead tomato plants under the other plants to use as an organic fertilizer.
If that tomato plant having a fungal disease or any of bad quality, bury it under the other plants make it easy to spread that disease all around your garden.
Now you might be thinking “if I shouldn’t bury it directly under the other plants, probably I can mix it with compost”.
I also thought like that the first time I heard the above information. And also I have made it to action. Did you know what happened?
I messed up some of my ornamental plants by putting my tomato plant mixed compost on that. That’s because my old tomato plants had a fungal disease on their roots. But unfortunately, I don’t saw them!
So what does that means?
Mixing up these dead tomato plants with compost is still not safe because of the diseases they can have.
And I think your compost pile doesn’t have a high temperature like 63C, which can kill fungus on it.
Do tomato plants regrow every year?
I know that you are really loving tomato plants in your garden. It provides a beastliness to your garden, rather than just a fruit.
So you will probably love it if the tomato plants regrowing every year.
When we considering determinate tomato plants, they are dying after the first time we harvest them. But they are not going to regrow on their own.
Indeterminate tomato plants are also completely dying when it reaches the frozen season. Therefore, indeterminate tomatoes also not having a chance to regrow every year on their own.
Can I hold my tomato plants without dying after harvest, for next year
Tomato plants do not regrow every year its own. But yes, there are some tactics to grow your tomato plants without dying after harvest this winter.
(1) If you planted the tomato in a container, keep it indoor
This is a big advantage of growing a tomato plant in a container.
But no one can guarantee that you can have some nice tomatoes in the winter. Because inside a home you can’t give the exact conditions that the plant had on the outside.
Such as temperature and sunlight.
Tomato plants perform their best with below temperature conditions.
- 21 C – 29 C in the day time
- 15 C – 20 C in night time
When you planting a tomato tree in a container, try to plant it on a big basket or something it has enough space to grow in. Because you will get troubled if you don’t support your tomato plant with the same conditions on the outside.
Also, don’t forget to put drainage holes on that container. It helps to control the moisture of the soil. Make your tomato plant to feels like it’s growing on the soil of a garden.
(2) Over-wintering tomato cuttings
I think you have seen that many plant cuttings place in a water source until little roots coming out. Then we use them for plantings.
How about if you can follow this method for over-wintering tomatoes?
oakhillhomesteak.com recently experimented with this matter. You can have the information about does it actually work for you, If it isn’t, what you should have to do from there.
There are two min types of tomato plants called determinate and indeterminate.
Indeterminate tomato plants die after harvest. They will live no longer than 4 months.
Determinate tomato plants dying when the winter season arrives. But I can’t give a clear answer to, do indeterminate tomato plants die after harvest?
Usually, the tomato season ends when the frozen season arrives. And we should follow the recommended steps to care for the plant if we need to get the most out of the tomato plants.