Jack and the Tomato Stalk – Part 2

Below is my first blog on my little tomato in the basement experiment. If you have not read it please do. BUT for those that have, my little tomato is turning red! I am so excited! The plant is still getting blossoms and soon may be able to go outside again and I may get a BLT soon.

Part 1 (published 2/14/17)

So we have all read Jack and the Beanstalk but I have my own stalk growing to the ceiling in our basement!

Although most areas of the United States treat a tomato plant as an annual it is actually a perennial in its native environment which is Central and South America. If those are terms are confusing, an annual is a plant that has a life cycle from germination of the seed to production of new seed within one year and then dies. A perennial‘s life cycle is two years or more.

Last year while cleaning out our garden of its 80+ tomato plants, there was one tomato plant that was thriving in its pot on the deck. We had a very late frost so it had been outside for several months – it was started from seed in February and it was October and no frost yet.  I wondered if I brought it inside, placed it near my grow lites and kept it from frost if it would survive the winter. Would I get tomatoes? Would it simply survive and I could move it back outside in the spring and get tomatoes from it in the summer? Would it simply whither and die in a few weeks?

After being inside for a couple of months I saw flowers. Then I wondered if pollination would occur. Tomatoes don’t need bees to pollinate but they are not true self pollinators. They typically need wind or assistance from a pollinator or an animal. Animals can create enough vibration and movement for pollination. Inside I did not not have any of these available near the tomato but thought I would try it anyway.

The plant is growing and growing as you can see. Honestly I have forgotten which tomato variety I have in this pot and the tag is no longer legible. It is obvious that it is indeterminate – it is viney and tall. If it was outside it would be growing in all directions and sprawling in all directions. In our basement, it is now between the joists. I told hubby we would have to cut a hole in the basement ceiling to allow it to continue to grow.

I have recently, to my pleasure, discovered a tomato! I hope it will ripen under these lites and I will be able to figure out which variety I have here. Can you see it in the picture below?

If the plant continues to grow and thrive I will pop it back on the deck in the spring and see if it continues through the season.

The experiment has been really fun. I may bring more tomatoes in next year if this is successful. Do you think I will be eating a fresh tomato soon?

I will let you know!

Happy Unleashing your experiments!

FGU