Most of them are coming back. 12 out of 15. Will these produce this year if I can keep them from freezing again? They've been babied in a heated greenhouse ever since. I know I'll have to harden them off before going into my unheated greenhouse but hate to spend anymore time or room on them if they won't produce well.

I'll plant these tomatoes on the southside of my greenhouse where they can get direct sunlight when I pull the plastic up. These particular tomatoes are the regular garden varieties, not meant to be grown in greenhouses. Another reason I'm worried I'm wasting space...or would it be better to keep them in pots and just move in and out of the greenhouse to be able to get sunlight? And wait until my hothouse tomatoes come in the mail to be planted in my main greenhouse?

tomato plants


1 Answer 1


The plants in your picture appear very healthy. They are recovering very well and have the potential to produce a good crop. I see you have the variety 'Better Boy', which has been successfully grown in heated greenhouses. However, it is day-length sensitive, so the productivity will drop in late October/early November, even inside a heated greenhouse. But this is an indeterminate variety, so the set-back will not affect potential yield. This variety also has been in the Guinness book of world records with 342 lbs from a single plant in one year.

If all the plants are looking as good as the ones in the pics, and producing flower buds, they should be worth your time at least until the new plants coming in the mail start producing. They will do by far the best in the heated greenhouse, because big temperature fluctuations can cause blossom drop.

If they are going into the unheated greenhouse, they won't be quite as worthwhile, because tomatoes like staying above 55 degrees Fahrenheit to produce. You mentioned before that in your area, it is possible to get a freeze at any time during the year, so even inside an unheated greenhouse, the plants will start getting night-chilled before they have produced much.

As for moving outside to receive sun during the day, this is a good idea as long as there isn't a big difference in temperature between the inside and outside air. Also, the plants will not grow or develop well if the stems and the leaves keep getting brushed against or moved around too much. These plants will get rather large (mine have reached over 6' in height before), so some kind of support is needed. If you will be moving the plants, the supports will have to be individual, and attached to the plants' pots.

The plants should produce under a film that lets through 70% or better of the sunlight. Below that, you will see a marked decrease in production.

I'd say you have at least a month until the plants start bearing, so if you think that's cuting it close, you can just dispose of the plants. I personally think they have a future, and you can get at least enough tomatoes to pay for the plants here, if not the pots/mix/fertilizer/heating fuel/water/time.

  • wow...what a great answer! Maybe I'll come up with others...grin. That was worth all the effort!! Thank you!
    – stormy
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 23:21
  • All but 3 plants are producing heavily. I've been taking them outside for full sun everyday and have had huge yields. Kept them in pots (10 gal). Dealing with powdery mildew. Hate that stuff. Hate spraying Neem. Gonna look into this subject a bit more closely...powdery mildew!! Got great salsa!! Next year, heirloom tomatoes, non-GMO all the way. And varieties meant for the greenhouse.
    – stormy
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 22:36
  • @stormy sounds good, but better boy isn't a GMO. But heirlooms are awesome. I left you a new question, see the questions list. :) Yes, powdery mildew is nasty. I usually use sulfur of copper based fungicides, they're more potent than neem.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 22:39
  • When do you use them? Prior to or after symptoms? I've never used proper fungicides. Powdery Mildew is supposed to be the only fungal infection that can be treated AFTER infection. Hey, I have to admit I CRAM plants together. Never have any soil exposed...sigh. But I do thin, prune and otherwise work at air circulation. Squash, cucs, tomatoes are so vulnerable to this stuff...
    – stormy
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 22:45
  • @stormy This would make a great new question. I usually treat after symptoms appear, but before it's bad, like the first spots.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 22:59

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