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For The Garden

Gardening suggestions for tomatoes hit by frost

Author: Cathy Cromell
Issue: February, 2013, Page 123



Q&A - ASK THE EXPERTS

Q - Our tomato plants got hit by a freeze, even though we covered them. They are loaded with fruit, some of which are turning translucent; then they start rotting on the vine. Should we harvest all the tomatoes and bring them indoors to ripen or leave them on the vine?

A - Remove any translucent fruit, which will rot, advises University of MCCE Master Gardener Olin Miller. Green tomatoes growing on undamaged stems should be OK and can be left on the vine to ripen as weather warms. However, these tomatoes are usually not as tasty as they would be if they had been transplanted early enough to ripen in the fall, before cold weather hits. In the Phoenix area, MCCE experts recommend transplanting tomatoes from Feb. 15 through March, to ripen before summer heat, or from July 15 through Aug. 15, to ripen before winter cold.
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