One-Year Old Tomato Plants

tomato plants

My tomato plants are turning one-year old this week.

tomato plants

I didn’t plant them.  They sprouted up from fallen tomato seeds from a stray tomato that was unpicked the previous year.

When I saw the little seedlings coming up, I decided to protect them from the winter frosts in hopes that I would have a jump start on the growing season in spring.

I covered them with sheets when temperatures dipped below 32 degrees and even put a light bulb underneath the sheets to provide additional warmth.

In the spring, I did get a jump-start on the tomato growing season.  They performed very well.

In May, as summer temperatures arrived – I put up shade cloth to shield them from the sun and keep them from burning up.

My hope was to be able to enjoy a fall harvest of tomatoes once the temperatures cooled.

Now that November has arrived, my tomato plants are covered with flowers, just waiting to form into new tomatoes.

I checked over my tomatoes today and this is what I found…

tomato plants

A single ripening tomato.

I’m not too sure I will see any more tomatoes form because soon we will be getting too cold.

I must admit that I have mixed feelings about working hard to help my tomatoes survive another winter.

I’m not sure why I feel this way.  It was worth it because I did get a jump-start on the growing season and as a result, got more tomatoes.

Even when working to protect tomatoes from the occasional freeze – there is no guarantee that they will survive.  A colder then normal winter will kill them no matter what protective measures I try.

Oh well.  At least I don’t have to make a decision for a few weeks.

**How about you?  Have you raised tomato plants for over a year?  Was it worth it?  Or was it easier to start off fresh with new tomato plants in the spring?


Grand Canyon University is getting ready for their third Run to Fight Children’s Cancer, which is a 5k/10k run that will raise money to support children and families dealing with childhood cancer.

The run will benefit the Children’s Cancer Network & Phoenix Children’s Hospital (a wonderful hospital – our son, Kai, had surgery there on his hip).

Please take a minute to check out the video link

which shows childhood cancer survivors in an honest, heartfelt way that will leave you inspired. 

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
2 replies
  1. Jennifer Lorenzetti
    Jennifer Lorenzetti says:

    I did keep a tomato alive for nearly a year in a container, and it resulted in a couple of really wonderful tomato sandwiches in December last year (plus an un-wonderful infestation of aphids in my sunroom). I've grown carrots for 14 months until they matured (but they are biennial anyway), onions for over a year, and leeks for a year before. Sometimes, you go with the plant's schedule rather than your own, and then it becomes your own personal quest.

  2. Sandy Yost
    Sandy Yost says:

    I have had tomato plants grow over a year. I grow Nichols Heirloom tomato from seeds from Native Seed Search in Tucson. They re-seed easily. Easy to grow. You get wonderful grade pink cherry tomatoes.

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