Bring In the Garden Veggies

Tidy Treats Hybrid Cherry Tomato in my kitchen garden on the deck in early September.

It is early October as I finish up this post. We have yet to have a frost, however, in early September I was preparing for the much colder nights to come. Tomatoes and peppers like warmth and so I felt it was time to retire the two cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, and jalapeños in my potager and bring them indoors. This is a new season-extension technique for me. I plan to keep them in the house as long as they are healthy and fruiting and then treat them as starter plants for the spring. This will be another ongoing experiment and I will post added detail as I learn what works and what doesn't.

Setting up the Indoor Cherry Tomato and Basil Garden

The "snack corner" of our dining room also known as our indoor winter garden with tomatoes, basil, dill, marjoram, parsley, thyme, cilantro, lettuce, bell peppers, and jalapeños.

My principal reason for summer gardening is to enjoy homegrown tomatoes. We love them. My girls have taken to calling the corner of our dining room pictured above the "snack corner," as they remove every ripe tomato from the vine and pop them in their mouths before I can ever use them in a salad. I had to ask them to refrain from eating them this week so I could get at least one picture of how well they are doing in their sunny window.

These compact hybrid cherry tomatoes lend themselves well to this project as I know they will not grow out of control. I purchased two early this summer from the garden center: A Chocolate Sprinkles Cherry and a Tidy Treats Cherry. 



I purchased two, 2-gallon pots from the local hardware store and drilled a 1-inch hole in the bottom

I dug up the two cherry tomatoes from my kitchen garden and shook off most of the dirt.

I pulled the roots through the 1-inch hole in the bottom of the bucket and held them up as I added potting soil.

To protect the dangling tomato plant, I used my hummingbird feeder hooks as I topped off the bucket with potting soil and transplanted the basil plants.

While these were still outside I gave them a deep watering.

I bought two plant hooks from the hardware store and centered them above the windows.


I had an 8-inch by 6-foot board in the basement to which I attached grow lights using string to offer additional light. These are sitting on top of the plant hooks unattached.


Voila! Fall and Winter cherry tomatoes! Since I brought them in, they have put on new growth and new fruit.


Bringing in the Peppers

My bell peppers and jalapeños did reasonably well on the yurt deck this summer and still had peppers coming on so I also brought these indoors. Once they stop fruiting, I will explore helping them go dormant for the winter and storing them in the garage until spring. For the jalapeño plant, I simply transplanted it into an extra pot I had on hand. The bell pepper I added to a stackable pot in which I will be growing herbs and lettuce this winter. The bell pepper has since had a terrible outbreak of aphids so I have been removing leaves, cleaning leaves, and treating leaves with neem oil. It will be a hard-won battle should I prevail.



Which plants are you bringing in this season? What are your tips and tricks for extending the life of your summer garden plants? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

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