Every four to five years here in Tucson the winter fails to deliver a very hard freeze. (Now that I have mentioned this a freak weather event could drop the temperature down to 25˚F tonight). For the most part this winter temperatures in Tucson have generally remained in the 70s during the day and 40s at night. The lowest we have dropped was to just below freezing.
|This little tomato plant managed to live through a light frost|
Though a lack of freezing temperature can be a real pain for the gardener when it comes to next year’s insect pests, an occasional warm spell enables us to enjoy something that few other U.S. gardeners get to indulge in – a fresh January tomato.
|Even in a warm climate January tomatoes are risky. That's why I have one plant!|
Growing tomatoes in January is not for the faint of heart. In planting my solitary tomato plant I knew I would be taking my chances. The plant did sustain some damage from a few slight frosts, but being next to a sun-bathed south-facing wall has greatly enhanced its ability to weather the cold and produce a few delicious tomatoes. So – should you be coming upon winter in a southern climate and be thinking of tossing that young tomato plant – perhaps it can be transplanted into a warmer location to extend its life and your harvest.