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Hi there, I was recently astounded to discover that tomatoes are a perennial plant, and can grow for many years in their natural habitat. I gather the issue is they don’t like the cold and tend to die in winter. It got me thinking, is it possible to over winter tomatoes in NZ, with garden netting to keep the frost off, or in a greenhouse perhaps?

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Hi Anne,

You certainly can give it a go overwintering your tomatoes. Yes, they do last longer than 1 year just like chillies or capsicum but a lot of gardeners would rather not go to the hassle of overwintering them as it can be a hard task.

The winter months will kill them if left outside, especially with the first frost. A glass house would be the ideal situation to keep them going, you can also try a very sunny, warm place inside if you have the room.

They will not produce flowers or fruit as they need a warm temperature and the right number of sunlight hours for that, but you may be able to keep them going until next spring.

If you have the means to overwinter them I would give it a go, if it doesn’t quite work out at least it would have been an experiment worth investigating. I feel like I may even try it with my chillies this year and we can swap notes. 🙂

All the best. I look forward to hearing how you went next season. 🙂

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