Many of us that live in colder climates where we get freezes in the winter are under the assumption that tomato and pepper plants (bell and hot) are annuals. In warmer climates where it does not freeze they are actually perennials.
So the first way to get free tomato and pepper plants for next season is to dig your current plants up, put them in pots and grow them in your home or a warm greenhouse through the colder months (anything less than 45° f). If you do dig them up and pot them, harvest the fruits first then prune them before bringing them into your home. Once in your home, treat them as a houseplant until next season when you can plant them out again and there are no frosts.
Unfortunately, I do not have enough room in my home to pot my plants up and do this so I am going to do the second method of getting free plants for next season.
The second method is to take cuttings and propagate them in water. This will be my first time doing this so I don’t know how it’s going to work out. But I do know that both tomato and pepper plants can be propagated in water. So before the frost comes here and kills the plants I will take cuttings and put them in glasses of water to root. I’m hoping to be able to grow the cuttings in the water until about a month before next planting season. When that time comes I will pot the cuttings up and grow them in pots until it is time to plant, of course hardening them off before planting outdoors. This will be a more space saving way to do it although I wish I could put up my plants and bring them inside because then the plants would be 2 years old next season and a lot bigger probably producing a lot more fruit. I won’t be able to plant until next May which will be about 7 months of growing the cuttings in water and that is why I am unsure how this method will work but I won’t know until I try. It’s worth a shot.
I don’t really mind starting the plants from seed, but I thought this method would be a little easier and I would have bigger plants to start out with rather than small seedlings. It would also save money from having to purchase plants at the store next season.
Anyway, I just wanted to share this tip with you in case you also thought it was a good idea and maybe you can take cuttings or put up your plants before the frost comes.
Monica’s art printed on useful and decorative items available at Fine art america. Any purchase help support this blog. Thank you.