Tomatoes can be an aggressive presence in the garden, with overwhelming vines and shoots that reach and take over an entire area. These plants require specific conditions, though, and thrive outside only during their specific season. Growing tomatoes year-round means meeting those needs all year, and moving the plants to protected areas to keep them happy.
Tomato plants need full, bright sunlight and the warmth that comes with it if they're to thrive. In the outdoors, plant tomatoes in spots where they'll get six to eight hours of sun every day.
Tomato plants don't tolerate drying, regardless of the season. Maintain consistent soil moisture with 2 to 3 inches of water a week for the growing plants. Split waterings up so that you're giving tomatoes water every couple of days.
Soil and Feeding
Tomatoes need rich, quick-draining soil with plenty of nutrition. Plant them with generous amounts of organic compost, in both outdoor gardens and potted situations. Give tomatoes phosphorus-heavy fertilizer once a month in any situation, and especially when the plants begin to bloom and develop fruit.
Tomatoes are summertime vegetables, which means they grow naturally only during the summer, when nature satisfies their light and warmth needs. Plant tomatoes outside after the last frost and maintain them through the summer.
In fall, when temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, tomatoes stop growing. At that time, gardeners must move the plants indoors, to places where they can control lighting and temperature, and protect tomatoes from frost.
Tomatoes thrive over winter in greenhouses, and will continue to grow and bloom as long as conditions are closely monitored. Maintain temperatures of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and keep the lights on to supplement natural lighting and give tomatoes their required six to eight hours of exposure every day. Increase your waterings to account for drying from greenhouse heaters and fans.