Having a vegetable garden is exciting. While it may take time and effort, the journey is worth it: you get to eat the fruits of your sweat and learn that they taste nothing like the products you buy at the supermarket! Plus, you will probably have fun along the way!
One of the most common veggies to grow in your yard are tomatoes. And the best part is that they are relatively easy to grow if you ensure you give them what they need to thrive.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to maintain them. Tomatoes need plenty of sunlight and adequate moisture and might benefit from extra food (you can use a balanced fertilizer, compost, or manure).
Plus, you might have to keep an eye out for attacks from pests and diseases that might ruin your harvests.
And you might be wondering if all of the time spent to ensure your plants produce healthy fruits is worth it.
If you ever asked yourself: “Do tomato plants come back?” you are in the right place. Here, we’ll go over everything you must know about growing tomatoes and whether they will bear fruits more than once.
Do Tomato Plants Come Back?
If you know something about growing tomatoes, you are probably aware that there are “determinate” and “indeterminate” varieties.
If you don’t, don’t worry: we are here to help you! Indeterminate species are also known as “vining” plants and will grow up to 15 feet tall (depending on the variety).
These plants bear fruits more than once and keep producing until frost, while determinate tomatoes will only give you one harvest per season. Determinate tomato plants (or bush varieties) stop growing when they reach four to five feet tall.
But can a tomato plant keep producing even years after you plant it? Technically, tomatoes are perennial vines. However, they don’t tolerate low temperatures and tend to die after the harvest is over.
For this reason, we tend to grow them as annual plants. But with the proper care (and the right climate conditions), you might be able to get new tomatoes from old plants.
For instance, in tropical regions, where temperatures never fall below 65F (even during the winter), tomato plants can bear fruits for more than one year.
The same might apply if you grow your tomatoes in a greenhouse and keep a constant temperature (you must heat it when temperatures drop). Under such circumstances, we recommend you grow your tomatoes in containers to prevent them from overheating in the greenhouse during the summer.
As soon as the weather warms up, allow your tomatoes to spend the summer on the patio or yard.
If you don’t have a greenhouse, consider protecting your plants during the winter: this solution will only work if you live in a region where the cold is mild.
Don’t forget that tomatoes won’t survive frost. If your plants don’t survive, you might have to buy new seeds each year and dispose of your old plants at the end of the season.
But remember: even in the areas where temperatures stay optimal for the growth of tomatoes all year round, your plants will only live for two to three years.
Tomato Plants Care
Tomatoes take about 50 to 100 days to produce fruits after you transplant their seedlings outdoors. To boost production, consider planting companion plants that attract beneficial pollinators: a lack of pollination might result in your plants not producing fruits.
Also, ensure your tomato plants get all the sunshine they need: pick a sunny location that receives at least six hours of direct sun each day. Keep your plants moist (but not soggy): consider adding a thick layer of mulch around them to improve water retention and regulate the soil temperature.
Don’t forget to prune your plants to allow adequate airflow and reduce the risk of disease and infection. Also, eliminating dead or unhealthy branches will boost fruit production, allowing your plant to focus on creating new growth to replace the old ones.
Do Tomato Plants Come Back?: The Bottom Line
The life span of your tomato plants depends on the variety you plant and on where you live. These plants do not usually last more than one season due to their inability to tolerate low temperatures and frost.
Related Article: How to Get Thick Stems on Tomato Plants