I’ve had two Earth Boxes filled with great tomatoes this winter. I planted two Roma tomato plants in one earth Box and two cherry tomato plants in the another. I planted in early October when it was still fairly warm in Florida, but since there were only a few green tomatoes getting an early start, I just sat back and watched them grow. In early November we went off to Arizona for a month to visit family and while we were away the tomatoes got going pretty well, but fortunately still very few ripe tomatoes. My neighbor took care of them, coming over and filling the water bed in each of the Earth Boxes with about once a week. When we returned to Florida there were hundreds of green Roma tomatoes, but also lots of red ripe cherry tomatoes. My neighbor was starting to take advantage of those. The cherry tomatoes were very sweet — really outstanding, and we ate them like candy.
Fortunately the weather was pretty mild with no overnight hard or even light freezes. The ripe tomatoes really came on in earnest in late January have have continued right through until now when they are starting to slow down a bit. We’ve had at least 200 Roma tomatoes off the two plants and countless cherry tomatoes. At the high point of those yields we converted about 80-100 Roma tomatoes into tomato sauce that went into a baked dish of penne pasta, cheeze, meatballs and a few sprigs of broccoli.
In early February I put in another two cherry tomato plants and a couple of hybrid tomato plants in separate additional Earth Boxes. The original cherry tomato plants and Roma tomato plants are still yielding enough to give us sliced tomatoes for our every day noon time salads to which we also add fresh garden lettuce, green onions, basil leaves, and cilantro all from the surrounding plants in pots.
We’ve never had tomatoes like this last for nearly six months from young potted plants through to nearly the end. Also, while they are slowing down a bit they are still yielding ripe tomatoes and with a little tidying up and removal of dead vines we’re still seeing new yellow flowers that may come tomatoes. Since we’ll be her until late May before going north for summer in Ohio, it will be fun to see if we can still get a more prolonged yield through April and May or if the plants grow old at some point and self-terminate.