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pulling up vines

Posted by beckybeck VA 7a (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 11, 13 at 14:42

I have some tomatoes in raised beds and they are still ripening. I would like to plant some kale in those beds and it seems I should be doing that now. Average date for frost here is Oct. 22. Temps will be 50s to 70s next week. Can I pull up the tomatoes and put them on a mulched shady area of the yard under crepe myrtles until frost is imminent? I don't have space to hang vines up in a garage. Or is it just as well to pick the green tomatoes and bring them inside?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: pulling up vines

I would just pick the green tomatoes and discard the plants. You risk having the tomatoes fall off a hanging plant, and they could be ruined by being bruised. I just leave the tomatoes in a brown paper bag or even out in the open (but not in sun), and most of them ripen within a couple weeks.

RE: pulling up vines

Thanks. I pulled them up today and planted spinach, kale, and garlic. Do you compost your vines or put them in the trash?

RE: pulling up vines

I never compost my tomato plants (or any solanaceous plants) because I am worried about carrying over diseases from year to year, but I may be a little overcautious. If you are very good about building a compost pile that heats up enough so it destroys seeds and most diseases, and you are sure your plants didn't have any diseases that can overwinter, it's probably safe.

There was another thread on this subject a few days ago, and many experienced growers do compost their vines. See: Composting tomato plants.

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