We knew from word “go” that growing tomatoes in Alaska takes some effort. Even the late start back in June couldn’t discourage us. We planted 5 starts in 4 buckets before we had actual beds. When we finally had beds, we decided to leave the tomatoes in the buckets so that we could move them indoors as needed.
We began moving them indoors at night in August when the temperature dipped into the 40s, every day hauling them back out onto the deck for maximum sun. Before heading to Kluane, we moved them indoors to stay, placing them in tubs by a south-facing sliding-glass door. We can fill the tubs with water and the plants seem to suck it up as needed.
Tomatoes have been forming for what seems like ages, and new flowers are still coming on. Nowadays we’re pinching the new flowers off so that all the energy will go into growing and ripening the existing tomatoes. It’s October, after all.
People have been shaking their heads and encouraging us to enjoy green tomato salsa, green tomato chutney, and fried green tomatoes, but we still hold out hope for red tomatoes. Or, a red tomato, at the very least. We’re not giving up yet. I have a grow light bulb somewhere from years ago when I tried to keep a fuscia plant alive through a Denali winter, and I planned to dig it out this week.
Then look what we found this morning: