Tomato gardening advice?

Sarah R asks: Tomato gardening advice?
I live in Eastern North Carolina, and I decided a little bit late in the season to attempt growing tomatoes for the first time. At the end of July, I purchased a fully grown tomato plant. Within a couple of weeks flowers started showing up, but within 2 weeks or so, those flowers fell off. Since it was late August at that point, I gave up hope. But in mid-September, flowers started growing, and a couple of weeks later, tomatoes started growing. Now it is mid-October, and I have about 10 tomatoes on my plant. They have not started turning red yet, but they keep on getting bigger. With the weather cooling off, I am desperate for advice on my plant. Is there any way to protect my plant from the cool weather, in hopes of saving the tomatoes?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

My plant is in a pot, not in the ground.

The answer voted best is:

Answer by Rottie Mom
Water the plant before an expected cold snap, then cover it with a piece of fabric. I bought a bolt of felt to use for covering plants. It’s usually 72″ wide, so it’ll cover fairly tall plants. .

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  1. it is possible to grow the plant inside the house. put it in the biggest pot you have

  2. I need a bit more information as to if it’s on a pot or ground. If it’s in a pot that’s easy. Set it outside if temps are above freezing and bring it in to a sunny location if it’s not. If it’s in the ground it becomes a bit trickier. I place gallon water jugs around the plant at the base that are full of water. During the day, the sun warms the water and I can cover the plant and jugs at night with a heavy blanket and keep the heat in. Just DO NOT use plastic. You can also build a frame around it to help keep the blanket off of it.
    You can of course, scrap all the ideas and pick the green tomatoes and let them ripen indoors. Just place in a paper sack or on newspaper.

  3. Okay, I suspect your tomatoes have not had decent pollinators, like bees and butterflies, and that is why you haven’t gotten fruit. You need to pollinate the flowers yourself by gently running your hands all over the places where you see flowers. I realize that isn’t what you’re asking, but I think that should be addressed.

    Assuming you have your plants in an outdoor flowerbed, or cannot bring them inside, when the night temps are near freezing, cover the plants with clear plastic to keep the frost off the leaves and fruit or flowers and remove in the morning when it has gotten a bit warmer.

    For future reference, you can plant your seedlings next year after your last frost date. Use google to determine what that date is in your area. This will give you a nice long growing season. I planted mine around Mothers Day and I live in Connecticut, so I would imagine you can start much earlier than me.

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