The first few years I grew tomatoes, the plants got big enough that the little tomatoes formed, and then the hottest days of summer hit. When it gets into the 90’s and 100’s in Utah, tomatoes stop growing. They don’t start growing again until the weather drops to the 80’s in the late summer and early fall. As a result, tomatoes don’t ripen until just about the first tomato-killing frost.
Having no tomatoes until just before the frost doesn’t put food on the table for an entire summer. I might as when just use freeze dried tomatoes if I can’t get a longer harvest season.
I thought about jumpstarting my tomatoes by sprouting them inside under grow lights in late winter or early spring. However, growing plants under electric lights seems to be against all my prepping instincts. Grow lights don’t work when there is no power.
My second option was buying or building a small greenhouse. We have strong winds in Woods Cross, so I’d need to spend some money to have a greenhouse that wouldn’t collapse or blow away. The price was just too much for me.
Finally, I learned about cold frames. Cold frames are mini knee-high greenhouses. I realized that Cold frames were the tomato seedling growing tool I needed.