winter tomatoes in Dallas

Well, it is rapidly approaching the first day of winter. I have about 9 tomato plants under plastic. They are not in perfect shape by any measure, but not bad. My first year to try to grow them this late so I had no idea if this experiment would work at all.
Overall I am surprised how easy it is to grow tomatoes this time of year. I'd say in many ways easier than in warmer times due to the lack of bugs and heat. It will be interesting to see if I can keep them producing through winter with the hopes of a good spring. Right now I am getting about 1/2 the production I would be seeing in peak times of the year. But with 9 plants I am not starving. I have not fertilized in about two months since the plants are already filling up the allotted framed space that I have built on the South side of my house.
Overall this endeavor has not cost me much, just what a 3.5 mil roll of plastic and a few 1 dollar 1 by 2"s at home depot and some tomato cages from Wal-Mart clearance. I have a few lamps with low watt bulbs to heat things on colder nights and a large rug for a ceiling, but we have only had a few hard freezes so far. I have them in pots, and they are in a fairly dense planting medium with probably more cow manure that most would dare with probably more hydrated lime that what seems sensible.
Ironically the variety most productive is a roma tomato I planted in February that somehow made it through the heat (grocery variety seed :). Grape tomatoes with seeds taken from a 4th of July vegi tray are strong too. They were planted in mid August from seed. Also from seed planted in August are a few heirloom varieties. These are Green Zebra, Pink Accordion, and Black Prince. None of these have ripened completely yet but they look promising... The most to least successful are in the order I listed.
Curious to see what others experience with growing cold frame / green house tomatoes in the winter months?
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On 21 Dec 2003 16:56:02 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@wtd.net (Tony) opined:

I have three plants in my greenhouse. Brandywine, Roma and Sweet Million. Sweet Million are doing best, the others limping along. There is not enough light for them to develop flowers, but I am going to cut them back next week and stop them from producing. Then, in spring I will plant them into the ground and see what happens. I can tell you that without proper nutrition, the fruit will be tart. Also, are you opening this cold frame during the day? Currently, in Austin, my 10'x20' greenhouse heats up to about 130 degrees if I keep it closed during the day. I have to open all the vents, door and windows during the day. I don't know the average temperature in Dallas, I forgot, but I think it's cooler up there than down here in the hills...during the day.
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