This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
There is no difficulty in growing and fruiting the Tomato through the winter and spring months, where such is desired. Indeed, no fruit-bearing plant is more easy to manage thus artificially, with the possession of a suitable structure. A close and sheltered glazed pit is the best and most economical, although a moderately warm plant-house is nearly equally convenient; but there must be a full exposure to the sun, or the blossoms will not fertilize. The seed may be sown the last week in August, and when large enough for transplanting, remove the plants into the house, having previously prepared for their reception. A suitable provision may be made by fixing boards, with the sides upright, along the inside front of the house, and three feet from it; fill in one foot deep with good fresh mold, and place the plants three feet asunder in the bed so formed. If this arrangement can not be adopted on account of some peculiarity in the house, large boxes filled with rich earth will answer the purpose to almost equal advantage. As the plants continue to grow upward, train them near the glass, in the same way as a Grape vine, only allow the aide shoots to spread out, so as to cover the whole surface so far as they extend.
This may be done very simply, by stretching copper wires horizontally along On the under side of the roof, and eight inches from it After planting, give plenty of air till cold nights come on, when a little fire heat is necessary. The most suitable temperature through the night, is from 55° to 60° ; and this ought to be maintained pretty regularly. In the day time it may be allowed, with sun heat, to rise to 75° or 80°, always admitting air on every suitable opportunity. In cloudy or foggy weather, it is well to keep close, or to give air very carefully, as the plants, if exposed to too much damp and cold, are subject to be attacked by a black mildew, which destroys the leaves and weakens the blossoms, rendering them abortive. If such should occur, sprinkle a little sulphur upon the coolest parts of the heating apparatus and give a trifle more heat for a few days, when the pest will disappear. As the blossoms continue to expand, go over the whole once a day, when the sun shines, and give them a sudden but light flirt with the finger, which will liberate the pollen and greatly assist impregnation; and nip out the end of each shoot, a leaf or two above the flowers, to help the embryo fruit to swell.
I have never been troubled with insects, in forcing this fruit, but if Red Spider (Acarus) should appear, the sulphur will destroy it; and Green or Black Fly (Aphis) may be got rid of by fumigating with tobacco. No further care is requisite, than occasionally removing superfluous or weak branches, withered leaves, and such like; and the crop, with attention, will continue to produce from Christmas until those in the open ground are ready for use.