I pull the stakes out and then mow them with a grass cutter. It's a good thing to do even if you till them in. Most tillers can't handle big plants and the finer you cut them up the sooner the material will brake down. Too much work and it's not easy on your back to pull an old tomato plant up. Use the grass cutter and then till in the spring!
When the summer is over, do I need to pull my tomato plants out of the garden?
you can till them under, tho
Reply:I pull my out(would never survive Winter) , quite easy or use a fork to lossen roots. You can put them into compost heap unless there has been major fungal infections over growing season then I prefer to dispose of them
Reply:either that or turn the dirt over so they get mixed in. You might even get new plants next year if you do this. Otherwise, yes pull them out and bring them to the compost.
Reply:No, you don't need to pull them out at all. I've never done that. Just keep plucking the tomatoes, but be sure to leave two or three of them on the plant so that when they fall, (leave them on the ground), simply cover the area and plant with a foam cone bought from the gardening sections of stores. This insulates them against the wind, ice, and snow. Also, put a layer of hay over the area after the plant's wilted so the roots would be protected against frost. The next year, the tomatoes you left on the plant will be growing into more tomato plants. Good luck!
Reply:you can put the plants in a window box or you can dry the seed of some of your last ripe plants...the seeds can be cold framed to have a jump on the growing season...
Reply:Well, since I don't know what zone you are in, I will simply say that no you don't. If you live in a climate that freezes then tomato plants are annuals for you and you can simply let the plant die back and work it into the soil next spring or if you don't like that idea then you can cut it off or pull it out and compost it. Tomatoes are tender perennials so if you live in a non freezing zone then you can keep your tomato plants year round to produce again.