Winter Indoor Tomatoes -- I gave up on trying to grow tomatoes for the 2016-27 winter because I had been discouraged by the devastating and heart-breaking mite infestation that decimated most of the tomatoes and many of the peppers last winter.
To add salt to the wound, the infestation, which persisted, had been near catastrophic for last Spring's newly started tomato seedlings as well -- so disappointing because they grew very well to near-planting stage for about 5-6 weeks, then rapidly went down -- and we are talking dozens of transplants and entire flats.
Some of them recovered, which was interesting, but not nearly enough to warrant repeating the experience.
I'm planning to try growing Winter Tomatoes again this 2017-18 winter and, this time, get the predator mites as soon as I see any suspicious sign of mite infestation. The ones I released thanks to a generous Amazon gift card holiday present has successfully fended off what could have been a sad repeat of last winter and most of my over-wintered peppers are recovering, so I hope to be able to grow tomatoes again with a more strategic Indoor Garden Patrol deployment.
For Thanksgiving-December holidays Winter Indoor Tomato harvest with extra early and early maturing cool-temp-tolerant varieties, August 1 seed drop has been the timing I have found to work in the past. You might need to start even earlier like mid-July for average-later maturing varieties, particularly slower dwarfs could fall short of the hoped for schedule.
My unconfirmed suspicion -- all based on general impression -- is that the plants become somehow aware of the 2-4 week period before and after winter solstice and slow down/stop growing. But if there are more advanced green tomatoes on the plant, they will mature and ripen as long as it's warm enough. If they have not grown enough, then they seem to just hang on the plant until after New Years to resume growing again.
...I still have some ladybugs left in the package from the fall-purchase, but I'm not sure if they are still alive -- I'll have to check. In the meanwhile, the already released ones are still around -- either originals or next generation from eggs they laid. I saw several -- on the Yellow Room peppers and Winter Wonderland Dwarf Moringa and orchids yesterday. They could also be ones that escaped out between the inside and outside windows -- maybe they managed to find a crevice to hibernate in and are now waking up.... This is a good thing because ants have been invading -- recent warm temps must have thawed them out.