Can You Grow Tomatoes Indoors
Can you grow tomatoes indoors? The answer to that question is a resounding yes and this allows you to have tomatoes all through the year. After all tomatoes are so versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes across breakfast, lunch and dinner meals.
And when you have them indoors you don’t have to worry about winter killing your crop. There are a number of gardening techniques that can help you have tasty and fresh tomatoes all year round so keep reading so you can find out what they are.
Types of Tomatoes that Grow Indoors
The first thing you want to do to ensure your tomatoes will grow indoors is to ensure the type you choose can indeed grow well indoors. Literally all types of tomatoes will survive indoors with the right conditions.
You can purchase some tomato seeds from your local store and plant them around a ¼ inch deep into the soil using 6 inch deep containers. You want to keep these containers in a warm location and keep the soil moist. The top of your refrigerator is a great place to start your tomatoes seeds. For a continuous supply of tomatoes you want to start one new pot of seeds every two weeks.
The varieties of tomatoes that do best growing indoors include the smaller upright ones. You can also go ahead and get some hanging cultivars to help the plants to arch. When shopping for your tomato seeds consider the following.
Determinate tomatoes will produce tomatoes quicker but they will all get ripe at around the same time. The plant may stop producing after the first crop. These however do not require stalking so they may be easier for growing indoors.
Indeterminate tomatoes will continue to produce fruit as long as the plant is properly cared for. These are ideal if you want to have tomato all year round. These types of plants will require more care though so choose wisely.
Light and Heat are Essential to Growth
Tomato plants are very needy when it comes to light. They need around 8 hours of direct sun each day to ensure that they do produce. In addition to light they also need warmth so your temperature indoors needs to be at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
You may want to use pots that are not glazed as these will allow your plants more breathing room. Also choose pots with good drainage. You can find greenhouse kits that you can use to ensure you have the right indoor conditions for your tomato plants to be fruitful.
From Starting to Fruiting
As mentioned above if you want to have tomatoes all year then you want to be starting seeds every two weeks. Germination will occur five to ten days from seeding at which time you will need to move your pots to a location where the plants will get full sun.
A window or windowsill is ideal but you can also use grow lights if you are not going to be able to provide the plants with full sunlight as necessary. If you place them in the sun you want to ensure you turn them regularly so the entire plant gets full sunlight.
Remember that not only do you need light but you also need warmth so if you are place them by a window ensure it is not drafty. The hardest part of growing tomatoes indoors is keeping them warm especially if the winter months or if you live in a cold climate.
You don’t want cold temperatures to stunt the growth of your tomatoes so pay attention to the temperature in the room your tomato plants are being housed. Remember that grow lights and greenhouses can be used to ensure the right environment for your plants to grow well.
Once your tomato plants get to 3 inches tall you can start transplanting them into larger pots. Stake your plants if necessary so that the fruit won’t break the limbs or drag to the ground.
Pollinating your Tomato Plants
Since there should be no pollinating insects inside your home you will have to tap the stems of the plant lightly when flowers are in bloom. This helps the pollen to spread. A light tap with the fingers or if you are up for you can put a Q-tip into each flower if you are up for the task.
Fertilizing Your Tomato Plants
Your tomato plants need to eat too, no they don’t just need water and sunlight. This is true whether you plant your tomatoes inside or outdoors – you want to fertilize them for the best results. When choosing fertilizers you want to go for a natural one.
Chemical fertilizers will be bad for your plant and by extension bad for you and your family including your pets. While a natural fertilizer won’t give you prize winning sized tomatoes at least you know that your tomatoes will be healthy and organic. So you must choose an all-natural and organic fertilizer for your tomato plants so they will provide you with great fruit.
So can you grow tomatoes indoors? Yes you can. Tomatoes like any other plant you try to grow indoors will require some experimentation. You will need to experiment with lighting and location to get the best results in your home. No matter what your choice is you will need to give your tomato plants care and attention.
Tomatoes aren’t the types of plants that you can just start seeds and then leave them to fend for themselves. You will need to give your tomato plants care and attention and ensure that they are kept in the right amount of sunlight or grow light and that they are getting the right amount of warmth as well.
For starters, placing your seeds on top of the fridge will provide them with the warmth them need to germinate. After that you will have to ensure that you place them so that they will have all the warmth and light they need to survive and you will be on your way to healthy, tasty fresh tomatoes for all your recipes.