How to Grow Tomatoes Inside: 5 Tips for a Successful Harvest
There may be many reasons you would want to grow tomatoes inside. It doesn’t matter why you want to grow them, all that matters for success is how you grow them! Using the following tips when you grow tomatoes inside will ensure a bountiful tomato harvest and even allow you to have fresh tomatoes in the coldest temperatures.
1. Pick your Pots and Have Good Soil
Once you have picked up your tomato seeds, you want to make sure you have a large enough pot. Tomato plants, depending on the species, can get quite tall, so you want to make sure the pot is large enough to handle the height and root growth. You may want to start with small seedling pots and transfer the plants into a larger pot when they get to be about 3-5 inches tall.
The soil you use should be a good quality potting soil and should also be specific for vegetables or even tomatoes if possible. Since you won’t be getting nutrients from the Earth, the more nutrients in the soil, the better off you will be! You also may want to add a small bit of lime to the soil, as it will make the soil a bit more acidic. Perfect for tomatoes!
2. Have a Mix of Lighting
Though you may have your tomato plants near the window, it will also be beneficial to have an artificial light as well, such as a florescent light. As the seedlings grow and get taller, they need a good source of light 18 – 24 hours a day in ideal conditions. Using your florescent light in these times will help your plants grow up strong. You should also make sure the temperature is correct, keeping the area from 70 -80 degrees F. Usually with the sun shining in and a light above the plants, this temp will be automatic.
Since your tomatoes will be grown inside, you will not have the assistance of Mother Nature to help pollinate your plants. You will likely have to do it yourself and give them a helping hand! Once the plants have begun to flower, you will need to find a way to get the pollen onto carpels, which is where pollinating takes place. Usually this is just a matter of light vibrations or even using a toothpick to transfer the pollen manually. Doing it yourself is easy; just very lightly tap the flower itself.
4. Watch for Disease!
You should be examining your plants every few days. Though your indoor plants will not be as prone to picking up diseases, it is still possible. There could be fungus, for instance, in the pot or even in the potting soil. There are many resources online on what to do if you happen to find some disease or if you see anything out of the ordinary.
5. Water and Weather!
As long as the sun is out or the light source is on, you should be watering your tomato plants a bit every day. When the light is on, water will be evaporating. If the weather outside is cloudy, don’t water on that day unless the soil is very dry. You want to make the conditions inside the house similar to those outside.