Learn How to Grow Tomatoes Indoors with This Simple Gardening Guide
If you enjoy homegrown tomatoes but lack a yard or garden, you can still enjoy mouthwatering tomatoes all year round by learning how to grow tomatoes indoors.
Tomatoes are one of numerous fruits you can successfully grow indoors. It doesn't require much time or effort to yield a delicious and healthy harvest as well.
Learn how to grow tomatoes indoors with the following tips.
Choose the Right Location
Tomatoes require warmth and a lot of sunlight to flourish, so you should choose a location near a window. Be mindful of drafts, however.
If space is limited in your home, consider installing a hanging basket in front of a window. You can also use a plant shelf to lift your tomato plant up to window height.
A south-facing window provides the most direct sunlight, so you'll optimize the likelihood of a robust harvest by choosing a location on the south side of your home.
Alternatively, you can use grow lights to help your indoor tomatoes get plenty of direct light each day. Or, experiment with both options as you learn how to grow tomatoes indoors.
Second, you need to choose the right variety of tomatoes to grow indoors. Tomatoes are either determinate, which means they stop growing once they reach a certain point, or indeterminate, which means they continue to grow until killed by an external factor, such as frost.
Both types have advantages and disadvantages. Because determinate varieties grow to a compact height, they are well-suited for container planting.
Determinate tomatoes only produce one crop, however. Indeterminate varieties produce an ongoing harvest, but grow more expansively and require staking for support.
Whichever you select, many gardeners recommend choosing a variety that yields smaller fruit, such as cherry or plum tomatoes.
Plant the Tomatoes
When learning how to grow tomatoes indoors, it's important to know that tomatoes need space to grow, so you will need an adequate pot. Choose a pot that will accommodate the variety of plant you selected.
A good starting point is a container that is 12 inches deep. Whichever pot you choose, it should have several holes in the bottom for drainage and a saucer to catch excess water.
A layer of rocks at the bottom will also help with drainage. Use standard potting soil mixed with organic matter or a potting mix made specifically for tomatoes.
If your tomato variety requires support, you should install a stake or cage in the pot.
Caring for Your Tomatoes
In addition to ample sunlight, tomatoes need warmth and plenty of water. Keep your room temperature between 65° and 85° F to encourage strong, healthy tomatoes.
Water your pot regularly, but avoid over-watering to prevent root rot. If you're unsure of how much water to give your tomato plant, you can use a soil moisture sensor designed for gardeners. This device indicates if the soil is too dry, moist, or wet for plants.
Adding some fertilizer to the soil every other week will give your tomatoes enough nutrients to grow indoors.