Where To Start When Growing Tomato Plants Indoors

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This article will teach you how to grow tomatoes indoors.
by Brett · All Zones · Indoor Gardens · 0 Comments · June 28, 2010 · 6,366 views

Where To Start?

Variety: For starters, you'll want to choose a variety of tomato that is not susceptible to cracking. The smaller fruit varieties are recommended. Not only will they be better suited for tomato paste and sauce, but they will also grow better indoors under lights.

Soil: Next you'll want to prepare a good starting soil mixture. I recommend a professional potting "mix," which is lighter and holds moisture more evenly than does cheap grade, dollar-a-bag potting "soil."

Add Calcium: It's not a bad idea to add a teaspoon of hydrated lime to each gallon of potting mix to balance pH. Hydrated lime is rich in calcium and is absolutely great for the tomatoes, preventing the blossoms from rotting later on down the line. You don't want to start the soil too wet. Adding water a little at a time until you can get just about 2 or 3 drops of water out of it when you squeeze. Anything more than that and you will want to dry the soil out some before you start to use it.

When To Plant

You'll want to start your tomato plants in trays or small pots at the same time and as you would if you were going to be transplant them outdoors. But they can also be grown during indoors during the winter with ample heat, light and humidity.

Care For Your Indoor Tomato Plants

Light: - Tomato plants require quite a bit of light to be healthy and produce fruit; a minimum of six hours of direct light. If you don't have an indoor sunroom that provides sufficient sunlight, you'll need to use some grow lights. I recommend flourescent or LED grow lights. The newest lamps among plant grow light technology, LEDs are developing a reputation for economy and efficiency. They consume less power and produce less heat than other lamp types. If you go with flourescents, High Output (HO) T5 fluorescents are the one's I recommend for indoor growing. They are excellent for starting seeds, propagating cuttings, growing leafy vegetation, and flowering, and produce twice as much light as standard fluorescent lamps.

Watering: Water enough to keep soil damp but not wet. Allow soil to dry just a little between watering to avoid root rot or other diseases.

Fertilization: Fertilize your indoor tomato plants with a water-soluble fertilizer as directed on the product label. Beware, the use of manure-based organic fertilizers could cause quite a smell around the house. I use use Dynamite Organic Tomato Food.

Insect Control: You can always pick insects off by hand, but here's a good recipe for a natural insect deterrent:

In a jar, combine 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 1 cup vegetable oil. Shake vigorously. In an empty spray bottle, combine 2 teaspoons of this mixture and 1 cup water. Use at ten-day intervals (or more often if needed) to rid plants of whiteflies, mites, aphids, scales, and other pests.

Take good care of your indoor tomatoes and they will bear some fantastic fruit no matter what time of the year it is - Good luck!


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