Tomatoes:  Growing Indoors

Growing tomatoes indoors with a sterilized potting mix is the best way to ensure success.

Start with the recommended varieties that produce small plants such as  Cherry, Small Fry or Gardener's Delight.

You can start with seeds or use the easier and faster way with small seedlings from the nursery or garden center.

Start Tomatoes Indoors

1.  Sow seeds in starter mix about 1/4 inch deep in a pot or in a flat (special growing tray with a plastic cover) and spray with a misting of water. This is necessary to prevent the seeds from dislodging.

2.  You must keep seeds moist at all times, but never soggy. Cover the container with plastic wrap or a sheet of glass to retain the moisture.

3.  When sprouts form, remove covering and place plants in a sunny area.

4.  When the seedlings develop with their first set of leaves (2 to 3 inches high), transplant into a new pot. Gently remove the new seedling with the roots and plant them into sterilized potting soil.  Two tomato plants will do okay in 16 in (40cm) tub or a 5 gallon bucket.

5.   Never crowd plants and always leave ample space for  growing between your seedlings. Cherry tomatoes will be content in a smaller container of 8-10 in (20-25 cm) deep and wide.  

Care Tips for Growing Indoors

cherry-tomatos

 Light: Plant prefers full sun, at least a half days worth or supplement with a grow light (12-14 hours) and turn off. Plants need a period of darkness (6-8 hours) to develop.

Temperature:  Plants like warmth 75 - 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and no lower than 65 Degrees Fahrenheit at night.

Humidity:  Average (25% or more). You can increase humidity by placing the pot on a pebble tray with water.

Watering:  Water thoroughly and allow the surface of the potting soil to dry out and water again when the soil feels dry.

Fertilize: Light feeding weekly with an organic fertilizer, beginning about two weeks after transplanting.

Special Care: Pollinate daily when plants begin to bloom. you must pollinate them by tapping the main stem and larger side branches with your finger. This moves the plant slightly and dislodges the pollen which helps the fruit to set.

Cage or stake floppy plants and rotate occasionally in order for all sides to get the maximum light exposure.

Harvest plants when they are completely ripe and beginning to soften, which should take about 60 or 70 days. Keep them at room temperature and never refrigerate because they will lose a lot of flavor. For the best results, use your them within 3 days of harvesting
to get best nutritional value.

Growing tomatoes indoors with success will provide you with multiple harvests for homemade salsas, spaghetti sauces, and salads. In addition to being be able to can and freeze them, you should have and endless supply on hand.

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Tomatoes




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