Did you know that you can still get fresh tomatoes from the convenience of your home in the winter? Growing tomatoes indoors is an exciting project that will enhance your meals outside of the regular growing period.
Starting Your Garden- Planting Tomatoes
Planting From Seed
Choosing a variety of tomato seeds depends on how much time you want to invest in this project. Determinate tomatoes varieties will produce fruits that ripen all at once and have a short growing period. On the other hand, indeterminate varieties require more maintenance but will produce tomatoes throughout the winter.
These tomato varieties do well indoors: Tiny Tim, Jelly Bean, and Matt’s Wild Cherry.
Once you’ve chosen your seeds, place them in a pot of soil, ensuring that they are covered with 0.25 inches of soil. Make sure to keep the soil moist and placed in full sunlight. Now, sit back and watch as your seeds germinate over the next 5-10 days. Once the germinated seeds are 3 inches tall, they can be moved to a larger pot.
Planting From a Starter Plant
If you already have a tomato plant growing outdoors, you can transplant it indoors for the winter. Simply take a cutting of one stem, place it in water until roots appear, and pot it in soil indoors.
After transplanting, make sure that you fertilize your plants with a natural or synthetic fertilizer. Fertilizers provide important macronutrients to your plant to help speed up growth. The fertilizer you choose for your tomatoes will ideally have less nitrogen to reduce a nutrient build-up.
Fertilizer can also be added to the soil before you plant your seeds. This will ensure that the soil contains all the necessary nutrients for root growth.
If your tomato plants are growing rapidly, adding stakes for them to latch onto will be necessary. Any type of dowel will work to keep them upright and growing tall.
For self-pollinating varieties, you can shake the plant stems once-blooming occurs. This will encourage pollination to produce more viable tomatoes.
About 70-80 days after planting your seeds, the majority of varieties will start producing fruits. You’ll notice that the fruits closest to the stem will be ready first! When your tomato is a deep red color it is ready to pick. At this point, it should be soft and easy to pick off of the stem.
You can pick individual tomatoes once ripe or harvest the entire step. Finally, remember to save some of the seeds for a free way to start next year’s plantings!
The Bottom Line: You Can Grow Tomatoes Indoors
Growing tomatoes indoors will ensure that you have access to these juicy fruits all winter long. Choosing the best type of seed, location for the plants, and type of fertilizer will make the process easier for you.
We’d love to hear about your experience with growing tomatoes indoors and answer any questions in the comment section.
Start preparing your indoor garden now and grow tomatoes all year long!
Tony Manhart is founder and editor in chief at Gardening Dream. Tony’s enthusiasm and rich experience in all things related to growing plants have led him to share his abundant knowledge with gardening aficionados all over the world. When he is not working around his own garden, Tony spends his time writing tips and tricks on a variety of subjects related to plant cultivation and soil maintenance.