Learn About Growing Tomatoes Indoors

You can begin growing tomatoes indoors very early in the spring and you should. The reason for this is that it takes tomato plants a long time to mature and produce fruit. Most places in the US do not have a long enough summer for tomatoes to do well when sown outside. Giving them a few months indoors to get a good start will make all the difference in the world in your harvest.

grow indoorsGetting started is easy. You want to begin in March or April. Use individual planting containers that have small drainage holes punched in the bottom. One quart yogurt containers are about the right size. Don’t use smaller containers than this because they won’t have enough soil to give your tomato plant roots a good start.

When you choose your soil, be sure to get a good seed starting mix rather than potting soil. This sort of medium is specially prepared to nurture seeds and using it makes a huge difference in how well your seedlings do.

Once you have your containers ready and have purchased your starter mix and your seeds, get a big bucket and empty the starter mix into it. Pour in water slowly and mix it gently until you have a mix that is about as damp as a sponge that has been wrung-out. Put this mixture into your containers. Fill them to approximately one inch from the top, then tap the bottom of the container to get the mix settled in.

Use a pencil or similar object to make a quarter inch deep hole for your tomato seed. You can do one seed per container or put in three seeds with an inch between each. Later, you will choose the strongest seedling and discard the other two. Cover the seeds with more starter mix and mist the surface of the mix with a spray bottle.

Keep your planted seeds in a warm place. It should be between 75 and 85 degrees consistently. The top of your refrigerator is a good place because it will provide warmth from the bottom. Suspend a fluorescent light above to provide more warmth and light. Spray lightly with water every day to keep the soil evenly moist. If it tends to dry out quickly, you can place your little planters in a shallow tray with water they can soak up from the bottom.

Once your seedlings have sprouted, keep them at between 65 and 75 degrees with your fluorescent light positioned approximately four or five inches above. When they reach a height of two or three inches and have good leaves, repot them into larger pots so that they will be able to grow. Continue using seedling mix.

Transplant the plants by removing them gently from the smaller pots using a fork to loosen the soil and lift from below the root ball. Make a hole in the mix in the new pot that is a little bigger than the root ball. If your plants are too tall and spindly, you can actually bury the stems a little deeper to encourage them to strengthen and toughen up.

Keep giving your tomato seedlings plenty of light and rotate them regularly to encourage even growth. Give them plant food weekly. This should be fish emulsion or some good brand of liquid fertilizer. After about a month, if the weather is dependably above 50 degrees outside, you can begin accustoming your seedlings to being outdoors. Begin by putting them in the shade for a few days. Once they have adjusted, you can place them in your garden.

Growing tomatoes indoors is a great way to get them started early so that you can be certain they will do well throughout the summer. Follow the tips presented here to be certain of harvesting a bumper tomato crop.