10 Tips How To Grow Tomatoes Indoors In The Winter

Grow tomatoes indoors with grow lights instead of sunlight. In winter, indoor sunlight rarely stimulates tomato growth and fruit production. Even south-facing window sunlight is insufficient for tomato growth.   

1. Strong, Bright Light is Essential

The best indoor tomatoes are “patio” or “bush.” These little plants become container plants by selection. Many ‘Celebrity’ and heirlooms are too big to grow inside. Bush or patio tomatoes produce cherry, grape, Roma, and small slicing tomatoes.   

2. Choose Small, Compact Varietie

Indoor tomato germination is increased by seed tray heat. A heat pad, low-heat radiator, or refrigerator top can hold seed trays. With a little heat, germination takes two days. Faster seed germination means earlier fruiting.   

3. Provide Heat at Seed Starting

A 6-inch tomato seedling with many leaves should be moved to a large container with fresh potting mix. The minimum container width is 14". Deep 20-inch containers are ideal for tomatoes. Roots grow in bigger containers.   

4. Transplant to a Large Pot

Indoor tomato growth is best around 70–80°F. A door or window draft will shock heat-loving tomato plants. Grow in a draft-free area. Beware of furnace vent blasts of hot air. Tomatoes thrive around 70–80°F.   

5. Find a Consistently Warm Spot

Garden tomatoes need less water than indoor tomatoes. Touch the soil daily to check water needs. Water damp soil less and check tomorrow. Water the plant's drainage holes if the soil is dry.   

6. Keep Plants Moist but Not Wet

Fertilising tomatoes indoors increases yield. Pellets of slow-release plant food should be added to the potting mix at package intervals. For food plants, use water-soluble fertiliser weekly. To replace watered tomato nutrients, fertilise containers.   

7. Fertilize Regularly

Indoor plant pollination needs you. Without pollen, self-pollinating tomatoes produce. Shake flowering plants daily to imitate wind. Shaking gently boosts pollination and fruit set. An oscillating fan can.   

8. Help with Pollination

Turning plants regularly promotes strong, erect stems and branching. Overhead grow lights don't need rotation, but a sunny window tomato plant needs a quarter-turn per week. Unturned plants bend towards light.   

9. Turn Plants as Needed

Tomato stems are stronger outside. To support developing fruit, sink a 3-foot bamboo stake beside the stem. Tie the stem to the stake gently with fabric strips. Tie more as plant grows.     

10. Stake Your Tomato

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