Grow tomatoes indoors in winter


How Long Does it Take Tomatoes to Grow?

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It’s fun to grow your own tomatoes. There’s pure joy in biting into a sun-ripened tomato that you grew yourself. And therein lies the question how long does it take tomatoes to grow? That depends upon the type of tomato, the climate and whether it’s grown in the ground or in containers.

Tomatoes belong to the Solanaceae, or nightshade family, along with eggplants and potatoes.

Let’s start with the varieties of tomatoes and that will determine the answer to the question: how long does it take tomatoes to grow? Today we have so many choices, especially with regular hybrid garden tomatoes. You know them by many names, and here are a few of my favorites: Big Boy, Better Boy, Heatwave, Health Kick, Jet Star, Marglobe, Better & Early Girls, Cupid, Honey Delight, Sweet One Hundreds, Rapunzel, Mortgage Lifter, and Super Snack. The list can go on and on!

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Both regular and cherry-type hybrid tomatoes can be either determinate or indeterminate. The determinate varieties produce lots of tomatoes over several weeks. Indeterminate tomatoes produce for up to six weeks, but the yield is not as great.

Saving Your Seeds (VIDEO)

Getting back to how long does it take tomatoes to grow, let’s start with seeds. Planting tomatoes from seed is rewarding, especially if you plant seeds you saved yourself. I save tomato seeds each year.

Watch my technique in this video:

That way, I can start growing early in spring. Interestingly enough, the seeds from my hybrids produce like the parent plant. This isn’t a given, though. Heirloom tomato seeds come true to their parentage.

Regardless of whether you plant in a cold frame outdoors or a seed tray indoors, plan on starting seeds four to six weeks before the last spring frost date. Here in mid-western Ohio, that means starting the seeds around April 1.

Planting Seeds Indoors

Fill seed trays to within 1/2″ of the top. I use a seed starting mix which ensures good root development. Top seeds with 1/4″ of soil, press down and water a tiny bit with a mister.

Put the tray in a large pan of warm water for a couple of minutes to allow even watering from the bottom up.

Put the tray in a warm place. I put it near my wood stove, lightly covered with plastic wrap. Some seed starting trays have their own lid. The refrigerator top is a good place, too. If your budget allows, purchase a heat mat.

Water as needed, but be careful here. I check every day and mist the soil to prevent dampening off.

Plan on lots of sunlight; 12 hours a day. Grow lights or fluorescent lights work well if necessary.

OK, now you can remove the cover and put it in a south-facing window. I turn the tray to a different position each day so that seedlings grow straight up.

Planting Seeds Outdoors

You can sow seeds directly in the ground if your season is four months without frost.

If you plant in a cold frame, you won’t need to give the seedlings too much attention, except to keep even moisture and warmth. When the days get longer and the sun gets hot, I like to prop the cold frame cover up to let air circulate.

Ready to Transplant/Hardening Off

Here’s where the fun begins! And where patience is needed. For seedlings, it’s necessary to “harden” them off. What this means is introducing them to the outdoor climate gradually so that they can acclimate themselves to their new home.

I like to put them outside for about eight to 10 days, for a few hours each day. Keep out of direct, hot sun and protect them if the weather turns windy or very bad.

Seedlings planted in cold frames are easier to care for. Gradually move the cover away from the plants for about a week or so, protecting them from the weather as needed.

If you purchase established plants, it’s still good to follow these methods, since they have been grown under optimal, controlled conditions and need to acclimate to their permanent home.

Growing tomatoes in pots or in the ground will produce delicious, healthful tomatoes.

If growing tomatoes in pots, start with a container that is at last 14″ in diameter. I find using a five-gallon bucket with holes drilled on the sides near the bottom for good drainage is ideal.

Use a good potting soil with compost and augment if necessary with a tomato fertilizer. You will need to water and fertilize tomatoes in pots more than you do with in-ground tomatoes.

Grow one tomato per pot for good air circulation and enough sun for tomatoes to develop and ripen. Cherry tomatoes in pots are perfect for urban gardeners.

If you’re growing tomatoes in the ground, remember they like their soil pH around 6.0 to 6.8. PH is a measure of soil acidity or alkalinity. On the pH scale, 7.0 is neutral; so the range which tomatoes prefer is slightly on the acid side. According to the National Gardening Association, that’s the pH range at which most vegetables grow.

How to Care for Tomato Plants

A successful harvest means knowing how to care for tomato plants. When we plant our tomatoes in the ground, we do not grow tomatoes in the same location season after season. Rotating your crops reduces the spread of disease and insects from year to year. There is always the chance, though, for diseases and insects to invade your plants, so be on the lookout for blights and aphids control.

How to Fertilize Tomatoes

For tomatoes grown in the garden, we use rotted chicken manure but not too much of it. We till it in several inches below the soil so that the foliage doesn’t touch it since that can cause foliage burn. And be careful of too much nitrogen, which will give you lush plants with little fruiting whether planting in the ground or in pots.

We love growing basil in between the tomatoes. Basil is a wonderful garden companion to tomatoes in keeping tomatoes healthy.

About halfway through the fruiting season, we will side dress with compost.

We plant our seedlings in the evening so that the hot sun doesn’t scorch the plants. Planting on a cloudy day works well, too. Plant deep! A good guide is to bury the plants up to almost the first set of leaves. Don’t bury any deeper than that, since burying the bottom leaves can result in fungal diseases. You’ll be rewarded with sturdy plants with plenty of roots.

For in ground tomatoes, we use tobacco sticks to stabilize them. Some folks use tires to plant tomatoes in. Others use cages. And then again, there are those who let them grow naturally on thick mulch. If the plants are dry, water thoroughly. Be careful here, though. Sometimes the top of the soil looks dry but it’s moist underneath.

caged tomatoes

Ready to Harvest

Tomatoes like even moisture and consistently warm days, so count on anywhere from about two to three months to set fruit and ripen. The more you pick, the healthier and more productive the plant will be. If tomatoes are particularly large, like mortgage lifters or big boys, it’s a good idea to cut the tomato from the stem so that you don’t have to tug or twist the tomato off.

My cherry tomatoes ripen earlier than my regular ones.

Tomatoes are Good for You

Tomatoes have good amounts of both vitamins C and A which help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease and make for a healthy immune system and good eyesight. The lycopene they contain makes for healthy prostates, as well.

Remember not to refrigerate tomatoes. That not only affects flavor and texture, but it makes nutrients less available for you. You can freeze tomatoes whole.

Cherry tomatoes work especially well for freezing.

cherry tomatoes

Freeze them hard, then put into containers. When ready to use, simply place in a colander and run cool water over them to remove skins. Yes, I know there’s that whole enzyme debate about blanching before freezing. But I have found that tomatoes frozen like this are just fine for cooked dishes.

We eat tomatoes every day during the growing season. I even like to pick some green for fried green tomatoes.

fried green tomatoesgrilled green tomato BLTpasta with pesto and tomatoesSimple tomato Caprese salad

Now you know the answers to two of the most important questions: how to care for tomato plants and how long does it take tomatoes to grow!

What’s your favorite way to grow tomatoes? What do you do with your bounty of tomatoes? Let us know in the comments below.

It might be quicker and easier to buy a plant from the local Garden Centre,
but is it as rewarding? We think not, so this guide aims to inspire you to venture into the world of growing from seed.


Maybe last year you bought a plant from the local garden centre and enjoyed a few tomatoes, but you want more and fancy trying to grow from seed and generate a larger crop this year. Maybe it’s time to buy yourself a propagator?

Line sprout and plant growing. Linear nature leaf, grow tree, garden and flower, organic gardening, eco flora. Timeline infographic of planting tree process, business concept flat design.

As you know, a single plant might get big but can only yield a certain amount of tomatoes, so grab yourself a pack of seeds, whichever variety suits you (or a selection of varieties) and let’s get started.

First Step (Buy a Pack of Seeds)

Visit your local garden centre, farm shop or even order them online. Buy a single pack of seeds or a multi-pack, like the one below.

Expect to pay between £2 and £5 for a pack

Time to Start

You will need 6 – 8 weeks of growing inside before the plants will be strong enough to move outside. The ones below have just been taken from the propagator (shown above) and are being re-potted and held in a cloche outside. They are not strong enuogh to brave the elements yet.

Pots and Compost

You are going to need some potting compost, suitable pots and some space to grow inside.

Choose a good quality seed compost and use a small pot or seed tray, sprinkling a few seeds onto the surface of each pot.

Fill the pots with a suitable soil and drop a couple of seeds into each pot. Cover the seeds with a thin layer (about 1.5 – 2mm) of compost.

Water carefully with a fine-rose watering can, taking care not to disrupt the seeds.

How long does it take for Seeds to Germinate?

In the UK seeds usually germinate within 7 – 14 days, if they are kept at a temperature of around 21 degrees.

Mist the seeds daily for the first 7 to 10 days.

When you start to see sprouts, you can water less frequently. More plants are killed by too much water (that rots the roots) than too little water so water sparingly after the plants sprout.

You can regulate the heat by using a propagator, which provides the ideal growing environment to encourage seeds to sprout into seedlings.

These are generally shallow trays with just enough soil for seeds to grow. They may be covered to lock in windowsill warmth and keep the soil damp, while others are electrically heated at a low, steady wattage.

Seedling Progress

Once germinated, the first leaves that appear are the baby cotyledon leaves. These leaves are followed a second set, known as the ‘true leaves’.

It usually takes around 30 days for the plants to get to this point, depending on the amount of sunlight.

At this point, the seedlings are ready to be transplanted into larger pots.

Transferring Seedling to Small Pots

Do not be tempted to plant straight into the original tomato grow pots as they are not quite big, or strong enough yet.

For now, you need to be moving the seedling plants into something a little bigger to enable growth, still keeping the plant inside.

They are not ready to handle the outside elements quite yet.

Nursery tomato seedling.

Increase Pot Size as Plant Grows

A quality potting compost with fertiliser is preferable to use at this stage, perlite can be added to assist with retaining moisture as well as helping with drainage, about 20% is sufficient.

Fill a small pot with compost and make a hole in the centre where the seedling will be planted. Tomatoes can be planted down to the first set of leaves. Tomatoes plants grow roots from the stem so planting deeper will encourage good strong plants.

Tomato Sowing Period

Sow – February to April
Here in the UK the best time to sow indoors.

Plant out – May to June
After the last of the winter and late spring frosts

Harvest – July to October

The Ultimate Guide To Growing Tomatoes: A List Of Tomato Growing Tips

Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable to grow in the home garden, and there’s nothing quite like sliced tomatoes on a sandwich when picked fresh from the garden. Here we have compiled all of articles with tomato growing tips; everything from the best way to plant tomatoes to information on exactly what do tomatoes need to grow.

Even if you’re new to gardening, that’s okay. Growing tomato plants just got easier with Gardening Know How’s Ultimate Guide To Growing Tomato Plants! Soon you’ll be on your way to harvesting loads of tasty tomatoes for sandwiches, salads and more.

Choosing the Types of Tomatoes You Will Grow

  • Learn The Difference Between Non Hybrid Seeds And Hybrid Seeds
  • Tomato Varieties & Colors
  • What Is An Heirloom Tomato?
  • Seedless Tomato Varieties
  • Determinate vs Indeterminate Tomatoes
  • Miniature Tomatoes
  • Growing Roma Tomatoes
  • Growing Cherry Tomatoes
  • Growing Beefsteak Tomatoes
  • What Are Currant Tomatoes

Where to Grow Tomatoes

  • How To Grow Tomatoes In Containers
  • Growing Tomatoes Upside Down
  • Light Requirements For Tomatoes
  • Growing Tomatoes Indoors
  • Ring Culture Of Tomatoes

Start Growing Tomatoes in the Garden

  • How To Start Tomato Plants From Seed
  • How To Plant A Tomato
  • Planting Time For Tomatoes
  • Tomato Plant Spacing
  • Temperature Tolerance For Tomatoes

Caring for Tomato Plants

  • How to Grow Tomatoes
  • Watering Tomato Plants
  • Fertilizing Tomatoes
  • The Best Ways To Stake Tomatoes
  • How To Build A Tomato Cage
  • Mulching Tomato Plants
  • Should You Prune Tomato Plants
  • What Are Suckers On A Tomato Plant
  • Pollinate Tomatoes By Hand
  • What Makes Tomatoes Turn Red
  • How To Slow Tomato Plant Ripening
  • Harvesting Tomatoes
  • Collecting And Saving Tomato Seeds
  • Tomato Plants End Of Season

Common Tomato Problems & Solutions

  • Common Diseases In Tomatoes
  • Tomato Plants With Yellow Leaves
  • Tomato Blossom End Rot
  • Tomato Ringspot Virus
  • Wilting Tomato Plants
  • No Tomatoes On Plant
  • Bacterial Speck On Tomato Plants
  • Tomato Early Blight Alternaria
  • Late Blight On Tomatoes
  • Septoria Leaf Canker
  • Tomato Curling Leaves
  • Tomato Curly Top Virus
  • Tomato Leaves Turning White
  • Sunscald On Tomatoes
  • How To Prevent Tomato Cracking
  • What Causes Tough Tomato Skin
  • Yellow Shoulders On Tomatoes
  • Tomato Hornworm
  • Tomato Pinworms
  • Tomato Blights
  • Tomato Timber Rot
  • Tomato Plant Allergies

Growing Indoor Tomatoes – Tips On How To Grow Tomato Plants Over Winter

Tomatoes are a warm season crop that dies back when cold temperatures threaten. This usually means no home-grown tomatoes in winter, unless you have a greenhouse. You can, however, grow tomatoes indoors, but they are usually smaller and produce less prolifically than their summer cousins. Choose appropriate varieties when growing indoor tomatoes and learn the tips on how to grow tomatoes indoors. Then, that fresh, sweet flavor can be yours all winter long.

How to Grow Tomatoes Indoors

Tomatoes need full sun and at least eight hours of light to produce any fruit. Temperatures should be in the range of 65 F. (18 C.) or more indoors.

Use unglazed pots that will breathe, with good drainage holes when growing indoor tomatoes.

One way to preserve your summer tomatoes is to bring them inside at the end of summer. You may be able to save the tomato plants over winter for a period. Older plants will gradually stop producing, so you can’t save them forever, but you can extend the harvest.

For an endless harvest all season long, try growing indoor tomatoes in successive batches. Start seeds every two weeks for a season long supply of producing plants.

Starting Winter Growing Tomatoes

Sow tomato seeds inside in seed starter mix. Plant them ¼ inch deep in 6 inch pots. Keep the soil lightly moist and in a warm location to germinate. The top of the refrigerator is ideal. Start a new pot of seeds every two weeks for a constant supply of tomato plants over winter and into early spring.

Once germination occurs in five to ten days, move the pots to a brightly lit area, near a southern window. Be sure the window isn’t drafty and interior temperatures are 65 F. (18 C.) or more.

Flowering will be promoted by warmer temperatures and best growth is from 75 to 85 F. (24-29 C.) . Transplant them to bigger pots when seedlings are 3 inches tall. Begin fertilizing every two weeks.

Flowers and Fruit on Growing Indoor Tomatoes

The absence of pollinating insects can be a problem when growing indoor tomatoes, so hand pollinating is helpful. Tap the stems lightly when flowers bloom to spread pollen. You may also use a cotton swab and insert it into each flower to help them along.

Turn your plant frequently so each side gets adequate sun and flower and fruit production is even. Stake the plant as needed to prevent the fruit from dragging and breaking the limbs. Winter growing tomatoes will produce in about the same time as their outdoor counterparts.

Best Tomatoes to Grow Indoors

You will have the most success at growing indoor tomatoes if you choose varieties that perform better inside. You need smaller varieties that will have room in indoor settings. Small upright varieties are ideal.

Suitable varieties to try include:

  • Red Robin
  • Tiny Tim
  • Toy Boy
  • Florida Petite

There are also hanging cultivars that will create dramatic arching plants filled with fruit. Yellow Pear is a golden tomato hanging form and Burpee Basket King is a trailing variety with small red fruits.

Look at size, fruit type, growth habit and ability to set fruit in cooler temperatures. Red Robin has that ability and is one of the best tomatoes to grow indoors.

  1. Decide where to grow your tomato plant. The brightest area in your house is the best place since tomatoes require a lot of light to flower and produce fruit. A large south-facing window is ideal. If you don’t have a window that will work, install plant grow lights and grow the tomato plants under lights. To brighten up the area, even more, consider painting the surrounding walls white, or even placing a reflective camping blanket nearby to help reflect the light.
  2. Select the best tomato for indoor growing. Pay attention to details such as how large the plant will ultimately get and how much fruit you can expect it to produce. Small, patio tomatoes are ideal for growing indoors and can even be grown in a hanging basket. Determinate tomato plants generally do not get as large as indeterminate plants, so that is also something to keep in mind. The only drawback to the determinate tomatoes is that they produce all of their fruit in one shot, and then they’re done. To work with this, you can either plant a few different varieties that fruit at different times, or you can sow fresh seeds for a new plant or two every month or so.
  3. Plant the tomato. A container that is at least 12 inches deep is sufficient for most tomato plants. Use a good quality organic potting mix and bury the stem up to the bottom set of leaves if the container is deep enough. The tomato plant will form roots all along the stem, which results in a stronger plant overall. If you plant a variety that requires support, install a stake or tomato cage. Water the plant well and place it in the bright area you selected.

How to Grow Indoor Tomatoes

You can grow indoor tomatoes during the off season and have a continuous supply of fresh tomatoes all winter long!


Before you leave …

Get your free copy of “10 Must-Know Tomato Growing Tips.” This 20-page guide is filled with tips you need to know to have a successful tomato crop, whether you’re a beginning or experienced gardener.

Advantages to growing indoor tomatoes

Taste. Fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes taste much better than store-ripened tomatoes.

Health. Fresh tomatoes grown indoors can be preservative-free.

Fun. Growing tomatoes indoors can satisfy your green thumb during the cold winter months.

Prep for spring. Indoor tomato plants provide the opportunity to take cuttings in late winter to give your spring tomato patch an early jumpstart.

Where to grow indoor tomatoes

There are three places to grow tomatoes indoors.

1. On a windowsill. While a window is the easiest and cheapest place to grow tomatoes inside, make sure it faces south to allow enough light. Watch out for drafts to keep plants warm.

2. Under grow lights. A controlled light source allows tomato plants to receive their needed 12-16 hours a day.

3. In a greenhouse. A glass enclosure lets in plenty of natural light. With a reliable heat source in the greenhouse, plants can grow well. (Find greenhouse plans here.)

What you need to grow indoor tomatoes

Tomatoes need two things to grow successfully inside during winter.
Light: Indoor tomatoes require 12-16 hours of light a day. Even plants in a sunny window or in a greenhouse may need a few extra hours under grow lights during winter’s short days.
Heat: Indoor tomatoes grow best when the air temperature is between 65º-85ºF. If your house thermostat is set lower, your house is drafty, or your greenhouse isn’t heated, keep plants warm with a space heater or seedling heat mat.

What kinds of tomato plants should you grow indoors?

Cherry or plum tomato indeterminate varieties perform best indoors.

Why indeterminates? It can be tempting to choose compact tomato varieties to grow indoors because their size is, well, compact. But most compacts are determinate tomatoes, which produce a finite amount of fruit within a short time of about 2-3 weeks and then stop. Indeterminate varieties, on the other hand, continue to grow throughout the winter and will produce fruit in abundance. Never fear – you can choose indeterminate varieties that may not be labeled “compact” but won’t create a jungle in your family room.

Why cherry or plum varieties? Small fruited plants (cherry or plum tomatoes) produce a large number of fruit and ripen quickly.
Best tomato varieties to grow indoors …

Ways to start tomatoes indoors

Choose from three ways to get your indoor tomato plants started

  1. Start tomato seeds midsummer either at in a windowsill or under grow lights
  2. Root tomato cuttings from your summer plants
  3. Buy tomato plants mid-season

More on growing tomatoes indoors
Best indoor tomato varieties …
How to take tomato cuttings to grow indoors …
How to grow tomatoes on a windowsill indoors …
Tomato greenhouse basics …
How to identify and control indoor tomato pests …
Tomato grow lights explained …
Using fluorescent grow lights to start seeds, grow tomatoes …
Fluorescent grow light systems to choose from …
Growing indoor tomatoes FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions…

See more tips on our Indoor Tomatoes Pinterest Board…

Return from Grow Indoor Tomatoes to Tomato Dirt home

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Growing Tomatoes Indoors (Is It Worth It?)

In the winter, the average supermarket tomato is shipped about 1,500 miles from the warmer climate in which it’s grown. To ensure it survives the journey, this tomato — along with many others just like it — is harvested while still green, and it ripens during transit.

The result? A bland, watery tomato that comes at a premium price because it was grown out of season and shipped across the country.

So it’s no surprise that when many people learn about indoor gardening, one of the first crops they think to grow is the tomato. Plump, vibrant, flavorful tomatoes fresh off the vine in December — that sounds pretty amazing.

But if you’ve done much research (or experimentation), you may know that fruiting crops don’t always fair well indoors, certainly not as well as herbs and leafy greens. That said, if you’re determined — and up for a challenge — that mythical winter tomato is possible.

In this post, you’ll discover the three keys to successfully growing productive fruiting crops indoors.

Disclaimer: This is hard.

Even if you do everything correctly, it’s unlikely that your fruiting crops will be as productive inside as they would be outside. Mother Nature has had eons to perfect her approach. We’re still catching up.

If you’re willing to invest time and money — and can tolerate a little frustration — you may enjoy a humble winter harvest. But I want you to know up front, results are not guaranteed. So proceed at your own risk.

1. Pick suitable plants.

Listen: if you try to grow a vining cucumber plant indoors, you’re likely setting yourself up for failure from the start. Most homes simply cannot accommodate the crop’s invasive, sprawling growth habits.

To save yourself from headaches like this, carefully evaluate the traits of the plants you want to grow. Then select only those that your indoor environment can support.

Size is important. (Pro tip: many fruiting plants come in dwarf or mini varieties!) But it’s not the only factor you should consider.

Here are a few general guidelines for picking fruiting crop varieties.

Indoors, you should stick to compact plants, such as mini peppers or dwarf tomatoes.


The first fruiting crop I tried growing indoors was green beans. And considering I didn’t know much about what I was doing at the time, they grew relatively well. A single plant yielded a handful of pods every few days.

Bush beans — which, as you might expect, grow in a bush-like fashion — are the best type to grow indoors. Pole beans, the vining type, are much more unwieldy. (Read more about bush and pole beans here.)

Peas tend to grow well indoors, too. But bush pea varieties are really just tame vines. So if you want to grow them, be prepared to deal with that.


I tried growing my own peppers indoors once. But they weren’t small varieties, and they grew beyond my grow lights. Ultimately, I had to transplant them outside.

Fortunately, many hot (and some sweet) chili varieties grow in a compact fashion. Once you find the right variety, be sure to review these tips on growing peppers.


Strawberries don’t take up much room. This trait alone makes them well suited for indoor environments.

There are a few different kinds of strawberries you can grow. (Read about the types here.) But I can personally vouch for the small, super sweet alpine strawberries. These seem to be a favorite for other Tower Gardeners, too.

Tomatoes are either determinate, which means they grow to a certain point and stop, or indeterminate, which means they grow in a vining fashion, expanding indefinitely.

Knowing this information, you might assume determinate tomatoes are best for indoor environments — where space is limited. Initially, I thought the same (which led me to try the dwarf determinate variety Tiny Tim indoors).

But there’s a catch with determinate varieties. Once they reach their full, mature stage, they usually produce one big round of tomatoes — which all ripen at once — and then stop producing.

Indeterminate varieties, on the other hand, will keep producing for you all winter long. But they also require a lot more attention — you’ll need to do some serious pruning. (More on that to come.)

Regardless of which type of tomato you grow, I recommend sticking with varieties that yield smaller fruit (e.g., cherry tomatoes). Beefsteak and other big slicing varieties are more challenging indoors.

You can find more info about growing tomatoes here.

Other crops

Technically, there are bush varieties of squash and cucumbers, bred specifically for indoor growing. But I think they get way too big and cumbersome indoors. So proceed with these crops at your own risk.

2. Use (the right) lights.

Plants need a lot of light. That’s the reality for any food crop, but it’s doubly true when it comes to fruiting plants. Without adequate light, they simply will not yield flowers or fruit. That’s why successful indoor gardeners use grow lights.

Wondering if you really need grow lights? Thinking a large window might suffice?

If you have a big south- or west-facing window and are willing to turn your garden daily, that’s great. Your plants will love it. But you’ll likely still need grow lights for maximum productivity.

With that in mind, here are a few guidelines for choosing the right ones.

T5 fluorescent bulbs are the most cost-effective lighting option for the average indoor grower.

Grow light type

I wrote about grow lights two years ago. And my opinion now is as it was then: For the average home gardener, T5 fluorescent lights cannot be beaten.

Other common options include high-intensity discharge (HID) and light-emitting diode (LED) lights. Both of these cost significantly more than T5 fluorescent lights and aren’t really worth the investment unless you’re running a large-scale indoor operation.

Plus, in the case of HIDs, you’ll also need to buy ballasts, fixtures, fans, and other equipment. And the lights themselves produce a lot of heat, which can negatively impact plant growth, pose a fire risk, and even bleach fabric.

Within the world of fluorescent lights, you have a few options. T5, T8, and T12 bulbs are long and narrow — often referred to as “shop lights.” Of these, T5s (the bulbs that come with the Tower Garden Grow Lights Kit) are by far the most efficient and powerful.

You can also use compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) for spotlighting specific plants.

Color temperature

Regardless of what type of grow lights you use (*cough* T5 fluorescent *cough*), the light color temperature also matters.

Grow lights are generally divided into two groups: cool-colored, which is considered blue, and warm-colored, which is considered red. These light colors are measured in Kelvin (k) units — a theoretical measurement of temperature.

Cool-colored (~6500k) lights are good for compact vegetative growth, but not ideal for convincing plants to flower. Warm-colored lights (~2700k) are the opposite — great if you want to encourage your plants to flower and set fruit, but not the best for leafy growth.

Note: You should be able to find a bulb’s color temperature listed on its package.

If you’re reading carefully, you may have guessed that fruiting crops need red light. And that’s correct. But here’s an interesting detail: They also need blue light.

In fact, all plants need both red and blue light.

So it’s best to use a combination of cool-colored and warm-colored lights. If you’re using the Tower Garden Grow Lights Kit and want to grow fruiting crops, customer Joe Daugirdas suggested a clever idea:

Replace two of the bulbs included with the kit (which are 6,500k) with warm-colored (~3,000k) T5 fluorescent bulbs, which you should be able to find on or possibly at a local garden store. Then, simply alternate the bulbs: blue, red, blue, red.

This configuration should encourage balanced growth for all your plants and, when the time is right, induce flowering in your fruiting varieties.

If you don’t want to change out the bulbs in your Grow Lights Kit, you can alternatively spotlight the fruiting crops with a warm-colored CFL when you’re ready to initiate flowering.

3. Tend to your garden.

After you have picked the right plants and are using the best lights, your indoor garden should flourish. All that’s left for you to do is a little routine maintenance.

Fruiting crops require a little more attention indoors.

Use a fan

Aiming a small fan at your Tower Garden will help improve airflow around your plants, reducing the risk of mildew, leaf fungi, and other plant problems. It may also facilitate pollination (but you’ll probably still need to help with that).


Indoors, you should prune early and often. Pruning promotes healthy plant growth and, by improving air circulation, discourages plant diseases.

But most importantly, pruning prevents your more enthusiastic growers (e.g., tomatoes, peas) from overtaking your indoor space or extending past the range of your grow lights. Speaking of which, be sure to cut your plants back from the grow lights — leaves that touch the bulbs will burn.

You can find more detailed pruning instructions here.


Growing fruiting crops indoors is more tedious and time-consuming than growing them outside, largely because of pollination. Since your home (hopefully!) doesn’t have many bees buzzing around inside, you must play the pollinator if you want to actually harvest anything.

Hand-pollination is pretty straightforward. (But here are some tips just in case.) Most of the fruiting plants you might grow indoors are self-fertile — meaning a single flower contains all the necessary parts to produce fruit. So all you really need to do is shake those parts up.

The easiest, fastest way to do this is with the help of an electric toothbrush (ideally one you haven’t cleaned your teeth with). Simply activate the toothbrush, and vibrate the back of each flower for a few seconds.

If you don’t have an electric toothbrush, a cotton swab or small paintbrush will work — just touch the inside of each flower to move the pollen around.

For best results, hand-pollinate open flowers daily. If you have kids, consider letting them “be the bee” — it’s an easy task that makes for an engaging learning experience!

Additional Resources

We covered a lot of ground! If you have any questions, leave a comment below or browse the following indoor gardening materials:

  • The Ultimate Guide to Indoor Gardening
  • 21 Plants That Flourish Indoors
  • How to Ensure Your Indoor Garden Is a Success
  • Tower Garden Grow Lights Kit

Otherwise, happy (indoor) growing!

Grow Grape Tomatoes Indoors

Tomatoes enjoy the warm season and do not typically grow outdoors throughout winter season time.

Sadly for tomato enthusiasts, we do not get to delight in much of those tasty and juicy tomatoes at winter season time.

Nevertheless, you can now grow tomatoes inside your home throughout winter season or throughout the year.

The procedure of growing indoor tomatoes might be a little time consuming however the item deserves all the difficulty.

Among the benefits of growing tomatoes indoor is that weeding is minimized or absolutely gotten rid of. Because tomatoes need a lot of sunshine, you may need to produce a great option for your light.

Here’s how you start your journey on how to grow grape tomatoes indoors throughout winter season time.

When the garden plants start to wither, plant your seeds in the outside garden before frost appears.

By the time your seedlings come out, the frost might have begun to appear on the ground. That’s when you uproot your seedlings and replant them inside in pots or containers.

You can recycle your containers or buy new ones.

Make certain they have holes at the bottom for draining of excess water. Plant your seedling soil blended with garden compost, water, and fertilizer.

Guarantee that the seedlings get light for a minimum of 10 hours daily. When it grows larger, expose them to the light for about fourteen hours. Fluorescent light can be used as synthetic light as an alternative to sunlight.

When your tomato plants have actually grown huge enough to be planted to another vessel, prepare your soil with garden compost and fill the vessel as much as 3 quarters and place your tomato seeds in. Put adequate water on your seeds Do not allow water to dry up nor water your tomato plant exceedingly.

No matter what kind of tomatoes you wish to grow, here are a few more pointers to remember when planting tomatoes inside.

Temperature level. Keep an indoor temperature level of 70 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the winter.

An excellent soil will produce excellent tomatoes. Make certain your soil is blended with garden compost and sphagnum or peat moss to offer nutrients required by your plant.

Appropriate Drainage. Extreme water should be drained pipes through the holes at the bottom of the pot. Stagnant water will rot the roots of your plant.

Transplanting. Take additional care that the roots are not harmed when transplanting your tomato seeds.

Fertilizers. To increase the development of your tomato plants, put fertilizers in the soil. It will make sure a healthy plant. Water your plant well ensuring the soil is damp however not soaked.

Growing tomatoes inside can be enjoyable and fulfilling. As long as you practice the necessary ideas.

How to grow yummy Tomato in Pots-Grow Grape Tomatoes Indoors

Numerous tomato lovers who do not have the space to have a tomato garden are now relying on a various pattern of tomato gardening. This approach can still provide excellent outcomes such as a big amount of tomato crops, with the very same juicy and tasty taste. Growing tomatoes in tomato pots are as efficient as growing them in the ground. If you reside in an apartment complex you can still take pleasure in garden-fresh, juicy tomatoes, with a little effort and great deals of sunshine.

When tomatoes are grown in tomato containers or pots, they can be put by the kitchen area window sill where it can get optimal sunshine. When it gets to the selecting phase, you can simply get a tomato within your reach. How wonderful is that?

A few of the advantages of growing tomatoes in tomato pots consist of simple growing of the plant given that it is planted off the ground. Weeding and preserving it is a lot easier. There disappears kneeling on the dirt when planting or weeding.

Any range can grow in pots however the very best range is the smaller sized ones which can grow 1 to 2 feet. They ripen simultaneously, therefore, to have longer gathering season, plant them a couple of weeks apart so that you can enjoy your harvesting time.

When picking pots for your tomatoes, bear in mind the size that appropriates for the range of tomato you wish to plant along with the area offered. A 5-gallon pot is perfect for huge or little range. Various kinds of pots can be utilized such as containers, pails as well as a flowerpot. You can recycle containers that are not being used any longer such as cooking pots, wood cases, or little wine barrels. Make sure they are made from non-toxic products. Drill holes at the bottom for a correct drain of water.

Select the very best area for your grape plants where it can optimize the sunshine for approximately 16 hours a day. Aim to prevent locations where it is windy because a strong wind can harm your growing plant and dry the soil rapidly.

Use great soil to put in your pots because your tomatoes will not have the ability to get adequate nutrients from the ground. You can check your local nursery for an outstanding range of items to mix in your soil.

Growing tomatoes in tomato pots normally begin with seedlings. Plant the seeds into the pot and water well. You can include fertilizer as it starts to grow. Constantly water your plants frequently.

Watering Tomatoes

Growing tomatoes can be an excellent pastime and excellent income source too. If you take a look around you, you’ll see that nearly every food that you see has an element of tomato in it. It is practical as if tomatoes were set on ruling the world.

However, practically everybody is beginning to delve into the tomato growing craze. Plenty of individuals do it so that they would have a routine supply of tomatoes for individual usage. Some are successful and some stop working. It is to be kept in mind that there is a lot more to growing tomatoes than simply picking the type to grow and planting them. There are many aspects included. Among them is watering tomatoes.

Watering tomatoes seem like a simple and un-daunting job however there’s more than fulfills the eye. Keep in mind, every fruit and plant has its own identity so you can not anticipate watering one plant or fruit as you would with the other. That’s a principle that everybody must follow. For tomatoes, you can water them each and every single day however the rule is to water them a minimum of once a day.

The very best time to water your tomatoes is throughout the morning when the sun is not as hot as it generally is. This cuts down on the quantity of water that is lost as a result of vaporizing due to the sun’s heat. So you will be guaranteed that you’ll get the worth of the quantity of water that you feed your tomato plants. In addition, watering your plants late during the night will not do your plant any good.

Do not over – soak the soil by which your tomato plants are planted on. Soil that is over drenched blocks the air that is meant for the plant’s roots. DO not overdo it when you water your tomato plants, be clever and water just when required. The soil ought to be soaked to a depth of 15 – 20cm or 6-8 inches.

Watering tomatoes as pointed out earlier is extremely important in figuring out the total quality of your tomato fruits. So as constantly, put focus into this paired with diligence and determination.

best tomatoes to grow indoors

Growing fruits is not as simple as it sounds. If you are dead set on growing your preferred fruit, you have to enhance yourself with the competence required. You have to research study and prepare yourself both physically and psychologically. This will be a walk in the park I ensure you.

One fruit that is similarly difficult as all the other is tomatoes. Similar to all fruits, the procedure of growing tomatoes is a really precise one. From growing them to preserving their health, whatever can be extremely tension causing if you came unprepared. The most crucial aspect of growing tomatoes which is the most vital part is picking the very best tomatoes to grow.

As far as picking the very best tomatoes to grow, the menu checks out like a boundless list. There are plenty of options and they will simply keep you woozy. However, if you understand how the procedure of choice of works, you’ll be exempt from all the episodes of a migraine. In regards to picking your tomatoes, everything comes down to 2 basic classes of tomatoes. Determinate tomatoes are referred to as bushes and indeterminate tomatoes are called vines.

Determinate tomato plants are stocky and brief. They need less maintenance and care and they primarily flourish within 6 weeks or lower then they wilt. Indeterminate tomato plants are the precise reverse of determinate tomato plants. They need more extensive care and assistance. Unlike determinate tomatoes, they will continue to flourish up until stopped by the winter season or frost. The quality and amount of the fruits that they produce are often stated to be greater than that of the determinates. Just as long as the weather condition and environment conditions are acceptable, indeterminate tomato plants will continue to bear more fruits.

It is likewise essential that you select tomato plants that are disease resistant. As much as we wish to advance science’s medical understanding of all plants, we can not determine that rate. There is still a great deal of plant disease that has no treatment. So if we wish to have the very best tomatoes that we can grow, we have to pick those that can combat a disease. Keep in mind, that each range is coded VF”, “VFFA”, “VFNT”. “F” or “FF” symbolizes that the plants are unsusceptible to the Fusarium oxysporum fungus which cause Fusarium wilt.

“N” suggests that the plants are unsusceptible to parasitic roundworms.”T” shows that the tomato plants are unsusceptible to the Tobacco Mosaic Virus. “TSWV” indicates resistance to the Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus.
“V” implies the tomato cannot be contaminated by the fungus which triggers Verticillium wilt, Verticillium dahliae, and V. albo-atrum.

So take into consideration all that was pointed out. They will help you well in your look for the very best tomatoes to grow indoors

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