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Growing Tomatoes inside

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

These happy little guys are growing in my sewing room under lights and with a fan to move the air. I'm wondering what would give them the best chance of surviving & hopefully giving me a few tomatoes? I have some coir- should I pot them in that and use water soluble feeding? They are Husky Red Cherry, and Oregon Spring(which is probably not going to be happy, since it is a fairly big plant in my garden. Husky Red Cherry says good for containers, that's why I am doing it.

Thumbnail by JoParrott
Galesburg, IL

Jo,
What you pot them in is going to be the least of your worries. Giving them enough light to fruit will be your largest challenge. Even if they were in a heated greenhouse, they would need a lot of additional high intensity lights to grow normally and fruit this time of year. We don't get enough hours of sunlight or a high enough intensity of sun in winter. It would be difficult and expensive to give them the light they would need to fruit indoors even if they are in a south window getting sun for most of the day. They will grow, but they will be very leggy and fruit they do set will be small and sparse in numbers. When tomatoes are advertised they will grow well in pots, that usually means they will grow well in pots on your patio in summer with full sun, not in a pot on your windowsill in the middle of winter.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

I realize I am gambling, but there's nothing to lose, and I enjoy the trying! Thanks for the info.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Lots-O-Llights. Full spectrum 16 hours per day. Enough of them to shine on all parts of the plants. Temps above 65 or 70 ish and plenty of water. Rooting nutrients to get them started, then a balanced NPK in the water should help them grow well. You might have to hand pollinate each flower since being inside your plant wont be visited by the usual pollinating insects. I think it can be done. Good luck and let us know how your harvest turns out!

Cary, IL

I've had success getting tropical plants under 4' floresent fixtures with "GroLites" or mixture of full spectrum bulbs. That might work for tomatoes too. It's relatively inexpensive to buy the fixture & set up in a basement area where hanging the lights doesn't have to be pretty. I have an "Aerogarden" & grew cherry tomatoes with success last winter.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

That is what I have- 2 shelves with 4' fluorescent lights under them. So far the plants are very happy- The Husky Red Cherry looks great- I will take photos-. So far no insect problems- I am watering with peroxide and misting also, a fan is running gently. There are several favorite Coleus cuttings growing like weeds, too.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

What will you do as far as pollination goes. Outside, bees do it. It is the way plants produce fruit (seeds)

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

I guess I will use a soft brush to tickle the blooms!

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

My cucumbers have produced fruit despite a cloudy winter. They are in the little greenhouse, kept at 55 minimum. My hanging tomato plant is flowering, too, with no extra lighting.

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