Growing tomatoes indoors has its own advantages. Oftentimes, however, it also poses some risks that you would typically not have when growing them outside.
Regardless, if you have the time and effort to properly control the environment of your tomatoes, they can turn to be some of the best tomatoes out there.
There are some conditions that need to be attained whenever you are indoor-planting. To know more about them, you can read more as we discuss further growing tomatoes indoors and what you need to know about it.
Advantages of Growing Tomatoes Indoors
The first question that you should ask before you start growing tomatoes indoors is the advantages of doing so. What makes it better than simply planting them outside?
The biggest and best advantage that you can get from growing tomatoes indoors is the very high level of control on the tomatoes that you are growing.
When you plant them outside, there are certain environmental conditions that you should look out for. For instance, weather and climate. When it’s winter, tomatoes should definitely be grown indoors. Alternatively, you can plant them in a container and transplant them outside once spring comes.
Even simple weather patterns like heavy rains or humid air can damage your tomato plants. Fungal infections such as early and late blights can grow and affect your tomato plants when they are consistently moist.
Read more: Blight on Tomatoes
Speaking of blights, growing indoors can help prevent some other diseases as well. Aside from fungal infections, bacterial infections are common as well. This is especially a problem with varieties that are not highly resistant to them.
They can be great decorations
When you plant your tomatoes indoors, you have the option to arrange them to your liking. Due to this, you can do so in a way that affects the overall design and mood of your house.
This is especially true for tomato varieties that have gorgeous fruits and tame vines. Cherry tomatoes, for example, are tomatoes that are commonly planted for their cute and beautiful fruits. They are easy to grow and the fruits are tasty as well.
Learn more: Cherry Tomatoes
Since indoor tomatoes are less affected by the weather conditions outside, you can realistically expect yields all throughout the year, if done correctly.
While outside plants will not survive in the winter, indoor tomato plants can do so. While outdoor plants may sometimes die from intense sunlight and exceedingly high temperature during summer, indoor plants are comfortable in their containers.
By planting tomatoes indoors and planning accordingly, you can have a harvest schedule that never stops.
Space is always limited. Not all families have a gigantic backyard where they can plant whatever tomatoes they want. If you have limited space outside, you can use containers and plant them inside instead. Planting tomatoes in containers can be done easily as long as you are not careless.
Read more: Planting Tomatoes in Pots
Effects on People
According to Wikipedia, studies have already shown that indoor plants have some benefits to the state of mind of the people living with them.
A more technical benefit will be the tomato plants’ effect on the airflow inside the house. As you may know already, plants absorb Carbon Dioxide and release Oxygen while humans and animals are the opposite. Due to this, the existence of both plants and humans in a relatively enclosed environment benefits both parties.
How to Plant Tomatoes Indoors
Growing tomatoes indoors is not exactly too hard once you get a hang of it. However, if you are not experienced enough with even planting them outside, you may find it even harder to grow tomato indoors.
Fortunately, gardeners worldwide have tried and tested different things in regards to indoor tomato planting. The information that they have collected all throughout the years can help everyone else that is planning to do the same thing.
Make sure the container is large enough
The first thing you should take care of when planting tomatoes indoors is the containers. Since there is no patch of soil inside your house, this is an obvious task. One thing that inexperienced gardeners incorrectly do is to pick small containers for their tomatoes.
Large containers make sure that the roots of the tomato plants have room to grow. Since, the growth of these roots will directly influence the growth of the entire plant, inhibiting these roots from growing will stop your tomatoes from growing until they eventually die.
Even though you should buy a large container for your tomato plants, you are not expected to buy the biggest container out there either. What you can do are the following:
First, you can do simple research on the tomato variety that you are planning to grow. Some types of tomato plants can grow to a very large size, while some are a lot shorter. You can predict their growth and pick a container that is appropriate for them.
Read more: Different types of tomatoes
Make sure the soil is appropriate
The best soil to use in planting tomatoes indoors is a potting mix. This is a combination of moist potting soil, some organic fertilizers, humus, and more.
This part is extremely important because of how limited soil nutrition is when planting indoors. If the soil is too dry, it may actually have a hard time absorbing the water. As a result, the tomato plants will not absorb the water effectively either.
If the soil does not have fertilizers, it will also have trouble sustaining the life of the tomatoes. Tomatoes need Phosphorus, Nitrogen, Potassium, Calcium and many more minerals. Fertilizers make sure that the plants will not run out of minerals and die.
Read more: Best Fertilizer for tomatoes
Make sure the amount of water is appropriate
One of the trickiest parts of growing tomatoes in containers is in watering them. Tomatoes need a lot of water to grow. They need consistent and frequent watering sessions for them to survive.
However, it is also not a good thing if the amount of water that you give is too high. Wet soil can cause the roots of your tomatoes to rot. The soil of the tomatoes should never be dry and never be wet either. They need to be moist and consistently so.
This is why sufficient care and effort is really needed when growing tomatoes indoors.
Make sure there is a support system in place
Support systems like cages, stakes, and trellises are important for tomatoes. You have to remember that tomatoes are vine plants. These vines will grow outwards and if you let them touch the ground, they will die and affect the growth of the plant.
If you have a support system in place, you can keep the vines and the leaves in place to keep them tight and secure.
An exception to this rule is the mini tomato varieties. Mini tomatoes are the smallest types of tomatoes in the world. Most of them can grow to a maximum of 12 inches. Their leaves form dense foliage that actually stays upright and contained without needing a support system. Some mini tomatoes may still need a few stakes here and there so you can play it by ear and act accordingly.
Learn more: Mini tomatoes
Make sure the tomatoes get adequate sunlight
Like most plants on earth, tomato plants also need sunlight. Therefore, getting adequate sunlight for them is very important.
The easiest way to make sure they get enough is to simply arrange the containers near a window or any place that can get some light from outside during the day.
If you cannot do such a thing, then a more advanced approach may be necessary. Technology has been developed that allows the plants to get the nutrition that they need from the sun by imitating the rays that the sun is emitting. This technology is called ‘advanced LED lighting’.
Due to how LED lighting will allow you to emulate the sun’s rays, control over the tomatoes’ environment is even better. However, you also need to be careful. Tomatoes actually also need a period of time without sunlight to survive. Hence, emulating the daytime and nighttime scenario by turning the lighting on and off at appropriate times is necessary.
Things to Remember Before You Start
Before you start your buying things and planning your planting sessions, there are some things you need to know and understand first.
Growing tomatoes indoors can be challenging
The biggest difference between growing tomatoes indoors and outdoors is the plant’s interaction with nature. When planted outside, tomatoes tend to be slightly more self-sufficient. They can get sunlight naturally from the sun, water from the rain, and nutrients from the soil and all the organisms that the plant may interact with.
Meanwhile, when growing indoors, everything the tomato plants get will depend on you. You literally control their survival more than anything else. If you cannot give them adequate nutrients from all the necessary components, they will die.
Sure, since you can control the plants’ environment more, you can also shelter them better from harmful forces of nature. But, at the same time, if you just do your research and pick a tomato variety that fits your location and is also very resilient, it can circumvent a lot of outdoor-planting problems.
On the other hand, it is harder to compensate for anything lacking in indoor plants than on outdoor plants.
In conclusion, if you plan on growing tomatoes indoors, you better be sure that you stick with it and that you put in adequate effort into it because, otherwise, it may be too difficult a task to succeed in.
How you treat your tomatoes will depend primarily on the variety of tomato that you have. However, before you pick out a tomato variety to plant indoors, it’s recommended to do some research first.
First of all is your location. The growth of tomatoes will largely depend on the environment they are in. Some tomato varieties like warmer areas while others like the cold. Fortunately, if you want, you can control the temperature in the area where your tomato plants are.
However, another thing to look at when it comes to location is diseases. Different areas are exposed to different types of diseases. Learning what kind of plant diseases are in your area will help. Afterward, you can simply pick a tomato variety that is naturally resistant to the diseases mentioned.
The next thing to learn is naturally the characteristics of the tomato variety you plan to grow. Determinate varieties, for example, grow short and require less support. Thus, it is recommended to choose them for indoor-planting than their indeterminate counterparts.
Learn more: Determinate vs indeterminate tomatoes
5 Products that will Help You Plant Tomatoes Indoors
Planting tomatoes indoors will require some essential items and equipment. Naturally, the quality of the said items also matter. If some items can offer you more convenience than others, then you should preferably use them instead.
With that in mind, here are some of the best products that may want to check out if you ever want to plant your tomatoes this way.
1. Hongville Grow Bag Fabric Pots
Since the container of your tomato plants is the most important item, you should check this product first. Hongville’s fabric pots have many advantages when compared to its competition. For starters, the pots are made of fabric.
If you remember, giving the right amount of water to your tomato plants is very important in successfully growing them. It is harmful to give them too much water. Fabric pots help in this regard because they are permeable and any excess water will simply be drained out of the pot.
Another advantage these pots have is their portability. The pots are not heavy and can be moved around your house. Despite that, the material is tough and does not tear easily.
- Made of fabric
- Does not tear easily
- Light and portable
- Relatively cheap
2. EcoTrellis Mini Trellis
Another necessary item when planting tomatoes is the support. EcoTrellis offers you a very cute-looking trellis that is perfect for any short tomato that you plan to grow indoors.
The entire trellis is made up of three stakes that carry a ring on top. It is enough for any necessary support that your plants need. At the same time, it is also designed to be not too restrictive so your plants can still grow freely.
- Mini trellis
- Sufficient as a support system for your plants
- Looks cute with the plant
3. Hydrofarm Tomato Trellis with Wheels
Since you need a container for your tomatoes, and you also need a support system in place for them, why not get something that does both?
The Hydrofarm offers you a wide container that has enough space for your tomato plant to grow beautifully. At the same time, it also has a built-in trellis so that the plant can grow upright and without problems.
One thing to note is that the whole thing is large. Therefore, it is less portable than the fabric pots and the mini trellis combined. To compensate for that, the product has built-in wheels to make moving it easier and more convenient.
Another advantage of it being large is that it may have enough room and support for an indeterminate tomato variety.
- 2-in-1 container and support
- Has wheels for easier movement
- Large container
- May be able to sustain indeterminate tomatoes
4. Petutu’s Indoor Hanging Planter Holder
If you want to take your decorative indoor tomato plants to another level, why not try hanging them? This product form Petutu allows you to hang a tomato-filled container from the ceiling.
The biggest feature of this holder is that you can put any hard plant container in it, provided that it is not too heavy. Since you can put the container easily, you can remove it as simply as well.
If you are using soft pots, maybe you can put some hard materials at the base of the pot to help you hold the thing up.
Petutu’s Indoor Hanging Planter Holder is a convenient and also attractive item that you can use to decorate your house with your favorite tomato plant. Furthermore, it’s quite cheap!
- Excellent for decoration
- Can hold any hard container
- Can hang your tomato plant
5. Union 63182 Elephant Watering Can
You need to water your tomato plants, so you will probably need a good indoor watering can. And since you do it every day anyway, you might as well make it fun.
The Union Elephant Watering Can, as its name suggests, is shaped like an elephant. When it’s time to water your plants, you do not need to look at a clunky piece of metal anymore. Even with such a mundane task, the watering can’s animal shape may improve your overall mood.
On the technical side, the watering can is able to hold 2 gallons of water at once. And it’s cheap, so you do not need to worry.
- Cute elephant-shaped can
- 2-gallon container
- Still cheap
Growing tomatoes indoors can be a tough task and it needs some experience to perfect it. Fortunately, if you do it right, the rewards are all worth it. Hopefully, you now know the basics of growing tomatoes indoors and can apply it to your plants so they can flourish in the best possible way.