GROWING TOMATOES IN A GROW TENT: GUIDE & TIPS
Tomatoes are a staple product for outdoor gardening. But, it can grow indoors, too! This will allow you to produce fresh, flavorful tomatoes all year round! Growing plants indoors is useful if you live in a multi-unit building. Most especially for those that do not have access to an outdoor space for growing vegetables. You should consider getting a medium drainage soil, and adequate water. Also, the right temperature is important for successful development.
The following are the basic tools needed for you to grow tomatoes indoors:
Seed Trays - If you don’t have seed trays, you can use plastic yogurt containers or egg cartons.
Soilless Planting Mix - This should have good drainage. It should hold no fungal, bacterial, or viral diseases. Or else, it can destroy tomato plants, unlike topsoil or garden soil.
Grow Tent - Grow tents can be applicable to rented spaces. You don't need to worry anymore about pests and other elements because of the enclosure.
LED grow light
A Small Pot or Containers - Choose your pots or containers that have good drainage.
Plant stakes (a cage or trellis)
It is important to ensure you have the essential elements for germination. This provides flawless growth on your tomatoes. We present a simple to follow, step-by-step guide for you.
9 STEPS FOR GROWING TOMATOES INDOOR
Step 1: Choose A Variety of Tomatoes That Best Grow Indoor.
Choose a variety of tomatoes that best grow indoors.
Tomatoes are into two types. These are Determinate (bush) and Indeterminate (vining) varieties.
Determinate are small bushy type of plant that bear fruits. You should choose this if you have limited space, like, if you're using Grow Tent.
Indeterminate are varieties of tomatoes that climbs and need a cage, trellis, or stake. It bears a lot of fruit and ripens quickly,
Indoor Tomato Varieties: Heirlooms
Baxter's Early Bush (Determinate ) - 70-72 days, cherry red, (1 ½” round). Ripens early.
Pink Ping Pong (Indeterminate) - 75 days, cherry-pink colored (1 ¼” round). Fruit is the size of ping pong balls, hence the name.
Siberia (Determinate) - 50 days, bright red, small-fruited (up to 5 ounces).
Silvery Fir Tree (Determinate) - 55-60 days, orange/red, small-fruited (up to 3” across).
Tommy Toe (Indeterminate) - 70 days, bright red, cherry
Yellow Pear (Indeterminate) - 71 days, bright yellow, pear-shaped cherry (1 ½” round)
Indoor Tomato Varieties: Hybrids
Micro Tom (Determinate) - 85-88 days, red, super dwarf (tomatoes are about the size of croutons). The average 6” Micro Tom produces a couple of dozen tomatoes.
Orange Pixie Tomato (Determinate) - 52 days, yellow-orange, large cherry (1 ¾” round)
Patio (Determinate) - 70 days, red, cherry (2” round)
Red Robin (Determinate) - 55 days, red, cherry (about 1 ¼” round)
Small Fry (Determinate) - 65 days, red, cherry (1” round), resistance: VFN
Tiny Tim (Determinate) - 60 days, bright red, cherry (½ - ¾” round)
Totem (Determinate) - 70 days, crimson red, cherry (1” round)
Step 2: Plant your tomato seed in the soilless planting mix.
In a starting tray put a layer of soilless planting mix, and then dampen it with water. Poke one hole in the soil of each cell—the hole should be ¼ inch deep. Insert up to 3 seeds into each hole with tweezers or your fingers. Cover the holes with moist soil or mix. There are many tutorials available of you to be then guided.
Note: Sow the seeds 60-80 days before you intend to harvest your tomatoes.
Step 3: Promote germination!
Germination is the process of transformation from a seed to a seedling. To do this, place your trays inside the grow tent. Adjust the humidity inside, and make sure to maintain a daytime soil temperature between 70 to 80℉. A hygrometer helps growers to keep an eye on the moistness of the grow space. It's very reliable and inexpensive.
Step 4: Transplant the seedlings.
After about a month or two, separate and transplant the seedlings into the chosen spot. Use the same soilless planting mix to surround the seedlings. Be careful not to harm any of the roots when moving the seedlings. Move the pots inside your grow tent. Set up the LED lights above the plants for gray days and extra warmth in cold months. Artificial light sources should be then placed a few inches from the tops of the seedlings. As the plants grow, you will need to adjust the height of the lamps.
To help you decide which LED lights best suited for your garden, click here.
Step 5: Water and fertilize your plants
Water your plants regularly but not every day. You need to check if the soil is dry or still moist. If you allow the soil to dry out completely, it will yield rough-bottom tomatoes. Yellow leaves mean you aren't watering the plant enough. It could also be a pest problem or a problem with the soil. Fertilizing your plants depends on the variety you've chosen. Indeterminate varieties of tomatoes will continue to grow. They also produce fruits throughout any season. To maintain this process, you have to provide adequate nutrients for your tomatoes. Apply your first fertilizer treatment within two weeks of transplanting. Continue to fertilize your plants every few weeks until it is mature. Also, use a fertilizer that is high in phosphorous.
Step 6: Adjust the lights inside your grow tent.
Since you are using artificial lights, you need to mimic the natural rising and setting of the sun. You can set your lights on a timer or you can do it manually. Turn on your lights in the morning, then after 10-14 hours, turn off the lights. This will allow the plants to rest in the dark.
Step 7: Train your plants straight up!
Indeterminate tomato plants tend to bend down when growing. thus it needs support from a stake or trellis for their vines.
If you are using a single-string trellis, attach the stem to the support device. It needs to have a twine every six to eight inches. Tie the twine in a loose knot to avoid damaging the plant.
If you are using a multi-string trellis, place a cage over the plant while it is small. It is harder to get cages over mature plants. Next, tie the main stem to the support device with twine every six to eight inches.
Step 8: Observe the pollination on your grow tent.
Pollination is a process wherein a bee, birds, or the wind will distribute a plant pollen and it will develop fruit in time. Grow tomatoes indoors, you must simulate this process by:
Directing a fan towards your plants to mimic the wind.
Gently tap or shake each plant 's main stem with your finger.
Pollinating the plants by hand with a paintbrush or cotton swab. You can gently rub these on the flowers, distributing pollen to each.
Step 9: Harvesting!
Indeterminate tomatoes produce fruit within sixty to eighty days after planting. It will then continue to produce fruit all season long. You will know that your tomatoes are ripe when they have turned a vibrant and even red, yellow, or pink. The tomatoes should be slightly soft when squeezed.
To pick the tomato, grasp it near its stem and twist it until it snaps off.
You can also use plant scissors when harvesting.