by Lee Safin
Perhaps, Tomatoes are the second most popular vegetable on this planet.
The throne is still in possession of the mighty Potato!
Nonetheless, you are a complete alien if you do not like tomatoes. But going to the grocery store and buy yourself a bunch of them is no fun.
In other words, you want to grow them all by yourself.
Who doesn’t like the freshly picked tomatoes on their plates!
That is why we are flailing your desire.
A lot of people do search on google for “how to grow tomatoes indoors with lights?” To satisfy those people we came with a solution. However, this article is going to be an asset for them.
Today, we will be covering almost everything that you need to know before harvesting tomatoes indoors! However, if you’re excited to know “how to increase humidity for houseplants?”, check our linked article.
Salsas to your favourite pizza sauce, you name it! We get it! But you cannot deny the role of tomatoes in them.
Almost every cuisine in the world has a proper and elaborated use of tomatoes. It is delicious and exquisite at the same time! But why is this red dude so popular?
Because it is healthy! As simple as that!
It contains loads of vitamins and nutrients that benefit your body. However, having a fit and subtle body is the number one priority for the human race.
That is why these are the popular pick of a typical individual.
Now, buying tomatoes from the store and the farmer’s market is a different ball game. You see, because tomatoes have a high consumption rate, harvesters are choosing fast-growing species.
These take less time to harvest. But that extra time-saver comes with a terrible price.
The thing is that these tomatoes are crossed and hybrid in nature. Thus they often miss out on some vital nutrients.
On the other hand, excessive usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has also been a hidden culprit. Excessive use can cause the fruit to lose its primary purpose.
So, if you are willing to have the organic one, arguably the best in the business, then you will have to get your hands dirty.
I was just kidding!
You will have to grow your fruit! Oh, some of you might be thinking, why am I calling tomatoes bloody food?
Because it is a fruit! But we consider it as a vegies.
So, you want to grow a mini-army of tomatoes! Good! I like it!
But before moving into further details, you will have to brush up on some Agriculture lessons.
I am not that grumpy old Agro Professor! It won’t take long. But do pay a great deal of concentration!
As you know (if you don’t, it is magnificent! Please bear with us!) there are six distinct stages of growing a plant.
There were countless requests from you guys on how to grow tomatoes indoors with lights; this is the right article for your quarries.
So please bear with us as we advance into the following segment.
Now, there is a set of things that you will need before diving into the real deal. All of the materials will be available in your locality so as not to panic!
So here is the list of things that you need to have. It will certainly fulfill the desire on how to grow tomatoes indoors with lights.
These are known as the starting tray. But not to worry if you do not have one. You can use the egg trays as well as a good replacement.
So, this might be a new item for you. This is a sterile soil replacement for plants. These are easily drainable and also fungus proof.
This is the real deal for you now. As there are many questions regarding ‘how to grow tomatoes indoors with lights,’ this is the sun’s solution!
This is the must-have element, no doubt. But we do have to bear in mind that neutral water is the best for plants.
When the seedlings grow a bit bigger, then we will have to replace those on a bigger pot. This will help them grow properly.
There is a common misconception in people’s mind that fertilizers are not acceptable. We think that they are full of chemicals. But some organic fertilizers are essential for growth.
This might be new to you, but you have seen these everywhere. These are supported for the plants and make them stay upright.
I believe you have all the things that you need now. Now let us dig into the real deal. First up, we need to pick the right breed of Tomatoes!
Now, it is pretty challenging to choose the right breed for you as there are tons of options in the market. The majority of the varieties are pretty big, and the plants can grow up to 10 feet.
Those are not ideal for indoors. So, the best one for indoor cultivation is the ‘Micro Dwarf’ varieties.
Andrin, Pinocchio Orange, Orange Hat, Yellow Canary are some of the popular little ones.
These are not more than a foot tall, so they need less space and are more convenient.
Now, all you need to do is pick the variety that you prefer and start the cultivation!
Picking the sweet spot is one of the most vital things before any indoor cultivation. Your efforts will be cut in half if you prefer a great place with sufficient air and light.
But choosing a lousy spot is probably the last thing you want to do while cultivating.
Yes, I know that in this ‘how to grow tomatoes indoor with lights’ discussion, we will be using the grow lights. So, why need the sun?
It makes sense, but the right spot works as a comfortable and productive place for the red dudes.
The inaugural part of the process is on the cards now. We have picked up the right seeds, a good spot as well. Now we will be sowing the seeds.
For that, first, we will have to take a starting tray. If you do not find one, pick the egg carrier or something that has pouch spaces.
Now, first, fill the pouch holes with the planting mix. Remember, fill it two-thirds of the space. The upper part should have quarter-inch leverage.
Now, dampen the soil mix with a little bit of water. Plant 2 to 3 seeds per hole. Cover it with more mixture and wait.
After sowing the seeds, you will have to keep that in mind that you will have to place the tray in a warm place.
Putting on the hard and cold floor might delay or, in some cases failing.
So, please place it in a warm place, for example, place it on top of the fridge! Wait for the germination process now.
Water the tray in one in a while. The seeds need to stay hydrated and healthy.
It usually takes about a month or so to have a good quality sprout.
These are healthy and ready to be transported. But there are some obstacles while doing it.
For a start, you will have to be super careful while transplanting the seeding. Be careful with the roots and avoid damaging them.
You can easily damage the stem as well. So, keep an eye on that. Prepare the pot beforehand to avoid any miscalculation.
Now, as you have successfully transplanted the little ones, all you need to do is make sure that they are protected and secured.
If your place has access to direct sunlight, try avoiding direct sunlight for the first few days.
Now, on this part of ‘how to grow tomatoes indoors with lights, we move on to the Grow lights. Grow lights are basically replacements for sunlight.
In indoor situations, sunlight is often missing. So, we have to maintain a healthy light source. This is where grow lights come into play.
There are many varieties when it comes down to grow lights. But my personal favorite is the LED ones.
LEDs tend to have a fair amount of life cycle. On top of that, they consume a shy percentage of those with fluorescent lights.
A typical tomato plant needs almost 8 hours of light and a warm temperature for better output. So, these lights not only fulfill the needs of the light but also maintains a reasonable temperature.
The ideal temperature is between 71-75 degrees during germination. And while cultivating, you need to have 75-79 degrees.
There is another benefit of having Grow lights. This enables you to control the rate of illumination.
In simple words, you will have control over the time exposure of the plants, respectively.
But outdoors, this was out of the question.
Plat stakes are used as a helping hand for the plants. This allows the plant to stay upright for better performance. This is very important for a plant.
On the other hand, plants like tomatoes that have a weaker stem also rely on the stakes.
Pollination is a very vital process for plants. Pollen is a powdery substance that is found in male cones.
Pollinating them is merely carrying that pollen to the female ovule; the main reason is to fertilize as the plants are in an indoor situation.
Only tapping the stems will help them pollinate.
Pruning is yet another essential thing to do.
As time goes by, the plants will grow. Then pruning is necessary. It is a process when you trim off the old leaves and dead branches.
What it does is that it helps the plant to grow much faster than usual.
A little bit of human touch is also helpful for the plants. Treat the plants as your babies.
You will need to adjust the stem, prune the excess, and water it from time to time.
Keep an eye on the progress every day. It does not take a considerable amount of time!
There are some of the things which you need to watch out for!
Perhaps the request to grow tomatoes indoors with lights’ article might pull off yet another stunner. But you will have to work your way through.
First thing first, you will have to keep an eye on the planting mix.
Add fertilizers to make the right mix. Keep them hydrated. Do NOT over-water the plants.
Excess water rots the roots and the lower step. This might prove to be lethal for the plant itself.
Another thing is that you need to make sure that the plants are in the right place. This will be a life savior.
If the plants are infected with pests and other diseases, make sure to take out the infected ones. Use suitable pest control or medicines to cure the plants.
But do NOT over-use the pesticides.
After a successful cultivation period, it is time for harvesting. If everything goes as planned, the ‘how to grow tomatoes indoor with lights’ project will be a successful one.
And you will end up with some of the stunning tomatoes you have ever seen.
But when to pick them us is always a popular question. I suggest picking those up just before they are ripe.
Some of you will be mad at me but trust me, and it will be worth it. You can store it, and it will be naturally ripe within a few days.
That was all for the ‘how to grow tomatoes indoor with lights’ project. I hope this article pays off with excellent results.
It was pretty fun to talk about exciting things.
I hope this will be an excellent guide for you. So, what are you waiting for! Grow some tomatoes! Till then, goodbye!
About Lee Safin
Lee Safin was born near Sacramento, California on a prune growing farm. His parents were immigrants from Russia who had fled the Bolshevik Revolution. They were determined to give their children a better life than they had known. Education was the key for Lee and his siblings, so they could make their own way in the world. Lee attended five universities, where he studied plant sciences and soil technologies. He also has many years of experience in the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a commercial fertilizer formulator.