What Are the Best Tips for Growing Indoor Tomatoes?

N. Madison

There are many tips a person might consider if he wants to extend the tomato-growing season into the fall and winter or if he doesn't have enough space to grow these plants outdoors. Among the best tips for growing indoor tomatoes are those that involve picking an optimal location and setup and making sure the plants will be warm enough. Additionally, a person might benefit from tips regarding the type of tomato he might choose and pollinating the flowers that precede tomato growth.

Tomatoes grown indoors need light and heat.
Tomatoes grown indoors need light and heat.

Some of the best tips for growing indoor tomatoes are those that involve where a person might try to grow them. While many people might assume a complicated setup is required for growing them inside, a sunny window will usually work. Experts typically recommend choosing a window that faces south to provide the maximum amount of light, though, and avoiding windows in drafty areas of the house. In lieu of this, a person can choose to buy and set up special grow lights that deliver artificial light to growing tomato plants throughout the day. Additionally, people may also consider setting up a greenhouse in which to provide their indoor tomatoes with natural light from the sun.

Tomatoes may need extra heat from a space heater.
Tomatoes may need extra heat from a space heater.

No matter where a person chooses to grow his tomatoes, he will need a way to keep them warm. Temperatures of at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.33 degrees Celsius) but not more than 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.44 degrees Celsius) are usually recommended. If the indoor location isn’t warm enough, a person may use a space heater to deliver additional warmth. In fact, there are some plant mats a person can use to keep tomatoes in the right temperature range.

People who choose to grow indoors may also benefit from tips regarding types of tomatoes. Many people choose cherry or grape tomatoes because they are small and take up less room, which can prove important if a person wants to grow them in a small area of his home or apartment. Experts also recommend choosing indeterminate tomatoes, which grow on vines. These plants continue to grow for a long time rather than only producing tomatoes for a few weeks. While their vines can sometimes prove unruly, good planning and careful trimming make them possible to grow indoors.

Indoor tomatoes do not have the benefit of bees to ensure pollination. As such, many of the best tips for growing them involve pollinating indoors. Many gardening experts recommend using an ordinary electric toothbrush to gently touch the yellow flowers that bloom on tomato plants. Experts usually suggest lightly touching the petals, the base of the flower, or their stems to accomplish this. Some people, however, have reported that gently shaking their plants works as well.

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