Grow tomatoes indoors
Tomatoes are the ideal ingredient in a variety of different recipes.
If you are into cooking then it can be easy to grow tomatoes indoors. The key ones are shown below or read on for growing information:
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How to grow tomatoes indoors
The key to growing tomatoes indoors is to focus on 4 items:
Item 1 – the type of tomatoes you want to grow
When you want to cook great tasting Italian or Mexican meals then the type of tomato you use will make a major difference.
- Roma tomatoes are great for Passata (using in many different Italian recipes)
- Tomatillo tomatoes are great Mexican and Central American recipes (even for items like Salsa Verde)
Item 2 – What you grow them in – Soil or Water
There are 2 ways to grow tomatoes indoors:
- Either in soil in a pot or tub
- Or using hydroponics
Item 2a – using soil
Simply using soil in a pot might seem easier because all you will need is to buy a plastic pot and some soil.
The key is to then make sure you water them regularly and ideally at some stage also provide some extra tomato plant food. (most garden centres and amazon sell them)
Alternatively a self watering pot (like the one on the right) does make an indoor tomato growing system a lot easier and will also help you get better results.
Item 2b – using hydroponics
Many commercial growers use hydroponic systems for growing tomatoes indoors. For example many of the tomatoes you will buy in a shop will have been grown using hydroponics.
In a hydroponic system you don’t use soil but instead grow the tomatoes with the roots hanging in water. For example like the one on the right.
The reason why hydroponics is so appealing is because
- Hydroponically grown tomatoes will grow faster with better yields. Compared to those grown in soil.
- It is easier to control key items like nutrients & ph levels.
- And of course it’s easier to water them.
Building your own DIY hydroponic tomato growing system is not that difficult, the video below shows how I built one for my own kitchen.
For step by step instructions have a look at DIY tomato hydroponic system
Item 3 – Light
Tomatoes like lots of sunshine & warmth.
Most houses (kitchen, etc) tend to be warm which will be great for your plants.
But (especially when growing them in Autumn or Winter) you will need to provide the right type of extra light.
The advantage of using a specialised grow light (like the one on the right) is you will be able to provide exactly the right type of light for your plants.
The advantage is that the best grow lights can be programmed so that they automatically switch on for optimum number of hours.
More details on growing lights
Item 4 – Support
The final element for growing tomatoes indoors is to provide support for your plants as they grow.
This can sometimes be a challenge indoors – outside (when growing in soil) you can often simply use a bamboo rod in the ground.
But indoors – especially when using hydroponics or aquaponics – that is not as easy.
In addition it helps to use a support system that you can grow, as the plants get bigger and need some support.
The only one we’ve found that seems to fit the bill, is the one on the right. More details on the freestanding tomato support
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