Growing tomato plants indoors is an ideal way to provide the necessary nutrients to your friends and family. Without you having to move an inch from your easy chair, your family can consume juicy tomatoes grown at your backyard.
Nonetheless, is this approach really practical? Some are of the opinion that growing tomato plants indoors is a foolhardy act. They believe that such a feat is impossible. They also claim that the problems linked to growing tomatoes indoors far exceed its benefits.
Nonetheless, this is not at all true. You can easily hope to grow tomatoes at home without facing any issue. In fact, you can even hope to sell the extra produce to earn extra money.
Well, here is how you can achieve this aim:
Growing Tomato Plants Indoors Article Contents
1) What is Tomato?
2) What is the History behind Tomato?
3) How is Tomato Cultivated?
4) What are the Common Pests that Attack Tomato Plant?
5) How to Choose Tomato Seeds for Home Plants?
6) How to Plant Tomato Seeds?
7) How to Grow Tomato in Pots at Home?
8) How to Water Tomato Plants at Home?
9) Tips for Tomato Plant Care
10) Growing Tomato Plants Indoors – Hit or Miss
What is Tomato?
Tomato is a type of berry derived from the Solanum lycopersicum plant. Originated in America – (both north and central), tomato plant is juicy and full of nutrition. It is considered as a vegetable (not a fruit).
It was in Mexico wherein tomato was used as a food item. It is believed that the Aztec Empire was responsible for encouraging the consumption of tomato.
The tomato plant can grow as tall is ten feet in height. Usually it is not shorter than three feet in length. You need a temperate climate for its growth. Each ripe tomato can be as small as 0.5 inches to 4.5 inch in width.
What is the History behind Tomato?
The Aztecs were responsible for introducing this culinary vegetable to the world. It was during 500 BC when this vegetable was introduced formally as a means of satisfying one’s appetite. Tomato was cultivated in Mexico.
As time progressed and the popularity of tomato grew, it started being cultivated in other parts of the world. Spain, China and Italy followed suit and soon this vegetable spread its tentacles across the globe.
Besides the United States, India too is a producer of tomato. Tomato was introduced to India in the 16th century. In America, it was grown in the 17th Century. It was in the 18th century when tomato was introduced in the Middle East. In Great Britain, tomato was introduced in late 15th Century.
How is Tomato Cultivated?
The Temperature and Rainfall:
The climate plays a major role in tomato cultivation. The ideal temperature should not be less than 10 degree Celsius and more than 25 degrees. In the fields, the rainfall should be around 500 millimeters.
The Soil Type:
While hybrid variants of this crop can grow on almost all soil types, well-drained soil is an asset. You can use black or red soil to cultivate this vegetable. Even sandy soil is considered good for this task.
Killing Pathogens Naturally:
For this very reason, simply place a plastic film over the soil. This helps the soil absorb the rays that increases soil temperature. The end result is annihilation of the pest present in the soil.
The Sowing Season:
Spring to autumn is considered to be an ideal time for growing this crop. If you are based in hilly areas then, you may grow tomato in between March and April.
The Spacing between Speeds:
While planting the tomato seeds, you need to maintain adequate spacing. The ideal distance needs to be 60 cms by 30 cms. The depth at which the seed needs to be placed in 3 cms.
Made from cow dung, the field needs to be fertilized optimally. This helps optimize the yield considerably. Avoid using fertilizers that are comprised of harsh chemicals.
What are the Common Pests that Attack Tomato Plant?
Mites as well as insects may infect the tomato crop from time to time. Even netamodes have the ability to harm your crop considerably. These insects can damage your indoor grown tomato plants.
Well, here is a list of the most common pests that tend to harm your indoor plants:
This is a pest that clings to the underside of the tomato leaf. It tends to suck the nutrients and eat the leaf thereby damaging the plant. Potash soap sprays tend to disinfect the plant and get rid of white-fly menace.
The second most common insect to infect the tomato crop is aphids. They tend to adversely affect the shoots of tomato plant. Aphids may carry virus that can be transferred to the plant. Use horticulture oil to get rid of these black or green colored insects.
Also known as Root-knot Nematode, eelworm is a worm that is invisible to the naked eye. It however damages the crop. Signs of damage include wilts or swelled tomato roots.
Minute in size and shaped like a torpedo, tomato mites can damage your crop easily. The lower part of the tomato leaves may start to dry out and the stem may become bronze in color. If this occurs then, it is an indicator to the damage done by russet mite.
This is a type of caterpillar that is green or brown in color. some are even red in color. These are summer season caterpillars that are very hard to get rid of.
In order to identify budworm, watch out for the colored stripes on their body. Spinosad spray is usually used to get rid of these worms. You may even pick them via hand to get rid of them.
This is a worm that often infects tomato plants. The infection thus caused is viral in nature. Remember that thrips may or may not be winged in nature.
Spraying them with natural insecticides is an ideal way to get rid of thrips. When you do so, your tomato plant shall be spared of the inevitable damage.
These are caterpillars that tend to annihilate your tomato plants after sunset. During the day time, cutworms merely rest in the soil.
You may cover the plant via aluminum foil to prevent them from being attacked by cutworms. These worms may also snip the soft stems of the plant. This may cause your tomato plant to fall flat on the ground.
Spider Shaped Mites:
These mites tend to attack the leaf of the tomato plant. The leaves are sucked dry by these mites. Whenever you see spider web configurations on the leaves, it is a sign of spider mite infestation.
How to Choose Tomato Seeds for Home Plants?
Tomatoes grown at home have a distinctive crunch. They taste differently and have the ability to satisfy your pallet completely. Nonetheless growing them at home is a daunting task indeed.
This statement is true if you lack the basic knowledge pertaining to growing tomatoes at home. The first and foremost issue is choosing the seeds that can be grown at home.
Well, here are a few useful tips for the same:
>>> Try open pollinated tomato seeds.
>>> Opt for Plum, cherry or the evergreen San Marzano varieties.
>>> Yellow Pear and Black Krim too are ideal to be grown indoors.
>>> You may want to try Cherokee Purple or the Cherokee red seeds.
>>> If you like the traditional juicy and sour taste then, opt for Nepal tomato variety.
>>> Opt for tomato seeds that offer thicker walls and a fuller fruit.
>>> If you like tomatoes in your salad, pasta and pasta then, opt for cherry tomato seeds.
How to Plant Tomato Seeds?
>>> You need to opt for a container that is rectangular in shape. I would personally prefer a 3 foot by 1 foot container that is 6 inches in height.
>>> Use potting soil that is of good quality. It should be of organic origin.
>>> The next step is to plant the seeds. These should be placed in a hole that is about 3.5 inches deep.
>>> The seed should be ideally covered with potting soil.
>>> To allow the freshly planted seeds to germinate, you need to place the container in a warm area. The ideal temperature should be 25 degree Celsius.
>>> After about 10 days of germination, the seeds shall begin to emerge from the soil. This is when sprouting takes place.
>>> You may want to apply fertilizers to the leaves emerging from the seeds.
>>> Place the container in sunlight for maximum results (6 to 8 hours daily).
How to Grow Tomato in Pots at Home?
The best season to grow tomato is March and April. Nonetheless, you can grow this plant even in May and June. Basically, it is a crop that loves sunlight.
>>> Place the seeds into the pot digging a hole that is ½ inch deep. You may like to opt for a pot that is 6 inch deep and 6 inch in width.
>>> The Ph factor of the soil needs to be maintained to 6 but not more than 7. Avoid planting the seed in clay soil that has heavy texture/consistency.
>>> The ideal temperature of the soil during germination needs to be 75 degree Fahrenheit.
>>> It takes about 12 to 14 days for the seeds to germinate when placed in pots.
>>> To ensure that tomatoes grow optimally, maintain the moisture the soil.
>>> Do not use too much water during the germination stage. Few drops of water over the planted seeds is ideal. Do not cover the soil with bucketful of water.
How to Water Tomato Plants at Home?
>>> During the germination stage, you need to ensure that water is kept to bear minimal.
>>> Make sure that you use a spray water bottle for the same. Simply sprinkle a few drops of water and the seeds shall be safe.
>>> Once the germination is witnessed, start watering the plant properly. This needs to be done on a daily basis.
>>> During the months of April, May and June, you need to water the tomato pots once during the morning and once during the night.
>>> Water should not be poured over the tomato plant. Simply water the base area (where the plant emerges from the soil).
Tips for Tomato Plant Care
>>> In order to ensure that your indoor tomato plants remain intact, support them with a stick.
>>> Use a cage to protect your crop from animals and rodents.
>>> In case you want to avoid pests from spoiling your precious tomato crop, cover it with a breathable nylon cloth.
>>> You can place the pots and containers in areas that receive bright sunlight. These include verandas, balconies etc.
>>> Pots need to be placed a foot apart from the other. You may want to divide your pots to different parts of your home. This helps avoid transfer of pest related infection from one plant to another.
>>> The water needs to be kept to bare minimal during germination. After the sprouting occurs increase the water delivery.
>>> Use well drained soil and snip the stems and branches from time to time.
>>> In case you transfer the tomato crop from one pot to another, place more than half the plant under the soil.
>>> The transfer of plants from one container to another need to be followed by watering. Do not avoid delaying the watering process.
What are the Most Common Tomato Plant Problems?
>>> Hornworms, caterpillars, aphids and flea beetles can cause a lot of issues for your precious plant.
>>> Aphids and whiteflies can also cause infection to your precious plant.
>>> Blight is a common infection that adversely affects tomato plantations. This is a fungus that spoils your precious crop.
>>> Variation in temperature, moisture and water can cause the tomatoes to drop before they are ripe.
>>> Dark spots at the bottom of the tomato are a classic example that the crop is calcium deficit. You may want to consider placing additional calcium to the soil.
>>> If the temperature is higher than 27 degree Celsius, your tomato yield can fail to deliver the desired results. The leaf of such plant tends to roll. So, keep the temperature below 25 degree Celsius.
>>> If pests are biting into the tomato then, ripe tomatoes may develop holes.
>>> Use neem based fertilizers to maintain optimal yield.
Growing Tomato Plants Indoors – Hit or Miss
In case you love ripe and juicy tomatoes then, growing them at home is an ideal solution. It is quite possible to grow tomatoes at home. If you plan the process well enough then, the yield shall be profitable indeed.
You simply need to have ample space at home. The sunlight needs to be ample. Your indoor facility needs to be well watered and free from animals that damage crops. Use natural fertilizers to fight pests and maintain optimal nutrients of the highest quality.
Not only shall you grow healthy tomatoes at home, the organic variant grown at home is super healthy when consumed regularly. Keep the above points in mind in order to ensure that you enjoy juicy tomatoes all the year round.