Grow Tomatoes Indoors
Grow Tomatoes Indoors
Garden designer Linsey Evans explains the perils and the triumphs of growing tomatoes in your garden, including seedling methods, greenhouse methods and indoor-to-outdoor considerations. She also explains how best to fertilize and water your tomatoes and what dangers might threaten your harvest.
Tomatoes need regular care, fertile top soil, heat, feed and water. They're not quite as easy to grow as some books would have you believe. You need to start the seeds off indoors.
I grow mine in these little food trays with modules. I sift some ordinary garden compost to take out some of the lumps and bumps and then you fill the seed tray with the soil and flatten off the top. I placed two seeds in each module and just cover the surface with some of this perlite, water them, place them in a propagator with a little bit of heat, about 7 to 14 days, until they germinate.
When the plants are large enough, this means usually when it got about four leaves, transfer each plant into a three inch pot. I leave the pots on a sunny window sill. Once they're a little bit bigger, I put them into my green house, which is unheated.
The ones I'm going to put outside, I harden them off gradually which means acclimatizing them to cooler outside temperatures by moving them out in the day and moving them back into the green house at night. When I think they're ready and usually when they're large enough, about a foot tall, I put them out onto my allotment and give them a cane to support them. Prepare the planting area by digging over, incorporating plenty of composted material and a little bit of fish blood and bone.
When you plant the tomato plants outside, put them slightly lower so that they sit slightly lower in the soil than they were in their pots. So bury them a little bit. Bush tomatoes don't need any training at all.
If you're growing the Cordon type of tomatoes, they have a single central stem and you need to pinch out the side shoots that appear between the leaf joints. Once they're in the ground or in their growing bags they need regular watering and lots of it. And also once the flowers start to develop, and the fruits, you need to give them a weekly feed with a good quality tomato fertilizer.
The main enemy of your outdoor tomatoes is blight. This appears as black blotches on the leaves and then eventually transfers to the fruit and makes them rot and makes them completely inedible. So there're some tips on how to grow tomato plants whether you choose to do them indoors or outdoors.
Enjoy them. .