Tomatoes doesn’t seem like a fruit that would have a specific season to grow in, but they are crop that has a harvest season in the warm months between March and June.
Having a tomato plant or a few tomato plants around can really add a delicious fresh taste to a variety of your dishes and they’re great for snacking on in those warm summer months. If you’re an avid cook looking to get some freshness into your dishes but don’t want to limit yourself to summer you can grow tomatoes indoors.
There are specific criteria for growing tomato plants and a few more for growing them indoors, but it’ll be worth it for that crisp tomato taste.
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How Do Tomatoes Grow?
Growing tomatoes takes time but the benefits you reap from a well cared for tomato plant outweigh the steps in the process.
To grow tomato plants you can start with tomato seeds, which is best if you’re planting before season, or you can use young tomato plants that need to be transplanted in order to root.
Tomatoes grow upward in long, thin vines so they’ll need something to grab onto in order to steady themselves. If you plant them near a flat fence the vines will naturally attempt to grasp at the wood, usually unsuccessfully.
This will result in the vines drooping and can possibly affect the tomatoes growth.
How Long Does A Tomato Plant Take to Sprout?
The timeline for tomatoes being ready harvest truly depends on when you planted them.
Tomatoes planted early can take anywhere from fifty to eighty days, tomatoes planted in the middle of the season range from sixty to eighty, and anything planted near the end of the season can take eighty days or longer.
You can plant tomatoes near the end of the season so if you’re already late don’t worry about it! Just know that it will take awhile for tomatoes to harvest and ripen but they will still bear fruit. Patience is key with tomatoes.
What Are The Best Conditions For Growing Tomatoes?
Tomato plants needs lots and lots of sunlight to grow and ripen properly. A minimum of six hours is ideal with a maximum of eight.
Tomato plants can get oversaturated in sunlight which leads to plant death so plant them in an area that can be easily shaded or will become a barrier when the sun shifts in the sky.
Morning to noon sun is best and then as it gets closer to four pm try to shade the tomato plants for the rest of the day. Fresh delicious tomatoes get their flavor from the soil they’re planted in.
That doesn’t mean its expensive but using loamy soil is going to produce the most flavorful tomatoes.
How Do I Grow Tomatoes Indoors?
Technically, as long as there is sunlight you can grow certain fruits and vegetables indoors. Because tomatoes don’t necessarily rely on specific temperatures to grow they can be grown in hanging planters or pots as long as there is a cage around to help the vines stabilize as they grow upwards.
As long as there are drainage holes in the bottom any planter will do just fine.
If you want to have a long harvest season rather than gathering them all in one batch plant fresh seeds every week or two so you’ll be able to harvest the ripened tomato plant throughout the season.
The lack of pollinating bugs indoors can cause issues later on but you can ‘self pollinate’ with a few gentle taps of your thumb on the flower after they blossom. This will spread the pollen in the pot and help the tomatoes regrow without having to be replanted later on.
How Long Do Tomato Plants Last Indoors?
The average lifespan of a tomato plant is six months through its natural harvest. However, growing tomato plants indoors may allow you to expand the plant’s lifetime since it will be kept away from the cold fall and winter months.
Indoor tomato plants can be fruitful all year round as long as they are getting the proper sunlight and water and the temperature is above 65F in the house. Note that indoor tomato plants will be smaller than tomato plants grown outside and will produce less during harvest.
Don’t scratch them off your list for that reason alone though! Indoor tomato plants are perfect for a single person or a couple wanting to add some extra flavor to their dishes or experiment with gardening.
Fresh Tomato Growing Tips
You may be eager to pluck your tomatoes off the vine the minute they look red enough to eat, but leaving them on the vine as long as possible is what makes tomatoes extra tasty.
Tomato vines do tend to get a bit heavy and some may fall off before they’re fully ripe. Just place the loose tomatoes in a bag and store them in a cool dark place until ripe. Direct sunlight like window ledges will make the loose tomatoes rot from too much exposure.
Good watering is key to growing happy healthy tomatoes. Since they’re a summer vegetable dehydration can be a big reason your tomatoes aren’t ripening or they’re just falling off and rotting before even a hint of red appears.
Get a good watering schedule down or use an automated sprinkler system for outdoor plants if you can. Removing unhealthy drooping leaves as early as possible will stop the spread throughout the whole plant. Weekly pruning and daily checks will ensure you won’t miss a bad leaf that ends up rotting the whole plant.
Tomatoes are a great starting plant for someone who wants to try gardening. They’re low maintenance as long as they’re properly watered and in the sun for their needed time.
A tomato plant can produce loads of tomatoes throughout their six month life span, plus there’s a variety of tomatoes you can grow in the same fashion depending on what size tomato you’re looking for. Indoor or outdoors tomatoes are a great starter vegetable!