If you are considering growing tomatoes indoors then clearly there will be a number of things that you are going to require in order for things to be a rip roaring success. However, there is no need for you to be all stressed about it because things are going to be easier for you than you may initially think. Now, when we are talking about a supplies checklist we are not only referring to the tools that you are going to need. Instead, this is more to do with just making sure that you have everything in place to successfully grow your tomatoes indoors.
1. Growing Space.
The first thing to check is that you have the correct growing space for your tomatoes and you understand where they will be going in your home. Are they just going to be in containers in the corner? Do you have the space for a grow tent that will really provide them with some excellent conditions? (even though this is better for smaller plants) Do you need to set up LED grow lights around them because if so then you need more space.
Be aware of where they are going to grow and also the varieties that you choose to make sure that you do indeed have adequate space for them rather than them just being pushed aside into a spot where they will struggle to thrive.
2. Being Aware of the Temperature.
This is another important part to think about as you need to be aware of the temperature in the spot where they will be growing and how you can control it. Now, you might be lucky and have a place in a room where it is around the 70 – 75 degrees and the correct level of humidity for the tomato plants to thrive, but to be honest that is highly unlikely.
Instead, you might end up using your grow lights to increase the temperature but at the same time you have to be aware that they also get warm so you may need some extra ventilation to cool the room down. Alternatively, the room may get too cold in the evening in some places and tomato plants are not going to be best pleased with that so understand that you might need a heater or a way to protect the plants so that the cold does not hamper their ability to grow.
3. What Medium to Use?
You should also be aware of how you plan on growing the tomato plants before you get started. If you thought that it was just soil then think again as there are also soilless options as well as hydroponics where you are using water and no soil to help them to grow.
In actual fact, with you growing your tomato plants indoors it does open up more possibilities than just soil. However, the one you opt for is going to largely depend on how confident you feel in growing tomatoes. If you are new to gardening, then the more complex hydroponics systems could be slightly terrifying and the normal soil approach would certainly be best. Also, look at the expense as soil is cheaper followed by soilless and finally hydroponics.
4. Incorporating LED Grow Lights.
As you are growing your tomato plants indoors it also means that you need to be aware of how to get the most amount of light possible to the plants for the eight hours or so that tomato plants need in order to grow satisfactorily. One method is to use LED grow lights as they are able to not only provide an adequate amount of light but also some heat which is also very important.
In addition, you can make life so much easier for yourself by using an electrical timer that is attached to your grow lights so it can be set for them to go on and off whenever you want them to and without you having to effectively stand over them on a continual basis. This effectively creates a day and night scenario for the plants which is what they need in order to grow effectively.
Furthermore, you should also test the grow lights, know how they are being assembled, and also where they will be placed in advance as it can all depend on the actual positioning of your tomato plants and the space that you have available. That is why being aware of your grow space is such an integral part of all of this.
5. Understanding the Nutrients.
Another part of your checklist should be your understanding of the nutrients that have to be added to the soil so that your tomato plants will be able to grow and get all of the goodness that they require in order to then provide you with an ample amount of fruit.
Tomato plants are known as heavy feeders and their needs are rather specific. Also, the way in which the feed is released is also important as you do not want to overload the soil with an abundance of nutrients so a slow release version is going to be more satisfactory. Furthermore, you should go for organic nutrients rather than chemicals as it is safer to use and just as easy. Tomatoes need nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus for them to really grow so they should be your main concern when it comes to the nutrients and the levels of those three in the feed that you end up using.
6. Deciding About Tomato Seeds.
You should also spend some time thinking about how you are going to grow your tomatoes indoors as one option is to do so from seed. This approach has a number of advantages and disadvantages for you as you need to be able to get them to germinate but at the same time you have more options when it comes to selecting the varieties that you could grow.
In order to grow tomato seeds you need various supplies. Of course you need the correct potting mix and starter pots as there will then be the need to transplant the seedlings once they break through the soil. You will also need to sow the seeds, moisten the soil, and then use a plastic dome to increase the temperature and humidity to encourage them to grow. You should also disinfect your tools to prevent any bugs or disease being put into the soil as this can inhibit the growth of the seeds.
You should also keep a close eye on the seeds for the first signs of life as you should then remove the plastic dome that acts as a propagator or else your plants will grow too fast and not be strong enough.
Growing from seed is a bit trickier for some people but at the same time it can also be rather rewarding so just be aware of the additional equipment that you will need in order to grow your tomato plants in this way.
7. Deciding About Tomato Seedlings.
Finally, you have to also decide if you are perhaps going to grow the tomato plants from seedlings. If you have never germinated any seeds before then this could be the better option as things have been kickstarted for you and many would argue that the hardest part is now over.
However, even with this you have several things to take into consideration. What is your container like? Is it big enough for the variety? What variety are you going to grow?
Seedlings require the correct potting mix. Are you planning on making your own mix? How about the feeding? Do you understand the fertilizer that you are going to use? Are you aware that it would be more beneficial to use a slow-release fertilizer that is organic? Where is the tomato plant going to be placed? Is there enough light? Have you invested in LED grow lights and understand how to set them up? Have you staked the tomatoes and understand how to do it?
In other words, there are a number of very important things for you to think about when it comes to growing tomato seedlings and it is not just a case of you potting it up in a large enough container and then just allowing the plant to grow normally. Instead, you are strongly advised to make sure that you have all of the relevant equipment and are aware of how to grow plants from seedlings so you end up with a strong plant that produces a large crop of tomatoes.
So, there you have it, your supplies checklist that you need to think about before you go ahead and start to grow tomatoes indoors. As you can see, there is nothing too complex or difficult to think about and the main thing is that you are just able to make sure that you do indeed have everything that you require to ultimately grow strong and healthy tomato plants. Check each part individually and never just rush into growing your tomatoes because there are so many ways in which this can go wrong if you are not careful.