Planting tomatoes indoors appeals to some gardeners who want to eat them when it’s out of season. Certainly, tomatoes grown at the right time and which can benefit from sufficient sunshine have an incomparable taste quality. But if you really cannot do without tomatoes in winter, it is of course possible to opt for greenhouse cultivation. This requires selecting suitable varieties and offering them very specific conditions. Let’s do a check in.
Growing tomatoes out of season: meeting specific needs
The tomato does not tolerate cold or lack of light. It is therefore illusory to want to grow it in the garden outside the summer season. If you want to succeed in this feat despite everything, it is imperative to install them in a heated greenhouse so that the plants benefit from the following conditions:
- A temperature never lower than 18°C at night, but which must preferably be between 24 and 28°C during the day to hope to see its tomato plants bloom and later harvest the fruits,
- Sufficient brightness, which is not the case in winter, so that this lack is compensated for by artificial lighting coupled with a timer or a more sophisticated programming device,
- Sufficient ventilation to limit the development of parasites and diseases, but avoiding cold drafts,
- Careful watering to compensate for the lack of rain, the greenhouse being a closed room.
It is necessary to choose a greenhouse high enough in order to accommodate varieties of tomatoes that must be led on stakes and can reach a good two meters in height.
However, you can limit the expenses by choosing not to buy a greenhouse but to grow a few feet of tomatoes at home. For this, you must have a room equipped with bay windows facing south, so very bright and warm. However, it is generally not possible to grow at home only three or four feet of cherry tomatoes, the space being generally insufficient for a more substantial crop.
Growing tomatoes indoors: few varieties are suitable
Planting tomatoes indoors is essential if you want to harvest them in winter, these chilly plants must be absolutely protected against bad weather and benefit from sufficient heat. If all varieties without exception like the garden when the season tomatoes are in full swing, few of them tolerate winter cultivation, even if the greenhouse is heated. We can at most give it a try with Cherry tomatoes.
If you want to eat large tomatoesyou can try growing the variety indoors Burpees delicious. Plants in pots are to be planted in February in a heated greenhouse since they absolutely need a constant temperature of at least 20°C. It is also possible in February to sow the seeds of Burpees delicious which can therefore germinate under identical conditions.
Even if you take care to select your varieties of tomatoes to grow indoors, you should not expect them to be as good as if they had been grown during the normal season, moreover. in the ground, to take advantage of the sun, natural heat and light, but also a good watering with rainwater from time to time… in short, all the natural conditions required. Logical, right?
Growing tomatoes out of season: is it reasonable?
The gardener takes a certain pride in being able to consume his own tomatoes in winter when we are completely out of time. But thinking about it, should we take pride in defying the laws of nature and do not respect the seasons ?
Growing tomatoes in winter requires planting them in a greenhouse which must be heated, having artificial lighting because the days are short, watering frequently to obtain a good yield. It is also necessary to treat very often in this type of environment, because confinement and humidity favor parasites and diseases. Tomatoes are grown outdoorsin the ground in the garden or possibly in a pot on the terrace, between March and May depending on the local climate.
By growing tomatoes out of seasonthis forces them to be installed in a heated shelter. In this way, we uselessly consume a natural wealth (water), we waste a non-renewable fossil energy (electricity in most cases), we promote the emission of greenhouse gases by the tomatoes themselves (it is 7 times higher than in the case of tomatoes grown outside in the middle of the season), we resort to chemical products, harmful to the environment and health (insecticides, fungicides, etc.) and that’s without counting the cost of the operation to finally harvest less tasty fruits and of poor nutritional quality. It’s up to everyone to see… Nevertheless, it’s a aberration what’s more !