Growing Tomatoes In The Apartment - This Is How It Works On The Windowsill

Growing Tomatoes In The Apartment – This Is How It Works On The Windowsill

Amateur gardeners who do not have a garden, can grow their tomato plants indoors. Because under certain conditions it is possible to keep the tomatoes indoors from sowing to harvesting. The important thing here is that the tomatoes are nevertheless grown in the sunny months, as they need a lot of light.

Pre-growing tomatoes


For many amateur gardeners, the advantage of sowing their own seeds lies primarily in the selection of tomato seeds. Because this is far more diverse than the range of young plants available for purchase. If the tomato plants are cultivated permanently indoors, this also has the positive aspect that sowing can take place as early as January or February. When pre-cultivating it is important to,

Note the following:

  • Spread the seeds on a tray with moist growing soil
  • ideally at a distance of about 3 cm
  • an egg carton filled with moist growing soil is also suitable
  • place a thin layer of soil on top
  • ideally cover with a foil
  • this ensures constant moisture
  • this foil must be removed daily
  • so that a permanent air exchange is possible
  • then place the container on a sunny window sill
  • Always keep the soil moist, but not too wet.
  • seeds germinate particularly quickly, at a temperature of 20-24 °Grad
  • the first leaves will form after about 6-10 days


Prick out and plant tomatoes


When the first leaves appear, it is time to prick the plants. In this process, the young plants are carefully removed from the soil and placed in their own containers. If the tomato plants are grown indoors, it is recommended to put them in pots. An optimal pot is characterized by the following features:

Growing Tomatoes In The Apartment - This Is How It Works On The Windowsill
  • pot size of about 10-20 liters
  • better too big than too small
  • made of wood, clay, eternit or plastic
  • the pot should have a drainage hole
  • so that the excess water can drain off
  • ideally cover the hole with clay shards
  • so it does not clog with soil
  • and the water can flow off better
  • depending on the type of tomato, insert a climbing aid
Growing Tomatoes In The Apartment - This Is How It Works On The Windowsill

The pots can be reused, although here it is important to ensure that they are carefully cleaned after harvesting. For this purpose, a commercial dishwashing detergent or sodium hydroxide solution is suitable. If the pots are stored, they must be absolutely dry, so that no mold can form.

The optimal location


Unlike outdoor tomatoes, tomatoes grown indoors do not need to be hardened off. Thus, they can take their permanent place indoors immediately after pricking. The optimal location is characterized by the following features:

  • sunny place, for example, near a large window
  • the window is ideally facing south
  • the room should not be too warm
  • a window ledge in the kitchen is optimal
  • the living room is also suitable
  • if it is not heated too much


Lighting of the plants


Tomato plants need a lot of light to grow and thrive optimally. In the kitchen or living room, the light supply is usually insufficient, so artificial lighting should be used to help. For this purpose, there are special plant lights that imitate sunlight. These are switched on during the day and off at night. A suitable lamp is characterized by the following features:

  • the light falls in the red as well as in the blue spectral range
  • the illumination intensity must be strong enough
  • as well as the light spectrum
  • the lamp should not get too hot
  • otherwise the plants can be burned


Meanwhile, there are numerous choices of plant lights, and they vary greatly in efficiency as well as price. An LED lamp is often very expensive to buy, but it provides the optimal conditions for the plants. This is because LED lamps do not get so hot and provide a lot of light with comparatively low energy consumption.

Care of tomato plants


The care of tomato plants, which are grown indoors, differs only slightly from outdoor tomatoes. Nevertheless, there are subtle differences, which should be considered when growing in the living room or kitchen. The optimal care looks as follows:

Fertilizing

  • when fertilizing the soil must be moist
  • indoors, a liquid fertilizer is particularly suitable
  • fertilize every two to three weeks until the first fruit set
  • after that fertilize weekly
  • additionally the removed stingy shoots can be used as fertilizer
  • in this case the stingy shoots are scattered around the plants


Watering

  • the water should be lukewarm and lime-free
  • water at least once a day
  • the leaves must not be moistened
  • the soil should always be kept moist
  • especially during the heating period
  • because at this time the soil dries out faster


Pruning

  • depending on the variety not mandatory
  • but nevertheless advisable
  • because the plants can spend more energy for the fruits
  • when pruning, the side shoots are removed regularly
  • pinch off fresh, young stingy shoots with your fingers
  • gently bend firmer shoots to the side
  • cut off older side shoots
  • but do not cut above the flower head
  • additionally remove the lower leaves
Growing Tomatoes In The Apartment - This Is How It Works On The Windowsill

Pollination


If the tomatoes are grown outdoors, the amateur gardener does not have to worry about pollination, because outdoors this is done by bees, as well as the wind. However, if the tomato plants are grown in the kitchen or living room, the natural helpers will be absent. Therefore, it is necessary to help a little with pollination. For this purpose, various methods have proven successful:

  • either gently shaking the plants
  • or use an electric toothbrush to vibrate the plant.
  • the toothbrush is placed above the blossom
  • or brush with a soft brush over the pollen sacks and stigmas
  • or place a fan near the plant
  • this also ensures that the plants become stronger


Since not all flowers open at the same time, it is necessary to repeat this procedure more often. Ideally, pollination is helped every one or two days, especially since after the flowers open, there are only about two days to pollinate them. In order for pollination to work in the apartment, additional conditions are also necessary:

  • humidity should be between 50-80 percent.
  • if it is too humid, the pollen clumps together
  • if it is too dry, the germination capacity of the pollen is reduced
  • the temperature must not exceed 30 °Grad


Harvesting and storage of tomatoes


If the tomato plants have developed well on the windowsill, after a few months they will bear numerous fruits, which can now be harvested. When harvesting, it is essential to ensure that the fruit cap is not damaged. Whether the fruits are ripe, you can tell by these characteristics:

  • they are no longer green
  • but red or yellow, depending on the variety
  • the skin of the fruit is slightly softer
  • the tomatoes can be easily detached


After the tomatoes are harvested, they can be stored. For this purpose, a cooler room is recommended, which has a temperature of about 16-18 °Grad. The refrigerator is not suitable for storage, as it is often too cold there. In addition, tomatoes should be stored in isolation from other vegetables, as they have a high content of ethylene.

Tomato varieties for indoor cultivation


For growing on the windowsill, particularly small-growing and robust tomato varieties, such as cherry tomatoes or cocktail tomatoes, have proven successful. These usually grow very compactly and accordingly require little space. In addition, the care effort is often lower, as pruning is not mandatory. The most popular varieties include:

Tumbling Tom Red and Tumbling Tom Yellow

When these two varieties are grown together, the result is an extremely decorative appearance. These tomato varieties bear numerous fruits and can be grown both on the balcony and on the windowsill. They are characterized by the following features:

  • Growth height of about 30 cm.
  • fruit size about 4-6 cm
  • tomatoes are red or yellow
  • they have a sweetish taste


Red Robin

The Red Robin is particularly compact and is therefore ideal for growing on the windowsill. This small cherry tomato grows bushy and does not need to be cut out. In addition, it has the following characteristics:

  • Height of growth about 30 cm
  • fruit size about 2 cm
  • red colored fruits
  • they have a firm skin
  • spicy, sweetish taste


Pixie

The Pixie is a particularly small cocktail tomato, which is extremely easy to care for. It does not need any climbing aids and does not need to be cut out. The Pixie is characterized by the following features:

  • height of growth about 30 cm
  • red-yellow striped fruits
  • these are medium in size
  • and have a spicy-sour taste


Minibel

The Minibel can also be optimally grown on the windowsill, as it grows very compactly. A special feature is its tree-like growth, because it also forms a broad crown. In addition, it impresses with the following characteristics:

  • Height of growth about 20-35 cm
  • fruit size about 1,5-2,5 cm
  • round, red fruits
  • rather firm skin
  • no need for pricking out


Tiny Tim

Tiny Tim is a particularly small plant, which is therefore ideal for growing on the windowsill. Another positive aspect of this variety is that it is resistant to common tomato diseases. It also impresses with these characteristics:

  • Height of growth 20-50 cm
  • fruit size about 2 cm
  • sweet fruits with thin skin
  • roundish to oval shape

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