So you want to bring your tomatoes inside for the winter?
I know I have, especially some of my cherry tomatoes would be super amazing to have all winter long. In this post (and video) you will learn how too quickly and easily use your current tomato plants to get some new tomatoes going for indoor growing over the winter. Read on to find out which tomato varieties are best grown indoors and also the requirements of space and grow lights for success.
You can start them from seed, but you can also harvest a cutting from your existing plant. Cuttings are a much faster way to get started. I like to harvest the “suckers” or new shoots that pop out of the armpit of the stem. I remove these anyway so it’s a win.
Tomatoes will produce new roots quite easily up their stems. So take a nice long cutting if you can.
Remove all of the leaves and flowers right up until the top little tuft of leaves. Don’t keep the flowers. You want the plant putting its energy into new root growth for right now.
Potting Up Your Cuttings
I am choosing a pot about 4” in diameter (shown in video) for my cuttings to start off in. If you choose to keep a nice long stem (like I did), very gently bend it over in the pot to get the whole thing to fit. This will give the tomato more opportunity for roots to grow and speeds up the process.
Don’t be alarmed if the plant is a little wilty for the first few days. You just yanked it off it’s mother and cut a bunch of things off it.
Give them a tiny little bit of water to start off. Be very careful about watering them. Just keep the soil moist and that’s it. You just don’t want them sitting in super saturated soil. Let the soil almost dry out before watering again. It takes time to develop roots. Once you notice is drying out more quickly you can increase the amount of water.
I’m going to put them on my sunny south facing window sil for around a month. Likely the end of October at the latest, until we get a little bit shorter days, then they’re going to need to go under grow lights.
Indoor Grow Setup Requirements
You’re going to need to have some space, especially if you are going to grow an indeterminate tomato variety like I am. They can grow to be 6-7ft tall. You will need grow lights to meet the needs of a tomatoes growing habit. There is no way around it. They are hungry plants, for everything, light, water and nutrients.
They are best grown in large pots, plastic storage totes or anything of a bigger size. Big plant = big pot. A trellis or support structure is also a good idea to keep things from getting too unruly.
Label Them Well
Don’t mix up your cuttings, especially if you are growing both determinate and indeterminate varieties. Both have very different growing habits and you will want to set them up in their pot and growing location correctly.
Best Tomato Variety For Indoors
A determinate tomato variety is the most practical to grow indoors. This is often known as a “container” or “dwarf” tomato plant. Their habit is growing to a “determined” size, hence the name.
I’d love to know, are you going to bring your tomatoes inside, do you have a space for them? Tell me about your indoor tomato growing journey in the comments below.
So you want to learn how to grow food indoors over the winter?
This is something that I absolutely love to do, given that we have pretty long Canadian winters.
If you’re a houseplant fanatic, like me, why not turn that plant habit into one that can also produce food for you that is organic, free from pesticides, herbicides and is picked at peak ripeness.
- Learn about what a good indoor growth setup looks like, how to improve upon yours, how to reuse things you already have to build an indoor grow setup.
- Find out which plants are best suited to indoor growing.
- How grow lights would work, if you really need them, which plants really need grow lights and which ones don’t.
- What happens if bugs show up on your indoor growing setup?
- How to fertilize the seedlings.
- Ideal pot sizes and space that’s needed for what you’re growing.
- Troubleshooting when things are going as planned!
I am currently developing an online on-demand course to teach you how to grow food over the winter time and also how to seed starting all your starter plants in the spring for outdoor growing.