Tomato is a significant vegetable crop around the world which is an indispensable item in our diet. Hence, there is a considerable demand for tomato in the market. So, to avoid market fluctuations we can grow tomatoes in our indoors. By cultivating tomato’s in indoors we can get fresh tomatoes with minimum chemical or no chemical residues.
How to Grow Tomatoes Indoors
The first and foremost thing in indoor tomato cultivation is to select a variety that is suitable for indoor cultivation, all varieties do not grow well indoors. Select varieties with small fruits like cherry tomatoes. Varieties suitable for indoor cultivation are Siberia, Yellow pear, Small fry, etc. If we have a small place it is better to select determinate types, if we have a sufficient place we can select indeterminate types.
Selection of place:
The selection of a place for indoor cultivation is crucial for better growth and development of a plant. Basically, tomato is a warm-season vegetable crop; it requires warm climatic conditions. So, try to select a place that requires abundant sunshine, avoid shady areas. Because of the lack of sunshine to the plant will decrease the photosynthesis of plants.
First of all, we have to sow the seeds in portrays. After 4-6 weeks after sowing, we have to transplant the seedlings into proper containers or grow bags that are convenient to the place where we intended to grow. Select the Grow bags or container with proper drainage of water.
The preparation of growing media is an essential aspect of indoor farming of tomatoes. Soil for growing tomatoes indoors can be prepared by mixing farmyard manure, coco peat, garden soil in a 1:1:1 ratio, we can add some sand to this to increase the porosity of the media. Using of vermiculite will add extra benefit by retaining the water in it. We can also add some neem cake to the growing media to avoid various pest and disease damage to roots. Make sure that soil should be free from weed seeds.If we remain with only a shady place to grow tomatoes, we have to provide the light with the help of fluorescent bulbs, etc.
Covering the soil surface with any material is called mulching
Mulching can be done by the help of sawdust or with husk for better growth and development of plant by avoiding moisture loss and pest and disease contamination. It also reduces weed incidence by cutting light and increasing soil temperature.
As we are growing the plants in containers nutrient availability is limited. So, it is mandatory to supply nutrients. For this, we can use decomposed household wastage like vegetable and fruit scraps and food wastes or farmyard manure or chemical fertilizers like urea, single super phosphate, and MOP, etc. in required doses. Avoid usage of non-degradable materials like plastic etc.
Watering the plants:
Daily water the plants with the help of rose can. Don’t starve the plants without irrigating them. Over irrigating the plants will also cause damage to the plants. Care should be taken to maintain proper drainage in the container to avoid water stagnation.It is better to check the moisture content of soil by touching with hand and providing irrigation if the soil was not wet enough. Loose the soil whenever you find it in hard or compact in nature.
Note: Don’t use hard water for irrigating the indoor plants of tomato.
Staking: This is a method of providing support for the growing plant.
An indeterminate type of verities staking is compulsory. Stake the plants with help of bamboo sticks and threads. Staking reduces the fungal infections and also increases the quality and yield of plant.
This is a method removal of excessive and unwanted growth. Prune the dried leaves, outgrown branches and plant parts with pest and disease attack immediately as soon as possible. Pruning increases proper aeration and also increase the size of fruit.
Pest and diseases:
In indoors aphids and mealybugs are the most affected pests to control, chemicals sprays are not necessary because in indoors as plant population is very less and for increased health benefits. We can avoid the infection by removing and destructing the affected plant parts. We can also spray organic insecticides which were prepared at house with help of garlic, curd, ghee, household waste, etc.
Plants will be ready for harvest within 70-100 days after sowing depending upon the variety. It is better to practice staggered sowing so that we can get tomatoes year-round from our indoors for our daily consumption. Tomatoes can be picked at ripe stage for household consumption.
As we saw above the indoor cultivation of tomatoes is very easy. By indoor cultivation of tomatoes we can get safe and fresh vegetables with minimum chemical residues. And also we can save lot of money when there are high prices for tomatoes in the market.