Are tomatoes too big to grow inside a house hydroponically?
When a strong breeze blows through our kitchen windows and ruffles our indoor garden, the room fills with the earthy, spicy perfume of tomatoes.
Yes, you read that right. I’ve had experience producing hydroponic tomatoes inside with lighting. , since there is no balcony or garden bed. With the correct tools, it’s shockingly simple. Heck, one of our tomato plants is so tall it’s almost reaching our ceiling (I probably should prune it, but it looks so happy, I just can’t!)
Our indoor veggie garden!
In this post, I’ll show you how to set up a tomato hydroponic system in your flat or house. so you can get starting growing tomatoes year-round, even if you don’t have outdoor space. If you want to learn more about If you expand your hydroponic tomato garden, this information will still be useful. as I provide you loads of pointers on how to design and operate water hydroponic systems!
On a modest scale, we cultivate tomatoes inside. You can apply this tutorial to any scale of tomato garden!
Why We Choose Growing Tomatoes Hydroponically Inside With Lights
Growing herbs and vegetables in our flat is a huge part of our way of life.
I began with conventional soil gardening but discovered that hydroponics is more simpler and more effective for most plants. particularly when utilizing grow lights inside a home or greenhouse.
Kara was awesome and built our grow system with lights all by hand after a few runs to Home Depot. We have two floors, one with grow lights and one without. an AeroGarden Bounty Basic system It is where we raise our tomatoes (more on that below.) You don’t have to use this grow system, though.
What Is A Hydroponic Grow System?
A hydroponic grow system is a garden that does not need earth to grow plants. Everything is made of water! This is also known as a deep water culture system, or DW for short.
Plants need a water flow system. When you pot them in soil, this flow system happens when you water the plants and the water seeps through the roots and out of the pot.
When it comes to growing plants in water, they can’t just sit in still water otherwise they’ll be prone to root and won’t grow easily, or at all. A nutrition film approach with a water pump is required, which is where a Hydroponic Grow System comes in.
Since hydroponic tomato cultivation does not need waiting for the summer season, it may be done all year.
A less advance system with pumps (still good!)
our AeroGrow system
Best Hydroponic System For Tomatoes
The finest Hydroponic system for tomatoes will be determined entirely by you, your space, and your development objectives. Since we have a lesser area, we utilize a tiny yet comprehensive grow system because it is simpler. If you have a big greenhouse, you may have enough space for a nutrient film technology system that uses pipes to grow a huge number of plants at simultaneously.
- AeroGrow Basic: This hydroponic tomato system has 9 holes and we can fit up to 2 tomato plants and some herbs in it at once. It’s ideal for little places like ours!
- Gardyn Home Kit 1.0 Use this package instead if you have a somewhat bigger living area. You may put it on the floor to encourage your tomatoes to grow really tall. There’s also room for more plants here!
- eSuperegrow This package includes a 60-inch trellis to help support your tomato plants!
How To Grow Tomatoes Hydroponically Step By Step
1. Pick Or Build Your System
First get your system set up and running. If you are employing an AeroGrow or something similar, all you need to do in pick a shelf. These systems include initial grow kits, so you won’t need to buy anything else.
If you are building your hydroponic tomato system, your supply list will vary based on if you are doing an indoor tray grow system, or doing the nutrient film technique with pipes. Anything you’ll require:
- Growing nutrients solution ( we use this one !)
- Grow lights (if not using AeroGrow)
- Pod seed kits with clear toppers
- Tomato seeds
2. Use A Nutrient Solution In Water
Because the plant growing medium is water, you need to make sure that water is fresh/clean and has the nutrients plants need to grow. This is a lot less work than garden tomatoes, which need to be watered every day in the summer, but they still need to be cared for twice a month.
- Once a month, replace the water with completely new water. If you see any mold growing, clean it asap and rinse well so soap doesn’t linger in the water basin.
- Add 3 droppers of your nutrients to the water every 2 weeks. This is how much we add to our AeroGrow, which has a capacity of 9 plants. If your system has more, make adjustments to ensure you’re feeding enough.
It really doesn’t matter what nutrient solution you use. We are presently using Modern Sprout plant food, but cheaper brands like MiracleGrow are fine.
3 drops every 2 weeks
3. Best Tomato Seeds To Use
We believe that cultivating Cherry Tomatoes is the simplest indoor hydroponics project. since they are little and tend to develop numerous fruits in each harvest. This effectively maximizes limited interior space. We haven’t yet tried Roma Tomatoes but since they are a similar size, they are also probably easy to grow inside with lights as well.
Large tomatoes like Beefsteak, Black Krim, Better Boys, etc will be harder to grow if you are tight on space like we are in our apartment. I would only attempt this if you are utilizing a nutrient film approach with pipes and a huge indoor greenhouse with plenty of room for these plants.
The cone with sponge insert
The plastic dome
What it looks like once the plant is growing!
4. How To Plant Your Seeds
Hydroponically planting tomato seedlings is simple and tidy. Most kits use a variant of what we call The Cone, although you may need to purchase yours separately. A sponge sits at the top of the cone and the cone is rested in a hole at the top of the water basin. The cone’s tip extends down into the water, where the sponge sucks it up.
There is no need for dirt! First, fill your water basin with water and add the nutrient drops 2-3 droppers full for every 9 plants. After that, insert your cones and sponges into the holes. It’s now time to add the seeds.
Plant two seeds per hole as a rule of thumb in case one does not germinate. Insert two seeds into each sponge/cone before covering with the transparent plastic dome. Once sprouted you can remove the dome.
5. Light Timers?
Before you walk away, make sure your light timers are working and set up. With tomatoes, you must use red, white, and blue lights.
- White light mimics sunlight and all plants need it to grow.
- Red light is for sugar production and flowering.
- Blue light is good for chlorophyll production.
All grow lights I’ve seen have an option to turn all 3 light colors on at once. Use this option. As the seeds germinate and develop, keep the lights on for 16 hours each day. After the plant has grown to a respectable height and maturity, you may cut down to 14-15 hours each day.
6. Pruning & Supporting
Keep in mind that tomato plants grow tall and need a trellis or support system in order to stand up and grow in the right direction (up, not out!) We just rope it and attach it to our 2 foot tall AeroGrow arm. You may need to construct a trellis for your plants depending on your setup. .
On top of support, you need to prune your plants to keep them healthy and developing in the manner you choose. When I want energy to be concentrated on other branches that have already bloomed, I clip off dead leaves and occasionally even young buds.
I chopped through the stalks with a knife. You can use sheers if you have them!
Since this stem was dead, removing it helps the plant grow bigger.
7. Harvest When Ripe
The last stage is harvesting! Reward yourself for all of your efforts in caring for your plant kids. Choose, eat, and enjoy as you wait for the next round of fruit.
How Fast Do Hydroponic Tomatoes Grow?
I discovered that hydroponically produced tomatoes had a comparable life span to plants that my family grew in our typical outside gardening while I was growing up. It takes some time for the tomato seeds to sprout a stem. It took around 2 months for our plants to develop blossoms, then another few weeks for the fruit to mature and ripen.
But, since that first harvest, our plant has be regularly producing flowers that turn into fruit. Since October (I’m writing this in January), we’ve had three harvests. We should be able to acquire fruit from this person at least 5-8 times every year, if not more.
Waiting for our 3rd harvest
Hydroponic Tomatoes Problems To Look Out For
Tomatoes need a LOT of water to grow. Our main issue is keeping the water reservoir full and clean with fresh water while we’re on the road. . We also run whimsysoul.com, Being the owner of a lifestyle travel site, I am often on the road for 1-2 weeks at a time, if not longer.
When this occurs, we have our cat sitter replenish the water in our AeroGrow system, and owing to the built-in timers, the tomatoes and other herbs we put in the system always live as long as someone is providing fresh water. (But that’s not the case for our pot-herbs under grow lights. They need extra water, and we’ve begun collecting it immediately before huge journeys.)
The second problem we have is with the plant roots. Large tomato plants also have HUGE root systems and you may simply run out of space in your basin. That’s exactly what happened to us.
We ran had 2 tomato plants growing but the root systems filled the basin so much, we had to move one tomato plant to a new system, but eventually let it die as we just don’t have the space in our apartment for two massive plants. This would not have been an issue if we had a greenhouse or a plant room. Just something to think about!
Otherwise, they are rather simple to care and develop.
Look how tall it’s getting!
Our garden system following a fresh planting and trimming session a few weeks ago.
I hope this information assists you in developing your own indoor tomato growing system! I’ve found so much success in hydro tomatoes that even in the future when we have an outdoor garden, I still plan on doing greenhouse tomatoes in hydroponics so we can have a fresh harvest year-round (on top of outdoor plants in a summer garden.)
Yet for the time being, our faithful tiny apartment tomatoes are still growing strong.
Can you grow full size tomatoes indoors?
Locate the Ideal Location: Tomatoes won’t effectively grow indoors unless the conditions are like those of an outdoor garden. The plants need at least eight hours of sunshine every day and a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Consider a location near a window sill or a screen door.
Can you grow tomatoes indoors hydroponically?
A basic hydroponic system may be used to produce tomatoes both inside and outdoors. Taking care of them from when you plant them to when you harvest them is easy too, and tomatoes grow very well hydroponically.
What varieties of tomatoes for indoor hydroponics?
The four most common hydroponically produced tomato varieties are: 1) beefsteak, 2) tomatoes-on-the-vine, 3) cherry or cocktail, and 4) grape.
Can you grow tomatoes year round in hydroponics?
This is a very popular food that is actually both a vegetable and a fruit, and most people put their tomato garden on pause during the cold, winter months. Nevertheless, you may grow this plant hydroponically all year round from the comfort of your own home!