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Do you like eating cherry tomatoes, but the ones you buy in the supermarket do not feel completely natural?
Or do you just simply want to grow cherry tomatoes indoors by yourself?
Fear not! I am here to show you how you can do that.
It’s very simple and it doesn’t require much knowledge about gardening, so you don’t have to be afraid of trying. Basically, all you’ll need is a good fertilizer and a couple of tips.
Planting Cherry Tomatoes Indoors
When it comes to tomato types, there are two main categories: determinate and indeterminate.
Determinate types are those that grow like a bush, and indeterminate types are tomatoes that grow in a vining pattern.
Cherry tomatoes belong to the determinate type of tomatoes, which means they will grow in a bush formation.
So, let’s get you started with how you can plant and grow your very own cherry tomatoes indoors.
1. Planting Process
The first thing you need to do is to get some soil. You should either get regular potting soil or buy a seed starter mix.
Whatever you choose, the next thing you want to do is make sure the soil mixture is wet. Dry soil will not do the job.
Then, you should put that soil in a pot where you intend to grow your cherry tomato and create a hole in the soil.
It should be around a quarter of an inch deep. In every hole you made, insert 2 or 3 seeds and then use some soil to cover all the holes.
You can either use some tweezers to insert the seeds or simply put them with your hands.
It is up to you, whatever you think is easier for you.
Now, people usually use trays that are specifically made for putting seeds and growing some plants.
But if you do not have one of those or you simply don’t want to use it, you can still do the entire process with a soda or yoghurt can.
Just make sure the container is clean.
If it is not clean, you should use a combination of water and bleach to clean it properly.
For example, around 1:10 bleach versus water mix is probably the best combination to do it since it is not recommended to use a lot of bleach because it could be dangerous in some amounts.
2. Boosting Germination
After you have planted your herb, you should focus on boosting the germination process.
Germination is the process which represents the moment when the seed is transformed into a seedling.
For cherry tomatoes, it usually takes around 5-10 days.
However, there are a couple of things you could do to speed it up a little bit.
So, when it comes to growing cherry tomatoes indoor, speeding up the process can be done like this:
- From the moment you have planted the seed, you could cover it with a plastic sheet or something, so the soil inside the container wouldn’t dry out.
- Until the process of germination is completed, you should try to maintain a temperature of the soil to be around 70⁰-80⁰. You can do that by putting the container where it is sunny enough or by using a heater if needed.
- And lastly, in order to speed up the process of germination, you should water your plant every day, as many times as required.
3. Choosing a Location
After the seeds have sprouted, you should feed your plant with more light, because cherry tomatoes require a lot of light in order to grow healthy.
Then need at least 8 hours of light per day, or otherwise, they might become sick and wither.
The ideal way of doing this is to have the container put near your window.
Preferably on the southern side, if you have one.
It is the best angle for the tomato to get as much of the natural light as possible.
Just make sure to rotate it so it could get the light from all directions.
However, if you are not in a position to do that, you could also use artificial fluorescent light, which is supposed to be put very close to the top of seedlings, just a couple of inches.
As the plant grows, you will probably have to readjust the height of your artificial light as well.
Moving And Fertilization
As your homegrown cherry tomato plant indoor gets bigger, you will have to move the seedlings into bigger pots.
This is a delicate process, so you need to be careful about what you are doing.
Apart from that, you should also fertilize your plant when needed, so I am going to mention how to do that as well.
1. Moving Cherry Tomato
When you notice that your seedling has grown two or three sets of leaves, you know that it is the time to move it from the small cell to a bit bigger pot.
When choosing the right size, you should consider the size of a grown plant, but because cherry tomatoes are small in general, you shouldn’t need a pot too big anyway.
Now in order to do this properly, first you need to remove the seedling from its current container, but you need to do this carefully, so you don’t break any roots.
You can do this by holding the tomato gently with two fingers and then turn around the container and lightly tap it until the soil squeezes out.
Then, you could loosen up the roots a bit, by doing a slight tickle move on the upper root part.
After that put the plant in the new pot and bury it until the soil reaches small shaggy hairs located at the plant’s base, which will later become new root area.
And lastly, once the moving process is done, water the plant as much as it is needed, so it could start growing some roots.
Once the moving process is completed, the plant will need a lot of water, so make sure you water it enough and regularly.
You can check if the soil is dry by using your finger. If you notice that the soil is dry, you should water the tomato. If, however, the soil on top is dry, but the rest of it is not, then you can delay watering for a later hour.
It is very important to water your tomato regularly, because if the soil is not watered enough and gets dried out, then the tomato itself will be very bland and not so healthy as it should’ve been.
3. Lighting conditions
Previously I said that tomatoes require a lot of light, which is true. But, tomatoes also require a bit of darkness as well.
It is not an issue in case you are using the natural light, and your plant is exposed to it fairly well.
But if you are using the artificial light, you need to set a timer or plan yourself accordingly in order to create a real day/night cycles.
So, for example, you should turn on the lights in the morning and turn them off after around 12 to 15 hours, to mimic the sunset and leave your tomato overnight in darkness.
In order for your tomato to be productive, you need to utilize the fertilizing process very carefully, so it could get a proper amount of nutrients that would help it grow strong and healthy.
The first fertilizing process should be used around the first two weeks after the moving process, and it should be continued every couple of weeks until the plant is fully grown.
What is important to notice is that the fertilizer should contain a large amount of phosphorus in order for your tomato to get enough nutrients and grow healthy and strong as it should.
Harvesting And Pollinating
When plants are grown outside, the pollinating process is very simple.
Outside, it is done naturally, by birds, insects and even wind.
But, since we are talking about growing cherry tomatoes indoors, that is a completely different subject.
So let’s get on with it and see how could we solve this issue.
There are a couple of things you can do to simulate the pollinating process:
- Using a fan so that you can create a wind-like environment;
- Use your finger to tap or shake the main stem of your tomato;
- Using a paintbrush or cotton in order to transfer pollen from plant to plant.
Now, you are almost ready to harvest your tomato and see if it is good!
Tomatoes take about 60-80 days to fully grow and produce the fruit, so you have to be patient.
The usual colors of healthy grown tomatoes are red, yellow and pink. Also, they should be a bit softer when slightly squeezed.
1. Does cherry tomato require another plant near it so it could pollinate?
No, all types of tomatoes are self-fertile. But as I said above, you may need to assist them in the pollinating process.
2. My tomato got yellow leaves, what is happening?
Yellow leaves could mean a couple of things, but it often implies that you haven’t watered the plant enough. Apart from that, you might have a pest issue, or the soil composition is not right.