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Tomatoes Indoors

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by indoor beginner on February 11, 2005 04:09 AM
I'm going to start growing grape tomatoes in my basement, I'm building a 52"x36"x24" (width x height x depth) for the seedlings, and a 36"x66"x36" (width x height x depth) for the older plants. For the seedlings I'm using a flourescent light that uses two 48" tubes (cool white light, 40watt, 3250 lumens each tube) and for the older plants I'm using a 150W HPS system. I have never grown tomatoes indoors and I want to know what kind of lighting cycle to put the seedlings on, and what kind of lighting cycle to put the older ones on (in my line we have seedling, then vegetation growth, then the flowering growth so if somebody could explain how tomatoes grow, that would be wonderful) And also if anybody knows another forum for strictly indoor tomato growing, that would be great.
Thanks in advance.
And for seedlings I'll probably use half or one gallon pots, then transplant to three or five, and I want to know how deep the roots grow because I don't want to have to take up space with five gallon pots if i only need three gallon pots.
by weezie13 on February 17, 2005 05:06 AM
Hello [wayey] Indoor Beginner,
Welcome to The Garden Helper's Forum!!!!!
We are very glad you found us!!!

I must have missed this post some how [dunno]
I am not an indoor tomato grower, but do grow
alot outdoors my self...
but I did want to let you know we do have a gardener' that does do some indoor gardening and I'm sure can give you a hand in your questions.


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Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by noneofyourbusiness on February 17, 2005 05:52 AM
Hey, your plan sounds great! Just a few things......

Make sure you transplant to 5 gallon buckets for the flowering stage. They get a fair amount of roots. For your light, I would suggest either one of these combos:
1. 150 watts for vegetative, and 400 Watts for flowering.
2. 120 HID (High intensity discharge) compact florescent for vegetative, and 400 Watts for flowering.

Normal florescents are good for seedlings, but not for growing plants. 150 watts will work for both stages, but you'll get a really small yeild with that little amount of light. I would recomend at least 400 watts for the final stages.

For the light cycle, keep the light on for 24 hours for seedlings, then reduce to 16-18 hours on for vegetative growth. When your plants are ready (and remember they're gonna double in size when you flower) switch the light to 12/12

The nice part about growing tomatoes indoors, is it's easy to tie them up!!!!!!! When you "trigger" them into flower, tie the branches to the ceiling so the plant stands straight up. You'll get bigger and more tomatoes. Continue to tie them as the plant grows, keeping the tomatoes off the ground. I find this better then using traditional tomato steaks.

Anything else let me know!!!!
by 530 on February 28, 2005 06:24 AM
Just a side note to what noneofyourbusiness said,

For the HID light be sure to use HPS(high pressure sodium) or MH(Metal Halide, MV(Mercury Vapor) lights are not good for plant growth. And of the two, HPS and MH, the HPS has the best spectrum of light for flowering a plant.

Tomatoes require alot of food and water when they are larger and require alot of room for roots, the larger container you can get, the better your yield.

When transplanting into larger containers, its a good idea to bury about 1/2 of the plant under ground.

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