Are we growing tomatoes in pots? Yes! But it isn’t easy, and it takes a lot of patience, organic fertilizer and more water than you would ever imagine.
When we brought home our tomato seedlings (along with our lone okra plant), they were housed in tiny paper cups. We got them from our neighbors in a contact-less exchange on April 20th because we were already looking for new things to do around the house. We had no idea what we are doing. We didn’t even know which seedlings were beefsteak (or possibly heirloom) tomatoes and which were cherry tomatoes. We just had an urge to grow things.
It turns out that only one of our seedlings was for the bigger tomato variety. We kept them all watered and by our south-facing windows in hopes that even the half-light would be enough to help them grow.
And it did! But I will admit that it took far longer than I thought it would.
By the end of May, the bigger plant was ready for transplanting into our black, plastic containers that were dotting the office. We filled each garden pot with organic potting soil and included a dash of organic fertilizer. We were still relying on the windows for sunlight, and while that was working, we do think it slowed the plant’s growth. Still, we took leftover chopsticks from one of our earlier takeout sprees, and tied the stalk to them for temporary support.
As it grew taller (so much taller), it started to curve. Luckily, our friend Pen had a tomato cage that we were able to grab. Once the plant had the additional support, it really seemed to thrive. Of course, that meant we were moving the plant, its pot and the cage around to various windows to try to get it maximum exposure. It was hilarious to watch, but also frustrating.
We finally broke down and bought a small grow light to try help our entire indoor container garden grow, which allowed us to keep the pot in one place. I can’t prove that it made the difference, but we just started seeing our tomato plant flower, and more buds are forming on the top branches. The plant also is almost as tall as I am – and I know I’m not tall, but that seems pretty impressive for a tomato plant growing in a pot. It has also entered the phase where it needs to be watered twice a day. Exciting!
Pros of Growing Tomatoes in Indoor Pots
1. We don’t have to worry about rodents eating our plants.
2. We can control the temperature, and, in theory, stagger our growing season by planting seeds throughout the year.
3. We don’t have to go far to tend to the pruning or watering needed in our indoor container garden.
Cons of Growing Tomatoes in Indoor Pots
1. There are no bees to help with the pollination. Tomato plants are self-pollinators, but we employed a number of techniques to try to get a better harvest (more on that later).
2. Growing the tomatoes in our office meant that the plants didn’t have full sun for the first 115 days of growth.
3. The lack of direct light could impact the fruiting, so we felt we had to invest in a small grow light.
Will we finally get fruit in our container garden? We are keeping our fingers crossed. We’ve started adding some leftover, brewed tea leaves to the top of the soil for a little extra nitrogen boost, just in case it needs it for the next critical growth phase. We’re hopeful that in our next update, you’ll start to see the tomatoes forming! Stay tuned to Those Someday Goals for our indoor container garden adventures.
Have you had any luck growing tomatoes in your indoor pots? Let us know!