Juicy, plump, and red tomatoes are perhaps the most succulent vegetables; you can eat them raw or add them to pasta and gravies. Their versatility knows no bounds. For these reasons, I can never have enough tomatoes.
Unfortunately, growing them can often become a hassle during the winters as the frost can cause them to wilt.
As an avid gardener and a lover of tomatoes, I have done plenty of research and am now successfully growing these vegetables not just during the summers but throughout the year in my greenhouse. Though these tomato plants can often be picky, with the right methods, even as a newbie, you can get your fresh supply of homegrown tomatoes anytime.
In this blog, I will share how you can grow fresh and juicy red vegetables throughout the year in a greenhouse so that you too can enjoy these mouth-watering delights whenever you want.
Growing Tomatoes Throughout the Year in a Greenhouse
Since tomatoes are a warm crop, they grow well during the summers but often die down during the winters. Though they are slightly complicated, they require extra care during the winters. This is because they require at least eight hours of sunlight and need to be in a temperature of a range of 65-70 degrees F. Anything too cold or too hot will ruin the crop. However, if grown indoors, you can provide them with the appropriate growing conditions by artificially creating them.
Growing tomatoes in a greenhouse mean you will have to do so in successive batches. This is also because you might not have enough space for the vines to grow compared to outdoors, where space is not limited. If you get adequate sunlight in the greenhouse during the winters, you will need to plant them next to the window for maximum light. Otherwise, installing grow lights is the next best thing you can do.
Other additional things you will need to add to facilitate the growth of tomatoes in seasons besides the warmer ones are heaters, timers, heat mats, and good air circulation. Remember that the more light and heat you provide your tomato plants and seeds, the faster they will produce tomatoes.
Types of Tomatoes You Can Grow Anytime
To successfully produce homegrown tomatoes, you will need to plant the tomato plants that have the best results indoors. These also need to be the smaller ones because of lack of space. The best kind to grow is determinate tomato plants, which are also called bushy tomatoes. These tend to be smaller, and their shapes provide better protection during the colder months.
The types of tomatoes that are suitable for the growth of such kind are:
- Red Robin
- Tiny Tim
- Toy Boy
- Florida Petite
How to Grow Tomatoes during All the Seasons: Step-By-Step Guide
Buy and Sow the Seeds
To be able to grow tomatoes all the time, especially during the winters, you will need to buy good quality tomato plant seeds. Plant them in warm conditions with the grow lights and heat mats installed. Make sure to use fresh soil to plant the seeds and develop them for a couple of weeks. Add a calcium source such as bone meal to the soil to prevent rotting.
Transfer to Containers and Determine Location
Then, transfer the plants and soil to large containers. Do not forget to clean the containers beforehand with a bleach solution to prevent any spread of disease. You will need to keep these containers in a bug and pest-free area in your greenhouse because tomato plants are especially prone to them. Also, place them close to light and heat sources. Make small holes in the containers to allow airflow.
Water the Soil
Don’t add too much water to the soil because moistened soil can become rotten for these vegetables. Just sprinkle some water on the topsoil when it begins to dry.
One of the most important things you need to consider when it comes to growing tomatoes in a greenhouse is that lighting can encourage or discourage growth. Especially during the winters, you will need to provide artificial lighting to the plants for 16-18 hours a day from a high-pressure sodium light source.
Another critical consideration in growing tomatoes in a greenhouse is that you will have to provide them will not grow to become big and juicy. A temperature between 60 and 90 degrees F will need to be maintained throughout the day to encourage production. To do this, you will probably need to install heaters in the greenhouse.
You will also need to place a fan in front of the tomato plants to encourage airflow and pollination. Alternatively, you will need to tap the branches to pollinate them regularly. For more airflow, you will also need to cut the branches if they are getting too long. Make sure to sterilize them beforehand. Fertilize every two weeks, and the tomatoes will begin to harvest in a few weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should Tomatoes Be Grown in a Greenhouse?
Yes, they can be. Ideally, tomatoes should be grown outdoors as it is easier and cheaper to do so. However, growing them in the greenhouse is a great way to extend their supply towards the winters as these plants are only grown in warm and sunny seasons. With the help of a greenhouse, you can plant the tomatoes at any season and enjoy a fresh supply whenever you want.
When Can I Put Tomatoes in Unheated Greenhouse?
If you don’t have heaters installed in your greenhouse, the next best option would be to place the plants near a window. The sunlight from the window will provide the tomatoes with adequate heat.
What Is The Ideal Temperature to Grow Tomatoes in a Greenhouse?
The ideal temperature you will need to maintain if you are growing tomatoes in a greenhouse is between 65 to 70 degrees F. Anything below 65 degrees F or above 70 degrees F will not allow the tomatoes to grow.
How Long Will Tomato Plants Produce in a Greenhouse?
The time for the plants to grow and produce tomatoes depends on the type you have used. Generally, it will take up to 10 months for the tomatoes to harvest.
Final Thoughts on Growing Tomatoes throughout the Year in a Greenhouse
Growing tomatoes in a greenhouse do require time and effort, but trust me it is well worth it. You will forget about commercially grown tomatoes when you start growing your own. Remember to:
- Sterilize the container and scissors you use
- Provide adequate heat and light to the plants
- Make holes in the containers and allow airflow
- Not to overwater the plants