5 Tips for Growing Tomatoes in Your ApartmentMay 7th, 2010 by Staff Writer
Growing tomatoes in your apartment is a viable option, and the only option if you live somewhere with cool temperatures. It’s perfect to include in a container garden, and you can grow them entirely indoors. You can also grow them outdoors in a raise bed garden or in containers.
1- Start with Tomato Plants, Not Seeds
When growing tomatoes in your apartment, it’s best to start with plants and not seeds. The plants grown in a nursery from seed are most likely grown in a greenhouse, with the right temperature and sunlight needed to grow them successfully into plants. You don’t have those same conditions at your apartment, unless your landlord has a greenhouse for you to use. You could experiment with seed germination, but if you want to see results this year, use transplants. Visit your local greenhouse and nursery, or shop online and get tomato transplants shipped to your door.
2 – Grow in Large Plastic Containers
Tomato plants need to shoot their roots down into the soil. That’s why you need large plastic containers when growing tomatoes. Smaller containers won’t work, and it’s not worth your time to keep transferring them into larger pots during the growing season. When you buy your plants, take them out of the small containers and put them into large plastic containers.
3 – Hide Tomato Plants from Young Children
Most young children are drawn to tomato plants that are indoors. They’ll have a look at them, but their curiosity doesn’t seem to stop there. They’ll pull and pick at the plants. Once you start growing tomatoes, they’ll pick them off to eat them, when you’re not watching. It’s important to keep the plants out of sight, or out of reach (or both). Place them against the window and behind the couch, or on a sturdy shelf high too high for young children to reach. Grow them in your bedroom, home office or in a location where your children don’t spend much time.
4 – Avoid Non-Traditional Methods of Growing Tomatoes
Interesting is one word to use for the many new gadgets and methods being marketed to consumers for growing tomato plants. For example, there are hanging containers to grow tomato plants upside down. Rather than spend time and money experimenting with these new ways, stick to what’s been prove to work for thousands of years. You need to put tomato plants in soil, you need sunlight and water, and a good fertilize and cages or sticks to support the stem of the plants while growing.
5 – Organic Fertilizer
Chemical fertilizers ruin the taste of your tomatoes, and can lead to major health problems. Consider growing tomatoes with organic fertilizer. Many stores carry bags of organic fertilizers. You can also ask farmers in your community to give or sell you some. You can also make your own compost out of vegetable scraps and coffee grounds. That’s a long term project though, because you don’t want to just throw fresh compost on your tomato plants. The compost should “rot” first.
Many tenants have experienced the joy for growing tomatoes, and you can too. Use these tips to help you get the best results possible.