How to Grow Tomatoes in a Greenhouse


When you grow tomatoes in a greenhouse, you get to consume these ripe and delicious treats all year long. Following a few guidelines, you can grow meaty, greenhouse tomatoes that could compete with top prize winners at the local fair.

  • Make a soil mix. Use regular potting soil mix one-tenth of which should be composed of castings. A potting soil contains even amounts of vermiculite, perlite, sphagnam peat and vermiculite. Then, simply modify the soil with the correct pH by mixing in a teaspoon of hydrated lime per one gallon of soil. Correcting the soil offers the tomatoes an excellent source of calcium, which thwarts blossom end rot when the tomatoes hang on the plant. Moisten the soil and add B1.

  • Germinate the seeds in a standard nursery tray filled with the soil mixture. Plant the seeds 1/4-inch deep with 8 seeds per inch. Cover the seeds to keep them moist. The seeds start germinating at 80 degrees, which takes 5 to 12 days. As soon as seeds start sprouting, take the cover off. Maintain a fluorescent light 5 inches away from the new sprouts. Keep them lit 20 hours a day. Once they grow to 1-1/2 inches, transplant them carefully in 6-inch pots.

  • Grow the tomatoes beneath 3 fluorescent lights for 24 hours a day. Feed them MAXSEA All Purpose Plant Food by mixing a rounded teaspoon to 1 gallon of water and mix in 1/2 ounce of B1. Keep the temperatures for this growth period at around 70 to 75 degrees during the day and 65 to 67 degrees at night. By the time the tomato plants grow to 12 inches, they require transplanting to gallon pots. Give them 8 more weeks to start fruiting the plants.

  • Ascertain the best method to force flowering your tomato plants at anywhere from 60 to 80 days. Prior to the flowering, make your last transplant into 3 gallon pots. Feed the plant heavy with 10-52-70 fertilizer. At each watering feed them 800 ppm - half the recommend strength. Continue also with MAXSEA All Purpose plant food.

  • Help with the pollinating cycle of the flowers during the day with humidity at 65 to 70 degrees. Midday pollinating produces the best crops. The plant flower forms the male anthers, which drops pollen, and the female carpels catch the pollen. Male forms produce pollen on the outside making pollination simple and direct. Wind or some vibration is needed to release the pollen. A tiny electric fan emulates a bee buzzing and works best to free the pollen. Set as much pollen free as possible. The plant will produce more fruit and meatier tomatoes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Watch for pests. If they arrive in your greenhouse, they'll thrive and are hard to eliminate.
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