Fresh tomatoes in the winter are often considered a luxury, but growing tomatoes during the winter is actually quite simple. Growing the plants inside your home or winterized greenhouse is the best way to cultivate winter tomatoes.
Things You'll Need
- Tomato seed
- Starter mix
- Spray bottle
- Plant pot
- 40-watt light bulb (optional)
Crack off the top part of an eggshell. Thoroughly rinse the inside and set it aside to dry.
Poke small holes into the bottom of the eggshell with a needle. Try to space the holes as evenly as possible along the bottom of the egg. Set the eggshell inside the egg carton.
Fill the empty eggshell with starter mix soil. Starter mix soil is soil that is specially formulated to nourish a seed through germination and early seedling growth. Fill the eggshell at least three quarters of the way full. Place the tomato seed on top of the soil and fill the rest of the eggshell with soil to cover the seed.
Water the new seedling with a spray bottle. The spray from the bottle is gentle enough to avoid rinsing the soil off of the seed. Spray the soil until it is moist but not soaked.
Set the eggshell pot into a sunny windowsill. The tomato plants should germinate in five to 10 days. If you do not have a windowsill that will provide enough warmth during the winter, place your seeds under a 40-watt light bulb. The plant can remain under the 40-watt light bulb for its entire life.
Transplant the tomato seedling into a six inch pot once it has reached three inches in height. Fill the pot with regular potting soil instead of starter mix. Dig a small hole to fit your eggshell and seedling into. Crack the eggshell as much as possible to allow the roots to escape and expand as your tomato plant grows. Pack dirt firmly around the roots of the tomato plant. Water your tomato plant with a cup or pitcher after it has been transplanted. Make sure to set it back in the sunny windowsill or under the 40-watt light bulb once the transplant is complete.
Continue to water your tomato plant on a regular schedule and keep it in plenty of sunlight. Remember, tomatoes are composed of 95 percent water, so be generous when you water. Water the plant every two to three days to ensure the soil stays moist. Check the soil often for plants under the 400-watt light bulb; having the heat source so close may dry out the soil faster.
Tips & Warnings
- Tomato plants that work well indoors include cherry, patio, toy boy and small fry.
- You may need to stake the tomatoes to keep them straight.
- Place a drip pan under your tomato pot to catch excess water before it leaks.