If you prefer the taste of homegrown tomatoes, you might be toying with the idea of cultivating a few container-grown plants inside your home. You could choose a regular size tomato variety and harvest a few plump red fruits, but cherry tomatoes grown indoors can be just as plentiful as those planted in the garden. The key is learning how to grow indoor cherry tomatoes.
Tips for Indoor Cherry Tomatoes
Growing indoor veggies comes with a unique set of challenges, especially during the winter months. As with any indoor plant, use a well-drained planter with a good quality potting soil mix or a soilless medium. Limit one cherry tomato plant per 12- to 14-inch (30-36 cm.) pot. Avoid root rot issues by checking the surface of the growth medium before watering.
Pest issues can also be more problematic on cherry tomatoes grown indoors. Clear pests off foliage with a gentle spray of water or use an insecticidal soap. Try these additional tips for indoor cherry tomatoes.
- Start early: Nurseries rarely have tomato seedlings available off-season. Cherry tomatoes grown indoors during the winter months will most likely need to be started from seed or by rooting a stem cutting from an existing plant. Start seeds at least four months prior to your desired harvest date.
- Provide artificial light: Tomatoes are sun loving plants. During the summer, a southern-facing window may provide sufficient sunlight for an indoor cherry tomato. Growing full sun plants with supplemental light during the winter is often necessary to provide the 8 to 12 hours of light needed per day.
- Feed regularly: Tomatoes are heavy feeders. Use a time-released fertilizer when potting the tomato seedling or routinely feed with a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10. If a cherry tomato grown indoors in a container is slow to blossom, switch to a fertilizer with a higher phosphorous ratio to encourage flowering and fruiting.
- Pollination assistance: Tomatoes are self-fertile with each flower having the ability to pollinate itself. When grown outdoors, insects or a gentle breeze help move the pollen inside the flower. Use a fan or give the plant a gentle shake to ensure pollination takes place indoors.
- Compare type: Before starting an indoor cherry tomato growing project, choose either a determinate or indeterminate type of tomato plant. Determinate tomatoes tend to be more compact and bushier, but only produce for a limited time period. Indeterminate types are vinier and require more staking and pruning. Indeterminate tomatoes develop and ripen over a longer period.
Best Indoor Cherry Tomato Varieties
- Gold Nugget
- Little Bing
- Tiny Tim
- Toy Boy
Cherry tomatoes are excellent for salads and as a healthy bite-size snack. To enjoy this tasty homegrown treat whenever you wish, try indoor cherry tomato growing in your house year-round.