The Q&A Archives: Growing Tomatoes Inside

Question: I was wondering if its possible to grow cherry tomatoes indoors on a really sunny window ledge. I have a wide ledge that gets five hours of fairly bright indirect light and two hours of very bright light each day. Since the plants will be at work, there's no chance of them ever being outdoors, other than being by a window seven floors up.

Answer: You might be able to grow tomatoes in that spot. They won't be tops in production, but it's worth a try. The light is going to be a limiting factor. Even bright light is substantially dimmer than direct sun. One other concern is temperature. Your indoor tomatoes may move along kind of slow since they don't have the really warm days like they would outside.

Most tomatoes need a 5 gallon container of soil to really do well. You can get away with a 2 1/2 gallon container if you choose a miniature variety like Micro Tom (really small plant) or Burpee's Tumbler. Water them with a liquid plant food at the low dilution rate but be careful not to overwater or fertilize too much. Slow growing plants don't need it, and fertilizer can't take the place of light and temperature.

A final note is their need to be shaken for pollination to occur. Indoors, in the absence of wind, you will need to "rattle their cage" daily to help them set fruit. Good luck with your office garden!

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