|I have to grow tomatoes in the house this winter. I read that there is a type of tomato plant called Micro-Tom that is ment to grow in pots. Can I purchase these in a store or do I have to special order them?|
|'Micro-tom' tomatoes (a cherry tomato) is usually available in garden centers and nurseries during the summer months. They are probably available year round in some areas (but I doubt Minnesota!). You may find seed in one of your local garden centers/nurseries as this variety is not considered hard to find or exotic, or, you can purchase seed of 'Micro-tom' tomatoes from Sherry's Greenhouse (the web address is www.teleport.com/~earth/GH301tomcherry.html). There may be other varieties available as well to suit your needs such as 'Red Robin', 'Toy Boy' hybrid, 'Tiny Tim', or 'Whippersnapper'. Also, Burpee carries a variety of cherry tomato called 'Tumbler' which is suitable for containers or hanging baskets. Back up to the Burpee website to order on-line.
Tomatoes need a lot of intense light in order to set fruit. If you don't have a south window that gets 8 hours of sunlight per day (again, doubtful in Minnesota!), you'll need to provide them with artificial light. Regular grow lights aren't intense enough to persuade much fruit out of tomatoes, but you may get a little bit. For real success, you'll need sodium or halide lights (available from Gardener's Supply Co. - www.gardeners.com or ph# 800/863-1700), which are expensive. But only you can judge the true value of a home-grown tomato in a Minnesota winter! Good luck to you!