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Growing Micro Dwarf Tomatoes Indoors And Under Lights

I have been growing micro dwarf tomatoes indoors and under lights for a few years now. So every now and then I am asked how do I have so much success doing it. Often, my answer is that it’s very simple. In reality, it really is. It can also be very rewarding! For me, it really takes away the edge of not being in the fields. Since I grow indoors during the winter months, I have less of a yearning for the fields by placing much of my focus on growing the “short ones”.

So What’s Needed For Successful Indoor Growing?

Here is a listing of the things that I use for growing micro dwarf tomatoes indoors.  With the exception of the lighting source, I use all of the same things for growing them outdoors.

      1. I use 3/4 to 1 gallon containers. I personally feel that anything larger would be a waste of space and soil. I have tested growing micros in different container sizes, starting with 2 inch pots and working up to 2 gallons. I found that half gallon or smaller discourages full production potential, except for Micro Tom and Baby. Plants do fruit and produce well in half gallon pots, but they really shine in 3/4 to 1 gallon sized pots. The difference between half gallon and one gallon pots is very minimal, with the one gallon producing slightly larger plants but not too much more fruits. Anything bigger than one gallon is, in my opinion, a waste of resources!

      Necessary For Healthy Soil And Plants

          1. Amendments. These are basically the things I use to nourish the soil and feed the plants. I use Epsom salts, Tomato Tone (fertilizer) and lime, that’s it! Mix about two teaspoons of Epsom salts, one teaspoon of lime and about 3-4 teaspoons of Tomato Tone per gallon of soil. Usually I make mine in 5 gallon batches!  About 2 weeks after transplant, I feed plants with tea made from Tomato Tone. Then I continue feeding every three weeks or so.  Mix about quarter cup per gallon of warm or hot water, let is sit over-night, then feed the following day. This compost tea is most effective within the first few days of brewing.
          2. Soil. My soil preference is Promix. I now use the HP Mycorrohizae version, but have successfully used other versions too!

        Lighting Source For Effective Growing And Fruiting

            1. Lighting. I use T5 HO and regular T5 lights as my lighting source. These have worked excellently for me. I suspect that T8 lights may work well too, but I have never used them for this application. Always keep lights about 18 inches above plants. I run my lights for 10 to 12 hours at a time, turning them on when I wake in the morning and of 10 to 12 hours later. Using a timer for your lights can work great too. I don’t use a timer because I need every opportunity to be with my plants!  If you have successfully used other lighting methods, feel free to pass it on. I would be willing to give it a shot.