How to Grow Tomatoes Indoors with Lights


Tomato plants require white light and grow light rays for artificial indoor lighting. Using both types of plant light bulbs produces healthy tomato plants with the highest fruit yield. Taking the time to properly prepare the soil and set up indoor lighting enables gardeners to grow a variety of tomatoes, virtually year-round.

Step 1

Combine equal parts of organic compost and all-purpose potting soil in a large bucket. Mix one tbsp. of time-released vegetable fertilizer per gallon of dirt into the soil mixture. For example, a 10-gallon bucket of dirt requires 10 tbsp. of fertilizer.

Step 2

Fill potting containers three quarters full with the soil mixture. Add one tomato seedling to each container.

Step 3

Place the tomato seedlings in the desired indoor location. Set seedlings a minimum of six inches apart.

Step 4

Place one white-glow tube in a planting grow light lamp. Place one or two grow-light tubes in the grow light lamp. If only one tube slot is available, use a grow-light tube. Position the grow light six to eight inches above the tallest tomato seedling.

Step 5

Connect a timer to the plant grow light lamp. Set the timer for 12 hours, and turn it on.

Step 6

Set a small, oscillating fan approximately one foot from the growing area.

Step 7

Put a layer of small pebbles in the bottom of a small tray. Fill the tray with water. Place the tray directly in front of the oscillating fan. Turn the fan on the lowest setting.

Step 8

Water the tomato seedlings with one to three inches of water weekly, as needed during the initial growing period. Fertilize the tomato plants with liquid vegetable fertilizer once the plants begin blooming. Change watering to half an inch daily, once tomatoes appear on the plants.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid getting leaves and stems wet during watering to reduce chances of blight diseases.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic compost
  • All-purpose potting soil
  • Large plastic bucket
  • Time-released vegetable fertilizer
  • Potting containers
  • Tomato seedlings
  • Plant grow light
  • White-grow light tube
  • 2 plant-grow light tubes
  • Timer
  • Small oscillating fan
  • Small tray
  • Pebbles
  • Water


  • University of Illinois Extension: Watch Your Garden Grow Tomatoes
  • University of California: Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden
  • Texas Gardener: Growing Tomatoes Organically

Who Can Help

  • Home Harvest Gardening Supplies: Plant Grow Lights
Keywords: grow tomatoes indoors, grow tomatoes, indoor lights

About this Author

Lisha Smith writes for several blogs and has freelanced for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Greensboro in psychology. Smith has self-published several books. Her areas of experience include gardening, cooking, home improvement, pets and mental health.