Growing tomatoes in an indoor hydroponics system involves gardening with water instead of soil. Tomatoes grow well in this environment as there is a low risk of the disease and insect problems associated with soil gardening. Home hydroponics systems provide fresh tomatoes year round with the benefit that most tomato varieties grow well as a hydroponic plant. Nutrient control through the water provided to the plants produces large tomatoes that are full of flavor.
Assemble the hydroponics system and verify it is in working order before planting tomato seedlings.
Purchase tomato seedlings for planting in the hydroponics system. Remove the seedlings from the planting container and gently remove the soil clumps from the roots. Rinse the roots to remove remaining soil.
Plant the tomato seedlings in hydroponic netted pots filled with hydroponic growing medium. Rockwool cubes also work well for growing hydroponic tomato plants. Set the plants 10 to 12 inches apart in the system to prevent crowding.
Fill the hydroponics system with water according to the manufacturer's directions. Test the water pH to verify it is 5.8 to 6.3 for best results with growing tomatoes and prevent nutrient deficiencies. Add phosphoric acid to lower the water pH or potassium hydroxide to increase the water pH.
Add water-soluble nutrients to the hydroponic water. Maintain the water nutrient level by providing more nutrients when refreshing or adding additional water to the system. Follow the package instructions for the appropriate concentration of nutrients based on the amount of water in the hydroponics system.
Provide lighting over the hydroponics system for a minimum of 16 hours each day. Tomato plants require long day lengths to produce fruit. Metal halide grow lights work well for tomato plants.