How to Grow Large Red Cherry Tomatoes Indoors

Overview

Growing red cherry tomatoes indoors works well when space is limited or when fresh tomatoes are desired year-round. Cherry tomatoes are perfect for indoor growing because of their compact size and abundance of large, sweet tomatoes destined for salads or healthy snacks straight off the plant. With sufficient lighting and water, indoor cherry tomatoes will provide delicious fruit all year.

Step 1

Choose a 5-gallon container that has several drainage holes. Line the bottom of the container with coarse gravel.

Step 2

Fill the container to within 1 inch of the rim with potting soil. Mix in compost to create a light, fluffy soil that drains well.

Step 3

Dig a hole that is at least twice as deep as the height of the root ball and twice the width. Sprinkle in a handful of bone meal or crushed egg shells to provide essential calcium needed for healthy fruit.

Step 4

Snip off the lower one to two sets of leaves on the tomato plant, leaving at least one set at the top of the stem. Place the plant in the hole so the top set of leaves is about 1 inch above the soil's surface. This allows for a stronger root system and healthy plant. Fill in the hole with more soil and tamp down well around the plant.

Step 5

Water the tomato, allowing the water to run out of the bottom of the container. Keep the plant watered once a day to keep the soil moist. Container tomatoes tend to dry out quicker than those grown in a garden, so it may be necessary to water twice a day if the soil becomes too dry.

Step 6

Set the container in a windowsill or on a table in front of a window, preferably a south-facing window. Tomatoes need 12 to 16 hours of light per day for strong, healthy growth and abundant fruiting. Place the tomato under a grow light or use a fluorescent light. The tomato plant receiving adequate lighting will grow quickly and feature dark green foliage.

Step 7

Keep the temperature around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, with nighttime temperatures about 10 degrees cooler. Tomatoes thrive in warm conditions and need cooler nighttime temperatures for setting fruit.

Step 8

Hand-pollinate indoor cherry tomatoes since they will not receive the benefit of pollination like they would when grown outside. Swirl a small paint brush inside each flower and move from flower to flower, which spreads the pollen necessary for the plant to produce fruit.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon container
  • Coarse gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Compost
  • Bone meal
  • Small paint brush

References

  • Mother Earth News: Real Food Winter Tomatoes
  • Tomato Growing Tips: Growing Cherry Tomatoes
Keywords: red cherry tomatoes, grow cherry tomatoes, indoor cherry tomatoes, grow tomatoes indoors, grow tomatoes inside, growing tomatoes

About this Author

Amy Madtson resides in southern Oregon and has been writing for Demand Studios since 2008, focusing on health and gardening for websites such as eHow and GardenGuides. Madtson has an Associate of Arts in business from Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington. She holds a childbirth educator certification and a one-year midwifery completion certificate.