How to Raise Tomatoes in a Greenhouse

Greenhouse Tomatoes. image by DDJClarke/Flickr.com

Overview

Fresh tomatoes are a tasty treat. They are sweeter and juicier than the tomatoes purchased at the market. Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, which is a substance that helps prevent cancer. Tomatoes require 52 to 90 days without frost in order to mature. They can be sown outside if you happen to be in an area with a long growing season. Tomatoes grow well in containers and in greenhouses. Containers save space, and tomatoes produce heavily with proper care. Tomatoes can be started in a greenhouse 6 to 10 weeks before the last frost.

Step 1

Fill large containers with rich potting soil. Mix a couple of hands full of well-rotted compost in with the potting soil.

Step 2

Poke the tomato seeds into the soil to the recommended depth on the seed package. Cover lightly with dirt. Water frequently while the seeds are germinating. Keep the soil moist.

Step 3

Keep the greenhouse temperature below 80 degrees Fahrenehit and above 50 degrees Fahrenheit while growing tomatoes.

Step 4

Place the young tomato plants on the south side of the greenhouse. This will give the tomatoes the best light. Occasionally rotate the containers to give uniform light over the life of the tomato plants.

Step 5

Start giving the tomato plants fertilizer every two weeks after they start to bloom. The best fertilizer to use is a weak compost tea or fish emulsion fertilizer.

Step 6

Hand fertilize your tomato plants every 3 or 4 days while there are blossoms. Use your finger or a cotton swab, and touch the center of each blossom. Bees are unusual in a greenhouse, so you will have to take the place of a bee.

Step 7

Pick your tomatoes once they have turned red. This will stimulate the tomato plant to grow more tomatoes.

Tips and Warnings

  • When fertilizing your tomato plants, you must prevent the buildup of chemicals in the soil. Use lots of water, and only fertilize at half strength. This prevents fertilizer burn among the tomato plants' roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Large container
  • Potting soil
  • Compost
  • Tomato seeds
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Cotton Swab

References

  • The Practical Gardener's Encyclopedia; Geoffrey Burnie; 2000
  • Guide to Growing Delicious Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs; Miracle-Gro; 2005
  • University of Missouri Extension: Growing Home Garden Tomatoes
Keywords: tomatoes, greenhouse, lycopene

About this Author

Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems.

Photo by: DDJClarke/Flickr.com