How to Grow Tomatoes in an Apartment


Growing tomatoes in an apartment is possible if you plant the right varieties. Dwarf varieties, sometimes called windowsill tomatoes, produce smaller plants and fruits that are suitable to indoor or small-space gardening. You can grow these tomatoes in a sunny windowsill or out on your patio or balcony. This allows you to have the fresh taste of garden tomatoes even without the space of a garden. Varieties that work well for apartments include Small Fry, Pixie and Tiny Tim tomatoes.

Step 1

Plant one to two tomato seeds per 3-inch pot. Sow the seeds to a 1/2-inch depth then water the soil until it is evenly moist. Cover the pots with a plastic bag and set in a warm room to germinate.

Step 2

Remove the plastic bag once seedings appear, usually within seven to 14 days after planting. Move the pots to a windowsill where they receive at least eight hours of sun a day and water as needed to keep the soil moist.

Step 3

Transplant the tomatoes to a 6- to 8-inch pot once the plants produce their second set of leaves. Plant each tomato in the new pot to the same depth it was at in its seedling pot. Insert a 2-foot stake into the soil behind each plant at the time of transplanting to add support as the plant grows.

Step 4

Stick your finger in the soil at least once a week and water when it begins to feel dry. Add water until it begins draining from the bottom drainage holes on the pot. Water with a soluble fertilizer solution every two to three weeks.

Step 5

Rotate the pot in the window every two to three days to ensure the entire plant gets equal sunlight. Tie the main stem to the stake with a loose loop of garden twine every 6 to 8 inches along the stem. Turning and tying the stem facilitates straight, strong growth.

Step 6

Shake the plant lightly once the tomato flowers open. This aids pollination and helps fruit set.

Step 7

Harvest the tomatoes when they are at full color and firm. Frequent harvesting encourages further fruit production. Continue to harvest tomatoes until the plant begins to die back on its own.

Tips and Warnings

  • Tomatoes require temperatures over 70 F to thrive. Avoid placing them in areas with cold drafts or where they will touch cold window glass.

Things You'll Need

  • 3-inch pots
  • Potting soil
  • Tomato seeds
  • Plastic bags
  • 6-inch pots
  • Stakes
  • Plant ties
  • Fertilizer


  • Washington State Extension: Container Gardening
  • Colorado State University Extension: Grow Your Own Tomatoes Inside This Winter
Keywords: container gardening, growing tomatoes inside, apartments garden

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.