We are well into the tomato season and some gardeners are quite competitive about their tomato harvest so what better way to brag than to get some insider tips and tricks from the team at A-Grade for the best tomatoes you have ever grown!
How much light do they need?
Propagating tomatoes from seed is super easy, they will germinate on a window ledge or in a hobby grow room under a T5 lighting system. (T5 lighting is ideal for germinating seeds and growing seedlings under as the amount of light leaving the fixture is not as intense as the lights used for ‘juvenile’ vegetative growth.
When the plants are about 25-30cm give them as much light as you can, outdoors in full sun position. For those growing indoors we recommend a full spectrum CMH or LED lighting system, HPS and MH will work very well too but are flawed in their CRI output meaning they are only capable of producing a certain type of growth, they generally output to much thermal energy (heat) and insufficient amounts of light.
How many hours of light do they need?
Tomatoes are day neutral, meaning they flower without regard to photoperiods. So indoors you can have them under 24 hours of light if you choose, personally I think 12-16 hours is ideal. Light timers control these lighting systems on and off times, so you don’t have to.
How much food do they need?
Tomatoes are very hungry plants! When feeding them liquid A/B organic or hydroponic nutrient the grower must remember they like acidic substrates and they love heavy feeding, love it.
The application of food should be relative to the growth rate of the plant.
pH 5.8 - 6.8
EC 1.6 - 3.8
Humidity 50-70% (Cross reference your temps and humidity to calculate your VPD)
How to prune tomato plants?
Pruning tomatoes is easy once you know what to do, throughout the growth period the plant grows quite vigorously, the central stem forms strong lateral branches that are asymmetrical, the growth nodes that emerge from tomatoes are aptly named suckers for their ability to suck energy away from the plants developing trusses. Removing suckers is crucial as the plant starts to develop flowers and form trusses on the main stem, not removing them delays harvest and maturation.
How long until I harvest my Tomatoes?
Harvesting tomatoes is the most rewarding part of the process and can take anywhere from 45-70 days (6-9 weeks) depending on the variety.
Can I grow them indoors?
You sure can, and most of the time they will be much healthier and more flavoursome than the majority of outdoor grown. Indoor growing allows the grower to take on a crop that would usually be exposed to many of the abiotic factors that’s cause illness, damage, infestation and reduced yield. If you want to learn more about indoor growing and would like to take the jump or just have a quick dip, our team is here to help and guide you make the best decision for your existing environment.