Indoor Tomatoes?

over40July 6, 2014

I'm in SW FL and the summer is too hot for outdoor tomatoes. Just wondering if they can be grown under flourecent grow lights indoors. House is airconditioned and about 76 degrees.
Thinking of a bush type that don't grow too tall.
How about lettuce?

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Well to grow a tomato even a determinate is going to take some doing. I tried this past winter for a total of 9 months trying 3 different varieties under 400 watts of metal halide and high pressure sodium and got 1 decent tomato.
It actually tasted very good. I also tried using intense LED lights with the same results.
Now the plants were super healthy growing to the ceiling, the problem was they wouldn't set fruit. Now I know it is possible and this coming fall I am going to try again. I think the reason the blooms wouldn't set fruit was because the room was staying too warm at night. In other words their wasn't enough of a temperature differential between day and night time temps. I couldn't let the room get too cold because at the time I have a tropical bird living in the room.
Now as far as growing under fluorescent's it is going to take some pretty intense light to get much fruit or even blooms.
This time I am going to grow Matina and top it when it gets too tall.
I think you might be able to grow something like a dwarf cherry by keeping the light very close to the plant.
The one plant that I grew and got the one ripe tomato was a 506 Bush. Now to be accurate I did have about 8 other green tomatoes but I was running out of time and needed the lights to start my outdoor plants so I cut it short before all the fruit ripened.
Good luck

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 8:19PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

I grow both tomatoes and lettuce under fluorescent lights all winter. With tomatoes you need a short dwarf variety to work really well. I grow 'tiny tim' and 'Tumbler' I will prune tumbler to keep it shorter. Lettuce is very easy as are radishes and onions.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 3:02PM
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