Can You Grow Tomatoes in a Garage? (A Quick Helpful Guide!)

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Can You Grow Tomatoes in a Garage?

Tomatoes are summer plants and thrive in sunlight. Unfortunately in many parts of the US the weather is not conducive to growing tomatoes all year-round. Some herbs, plants and vegetables can be grown indoors, say in a garage. What about tomatoes? Can you grow tomatoes in a garage?

You can grow tomatoes in the garage but you need to make sure that the plant gets sufficient sunlight and is protected from extreme cold.

It would be a real treat if you can get home grown tomatoes even during freezing winter. This is only possible if you can grow tomatoes in pots, indoors. With some effort you could grow tomatoes in your garage. 

Can You Grow Tomatoes in a Garage?

How to Grow Tomatoes in a Garage?

To grow tomatoes in your garage you obviously need to grow them in pots. Growing tomatoes in pots is actually quite helpful as you can move them around as per weather conditions or your space needs.

To grow tomatoes in pots in a garage the following tips will come in handy:

Use Large Pots

When you plant a seedling or a cutting from an old plant, you may be tempted to use a small pot. Don’t do that. Tomato plants need lots of room, water and nutrients. Only then can they grow to their full potential.

Use a 16″ – 20″ wide pot that can hold 5 gallons of soil, for each tomato plant. Ensure the pots have good drainage. The roots must be moist but not soggy.

Buy Potting Mix

Do not try to grow tomatoes in a pot filled with soil from your backyard or garden. Instead buy a good potting mix such as Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix. They are lightweight, have good drainage, come with an initial dose of nutrients and are easy to use.

Plant Deep

Plant tomato seedlings deep into the pot. When you plant them deep in the pot, roots sprout from the buried stem. This gives the plant a sturdy root system. The plant will grow healthy and strong.

Regular Watering

Tomato plants need regular watering. Water the soil, not the plant, once every morning. If it is too hot, increase the frequency to twice a day. The soil in the pot should always be moist, but never soggy.

Enough Nutrients

Tomatoes need lots of nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Top up the nutrients every fortnight. Better still use liquid organic fertilizers such as Great Big Tomatoes Compost Concentrate.

Light, Warmth & Space

Tomatoes are summer plants and need plenty of sunlight, as much as 8 hours per day. This can be a bit of a challenge in a regular garage. Try to install large windows on the east and south facing walls of the garage and place the pots where they can get maximum sunlight.

Alternatively you can use LED grow lights. Just make sure that the LED lights cover a wide spectrum. Warm-colored lights are useful when the plants start producing flowers and begin to fruit. The cool colors keep the vines & leaves healthy.

Tomato plants need to be in warm conditions (70 degrees F or more) to grow well. A climate controlled garage can provide heat even when it is freezing outside. If your garage does not have heating, consider using blankets around the plants at night.

Tomato plants also like to have plenty of space. Try not to keep too many pots in a small space. Lack of space will stunt their growth.

Provide Support

Depending on the tomato variety you have chosen to grow indoors, you may or may not need to provide support to the plant. Shorter plants do not require support but taller ones will. 

Without proper support the stems will grow sideways rather than upwards. They may also snap under the weight of the fruits.

What Kind of Tomatoes Grow Best Indoors?

Tomato plants are either determinate (shorter varieties that can be harvested in one go) or indeterminates (taller varieties that can be harvested over a longer duration). 

Determinate varieties are better suited for growing tomatoes in a garage as they need less light and ripen faster. It is easier to accommodate them in a garage due to their smaller size.

Some popular varieties are:

Cherry Tomatoes

A well known tomato, it is easy to grow and has the shortest gestation period. You can expect to reap your harvest in just 4 – 5 weeks

Tiny Tim Tomatoes

The plant grows to around 18” high and can bear sweet cherry tomatoes in just 6 weeks.

Pixie Tomatoes

The plants and fruits are small, making it ideal for indoor locations such as the garage. They will be ready in 7 – 8 weeks.

Patio Tomatoes

The plant grows to only 18”. Patio tomatoes are a bit larger than Pixie tomatoes and mature in around 10 weeks. 

Mountain Spring

The fruit is larger and can be sliced for making salads or sandwiches. The plant can be grown under LED Grow Lights and the fruits can be picked in 10 weeks.

Celebrity

The plants are pest resistant and can survive harsh conditions. The fruit is large and ideal for recipes that require sliced tomatoes.  The plant produces mature fruit in 10 weeks.

Bottom Line

To grow tomatoes in your garage can be challenging but extremely rewarding. Give your tomato plants enough light (natural or artificial), regular dose of water & nutrients, space and support and you can enjoy sweet home-grown juicy tomatoes all year round.

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