02. May 2020

Q&A: Growing Windowsill Tomatoes

I decided to make some space for potted tomatoes here in my cottage. Watching them grow just makes me feel so happy! There are plenty of things you need to think about when growing windowsill tomatoes though. Here is a little Q&A that can help you get started!

Windowsill tomatoes in clay pots.

I put my windowsill tomatoes in a north-facing window, underneath grow lights of course!

 

I have been waiting for these kinds of projects for such a long time! The ones where I can just putter around and enjoy myself with my new little plants, that is. This is something I usually can't do stress-free at home, with the kids and animals running around. That's why I'm so happy about my new little place Oak Hill Cottage, where I keep my windowsill tomatoes.

Watch the video below to learn more about what tomato varieties I'm growing this year. And don't forget to check out my video series about Oak Hill Cottage on YouTube.

 

Q&A: Windowsill tomatoes

A lot of you had questions about the pictures I posted on Instagram lately, so I wanted to give you a little Q&A about these tomatoes and how you grow them:

Are these varieties called potted tomatoes?

The varieties I'm growing in my window are quite small, around 11 inches or so (around 30 cm.) So, you can't use any regular variety if you want to grow windowsill tomatoes. These small varieties are indeed often called potted tomatoes. There are similar cherry tomato varieties that go very well in hanging baskets for example. I don't think that these will fit in the window though, since they are quite bushy.

 

Which varieties do you grow?

I'm growing the varieties Vilma, MicroTom and Microbel in my window this year. I have actually been growing Vilma as a potted tomato for several years now. All of these varieties are very sturdy and compact. MicroTom is supposed to be the smallest variety in the world, height-wise. I have to say that a lot of regular tomatoes taste better than the potted ones, but I still enjoy growing them. Nothing kick starts the spring like harvesting tomatoes indoors!

 

What kind of grow light is that?

This is an LED panel that you can mount on your window with rubber suckers. It's really easy to adjust once the plants grow. Some of these panels I have at home can be connected too, so it creates an even longer structure. I'm using a timer for my grow lights, so that my plants are drenched in light for around 12 hours a day. I bought the grow lights you can see in the picture from Nelson Garden. I have lots of different ones though, but I especially like using these for my windowsill tomatoes.

 

Where can you find grow lights?

The large garden centers usually carry grow lights, but you can probably find even more options online.

 

Learn more: Tomatoes in bottomless buckets

 

When did you sow them?

I sowed the variety MicroTom in the beginning of December. It flowered and then started producing little miniature tomatoes in February. The varieties Vilma and Microbel were sowed in mid-November.

 

When did you transplant them?

I transplanted my tomato plants to individual pots in late January, but you have to do it more than once of course.

 

Do you remove the first cluster of flowers?

No, I never do this for tomatoes. I don't think I know anyone who does. The tomatoes are doing just great without that type of interference right now.

What kind of soil are you using?

I'm using regular store-bought soil for my potted tomatoes. I would like to use soil that contains less peat though, but this seems to be the easiest solution for now since I want to get my soil locally, and we have store in the village.

Will you harvest the tomatoes indoors too?

Yes, I mainly grow these tomatoes to harvest them indoors. This gives me just enough of tomatoes for my sandwiches and spring salads. Then I plant my windowsill tomatoes in pots outside instead. The tomato plants often need some time to adapt to the new circumstances before they start producing new tomatoes though. A healthy potted tomato plant can produce tomatoes until frost, so sowing windowsill tomatoes in winter really pays off in the long run too.

I usually sow more tomatoes in March. This is when I sow the varieties I plan on growing in my greenhouse and in my beds outdoors. I can't wait!

 

Windowsill tomatoes, a close-up of a tiny plant.

The first little tomato is developing on the plant. It takes a while to grow, but I'm patient and can wait!

 

If you are new to growing, I really recommend using the search bar here on the blog to find content specifically made for beginners. Why not check out this series about tomatoes, from sowing to harvest?

 

New series: Tomatoes from sowing to harvest

 

Good luck with your windowsill tomatoes!

/Sara Bäckmo

 

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