Growing Tomatoes Indoors With Lights
The first thing you need to do when it comes to growing tomatoes is to get light. You will have to use some kind of artificial lighting for your plants. There are several types of artificial lighting available today such as fluorescent bulbs, halogen lamps, compact fluorescents and others.
There are many advantages and disadvantages of each type of lighting. Fluorescent bulbs are the most popular because they last longer than other kinds of lighting. They don’t require any maintenance or replacement like incandescent bulbs do. Halogen lamps provide less heat and produce less light but they cost more up front compared to fluorescent bulbs. Compact fluorescents offer the least amount of light output per dollar spent compared to all other types of lighting.
Lighting is very important when it comes to growing tomatoes. Light is what helps the plant photosynthesize. Without enough light, the plant won’t be able to grow properly. If you want to make sure your plants get enough light, you can buy a CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) or a HID (high intensity discharge) bulb which uses less electricity and lasts longer than regular incandescent bulbs.
When you are growing tomatoes indoors, the amount of time your plant gets light directly affects the healthiness and size of your plant. Getting your plant to grow under a certain amount of hours of light or less will stunt its growth and cause it to stay shorter. Getting your plant to grow under a higher amount of hours of light will cause it to become tall and produce more flowers, causing more fruit to grow.
Light is split up into categories called ” photoperiods” which refers to the amount of hours of light your plant is getting. Each photoperiod has different effects on your plants.
Most people who grow their tomatoes indoors use the “18/6” photoperiod, which means that the plant gets 18 hours of light and 6 hours of complete darkness each day. Using this type of photoperiod encourages your plant to grow stocky with a lot of leaves and branches. The “24/0” photoperiod is the opposite. This means that the plant gets 24 hours of light and no darkness each day. The plant grows extremely tall with a scarce amount of leaves and branches.
For those growing on a windowsill, you will most likely be using the “18/6” photoperiod since sunlight outside gives off a lot of light for 18 hours a day. For those who use artificial lighting, you can use either the “24/0” or the “18/6” photoperiod since you control the amount of light given to the plant.
If you choose to grow your plants using the “24/0” photoperiod, you will most likely need to buy a few extra items. Some of these items include heating cables, a thermostat, or a grow light chimera which gives off both heat and light.
Sources & references used in this article:
… pathogenicity and host ranges of Fusarium oxysporum isolates causing crown and root rot of greenhouse and field-grown tomatoes in North America and … by RC Rowe – Phytopathology, 1980 – apsnet.org
Shading effects on greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers by IE Smith, MJ Savage, P Mills – … on Energy in Protected Cultivation 148, 1983 – actahort.org
Tomato plant culture: in the field, greenhouse, and home garden by LH Bailey – 1891 – Cornell University
The effect of early low temperature treatment on the yield of single-inflorescence tomatoes by JB Jones Jr – 2007 – books.google.com