Tomatoes will thrive in a greenhouse in midsummer with the right light, warmth, water and feed. But there’s no point in ruining your hard work by watching the plant collapse under its own weight, when some simple staking will save the day. Nor do you want too many leaves when it’s the precious fruits you want to savour, so here are a few timely tips to keep your plants on track for a bumper harvest.
Germinate the seeds in a standard nursery tray filled with the soil mixture. Plant the seeds 1/4-inch deep with 8 seeds per inch. Cover the seeds to keep them moist. The seeds start germinating at 80 degrees, which takes 5 to 12 days. As soon as seeds start sprouting, take the cover off. Maintain a fluorescent light 5 inches away from the new sprouts. Keep them lit 20 hours a day. Once they grow to 1-1/2 inches, transplant them carefully in 6-inch pots.
Grow the tomatoes beneath 3 fluorescent lights for 24 hours a day. Feed them MAXSEA All Purpose Plant Food by mixing a rounded teaspoon to 1 gallon of water and mix in 1/2 ounce of B1. Keep the temperatures for this growth period at around 70 to 75 degrees during the day and 65 to 67 degrees at night. By the time the tomato plants grow to 12 inches, they require transplanting to gallon pots. Give them 8 more weeks to start fruiting the plants.
Ascertain the best method to force flowering your tomato plants at anywhere from 60 to 80 days. Prior to the flowering, make your last transplant into 3 gallon pots. Feed the plant heavy with 10-52-70 fertilizer. At each watering feed them 800 ppm - half the recommend strength. Continue also with MAXSEA All Purpose plant food.
Help with the pollinating cycle of the flowers during the day with humidity at 65 to 70 degrees. Midday pollinating produces the best crops. The plant flower forms the male anthers, which drops pollen, and the female carpels catch the pollen. Male forms produce pollen on the outside making pollination simple and direct. Wind or some vibration is needed to release the pollen. A tiny electric fan emulates a bee buzzing and works best to free the pollen. Set as much pollen free as possible. The plant will produce more fruit and meatier tomatoes.