Finding good tips for growing tomatoes in hothouses can be difficult to come by! The process is unconventional for most gardeners but a terrific one at that. Especially if you live in a chilly area of the country that isn’t great for tomato growth. Don’t let your grow zone get you down, it’s possible to grow tomatoes in any part of the county ANY time of year with a hothouse. If you want to get started, check out my tips for growing tomatoes in hothouses below!
Before we begin, it’s important to note that a hothouse is simply another word for a greenhouse. In a gardeners mind, the two words are commonly interchangeable. You might hear both at your local greenhouse but they mean the same thing! You can learn how to build a hothouse here or you can buy small ones perfect for a plant or two on Amazon. Here are links to two of my favorites:
Tip #1: When growing tomatoes in a hothouse, make sure that you are growing the right KINDS! Typically, heirloom tomatoes don’t grow well in enclosed spaces and it may even cause disease. Instead of growing your go-to heirloom, plant marnero and marigold varieties of tomatoes instead.
Tip #2: Your tomatoes need to be watered frequently and consistently while growing in a hothouse. I recommend watering your mature tomato plants 100 ounces of water every day. Be sure that you divide the water up over periods throughout the day to prevent root rot or other moisture-related diseases.
Tip #3: If you are growing more than one type of veggie in your garden, it is important that you rotate the crops yearly. This will help ensure that your soil does not become depleted and pests do not form. Be sure to test your soil PH in between crops as well! This is one of those crucial tips for growing tomatoes in hothouses. Or growing anything else in a greenhouse, really! PH levels should be between 6.5 and 7.0 when growing tomatoes.
Tip #4: Spacing your tomatoes far enough is important when growing your tomatoes outside but it’s even more important when growing them indoors! When grown in a hothouse, tomato plants should be spaced at least 4-5 feet apart from one another. You’ll need plenty of room for these plants, but the work is definitely worth it!
Tip #5: I love to walk through my greenhouse in the winter time because the humidity is luxurious compared to the harsh temperatures outdoors! However, as tempting as it can be to crank up the humidity levels for your own enjoyment (hey, no judgment here!) it’s important to keep them in check for the sake of your tomatoes. Humidity levels in your hothouse should always be between 65 and 75 percent!
Tip #6: The temperature of your greenhouse is just as important as your humidity levels. For happy, healthy tomatoes keep greenhouse temperature levels between 60 and 86 degrees. As you can see, you have a bit more flexibility in regards to temperature!
Finally, here is an article to help you learn how to take care of tomato plant diseases http://beesandroses.com/2018/04/12/how-to-cure-your-tomato-plant-diseases/