We’re sometimes asked how long it takes to grow tomatoes. It’s a good question, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to answer it here. With a Click & Grow smart garden, you can produce a mini tomato harvest starting from 98 days after planting.
In this article we’ll look at some key things to remember when growing tomatoes indoors and outdoors.
Growing tomatoes in a smart indoor garden
If this is your first time growing Click & Grow mini tomatoes, here’s a quick timeline of what to expect at each growth stage. A Click & Grow mini tomato plant pod contains pre-gardened tomato seeds. The optimum indoor room temperature for growing mini tomatoes is 68°F – 95°F.
7 - 21 days: When sprouts appear, thin your tomato seedlings to one per pod. This will help your plant get the space, light and nutrients it needs.
40 - 60 days: You’ll start to notice yellow flowers on your plant. Be sure to pollinate them by shaking the plant to mimic a bee. Alternatively, use your index finger or a small brush to transfer pollen from one blossom to another.
61 - 72 days: Don’t be alarmed if you notice yellow petals falling off. Not every flower produces fruit but you’ll be rewarded with some delicious tomatoes later on.
73 - 89 days: Around this time your plant will produce tomatoes that look green. They won’t turn red until they reach maturity.
90 - 110 days: Your plant will start to produce beautiful ripe tomatoes. Once they’re red, they’re ready to eat, although the taste becomes even sweeter if you let them continue to grow for another 1-2 weeks.
Enjoy every bite knowing your Click and Grow Mini tomatoes have 2.5 times more antioxidative activity and 2 times more lycopene than any other type of tomato!
For more plant tips, be sure to download the Click & Grow mobile app. Simply register your smart garden and plant on the app and we’ll send you tips to guide you through each stage of your plant’s life cycle.
Growing tomatoes outdoors
Growing tomatoes outdoors is a little more complicated and there are a few things to keep in mind. After transplanting young plants to their final growing spot, it usually takes anywhere from 60 days to more than 100 days before you can harvest your tomatoes.
Before growing varieties of tomatoes outside, the first thing to do is make sure you live in a tomato-friendly climate. Tomatoes grow best when the temperature is between 65°F and 85°F during the day. They stop growing if the temperature reaches above 95°F. If you live somewhere with a short growing season, it may be worth starting your plants indoors and transplanting them when the weather warms up.
Click & Grow smart gardens (particularly the Smart Garden 9), are suitable for pre-growing tomato seedlings indoors. You can then plant them outdoors when they’re ready to move out. We offer experimental pods which enable you to do just that. For instance, you can pre-grow tomatoes in your indoor garden during spring and later plant them in a greenhouse once it’s warm enough.
Two of the most popular tomatoes to grow are globe tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. Globe tomatoes are the most common type of tomato - deep red and full sized. Cherry tomatoes are their miniature, bite-sized counterparts.
When researching which tomatoes to plant, it’s also worth noting the difference between determinate tomatoes and indeterminate tomatoes. Determinate tomato plants stop growing at a certain height, whereas indeterminate varieties continue to grow and produce tomatoes throughout the growing season.
Tomato plants are usually started indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date for your area. Transplant them outdoors when the soil reaches about 60°F.
Tomatoes require soil that’s well drained and rich in nutrients. The best tomatoes are still grown in traditional ways by people who understand what they're doing, so if you're trying this for the first time, don’t be shy to ask around and see if there are some experienced vegetable gardeners who will mentor you.
Here are some quick tips for getting started:
- Choose a spot where tomatoes will get at least 8 hours of sun every day.
- Prepare the soil by digging it up, removing rocks, weeds and roots and adding compost to it. Add organic fertilizer too if you want to increase the yield of your tomato plants.
- Spread the seeds out on top of the soil, about 1 inch apart from each corner to corner.
- Water your seeds every day until they sprout.
- Watch as your tomato seedlings grow up from the ground.
Did you know that tomatoes are made up of about 95% water? They’re undeniably low in carbs. The bulk of their carbohydrates are made up of simple sugars and insoluble fibers.
Tomatoes are also a great source of dietary fiber. An average sized tomato provides you with 1.5 grams of fiber. In addition to that, tomatoes are natural sources of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and folate.
Studies suggest that tomatoes may improve heart health. An example of this is how tomato products can fight inflammation and signs of oxidative stress. There’s also research that suggests tomatoes promote skin health. For instance, tomato-based foods that are rich in lycopene may protect against sunburn.
Growing tomatoes is a rewarding way to add fresh produce to your diet. Have fun growing them! For further reading, check out our blog post: