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Charley's Greenhouse
17979 State Route 536
Mt. Vernon, WA 98273
Fax 360-873-8264

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Growing Tomatoes in your Greenhouse
Growing Tomatoes
in your Greenhouse


Lucky you - with a greenhouse, you don't need to wait for the outdoor soil to warm to start your tomatoes. With minimum effort, you'll be enjoying homegrown, tasty tomatoes long before your neighbors this summer.


Best Varieties For The Home Greenhouse -

Start with how much room you have, then choose from one or a combination of the basic cultivars below.

Determinate plants form fairly compact bushes with shorter main stems and take up less space. All their fruit ripens at the same time. Cage or stake early on to control. Remember not to remove side shoots, as these are the plant's fruiting shoots.

Indeterminate plants grow larger and higher until stopped. Often sprawling, fruit is carried on the shortish shoots coming off the main stem. Cage, stake or train on wire or twine supports to grow vertically. Continually pinch out extra side shoots to control overcrowding and increase fruit production.
Miniature and dwarf plants are commonly grown in space-saving smaller pots or hanging baskets. There are some terrific varieties out now for salads and snacking.

Most major seed suppliers now mark their best varieties for greenhouse growing. Also ask independent, trusted local nurseries and experienced greenhouse friends in your area.

Caring for my hanging basket tomato plant is so easy with a Down-Up Pulley. The Down-Up is also very convenient for my flower hanging basket displays.

Sun — Grow tomatoes in the sunniest part of your greenhouse. Supplement with grow lights if needed.

To make a "grow bag", take a 2 cu.ft. bag of organic soil and punch a few holes in the bottom for drainage. Slit open the top of the bag. Add time-release fertilizer if you wish. Plant 2 tomato starts per bag.  

— Depending on the size of your greenhouse and the tomato varieties, you can grow from ground up, in raised beds, grow bags, barrels, pots or hanging baskets.


Water — Tomato container plants need more frequent watering and attention. Use warm water. I like to refill my water cans after watering so they will be at greenhouse temperature for the next time I water. Be careful not to splash water on leaves, which can promote disease.


Fertilizer — Tomatoes are "hungry feeders." As soon as the first fruit starts to form, you need to start fertilizing them regularly with the fertilizer of your choice. I have had good success with Terrific Tomato Food. I use it on many other kinds of plants as well.



Temperature — Most tomatoes prefer temperatures between 65º F and 80º F for best yields. Try to avoid wide fluctuations in temperature.


Air Circulation/VentilationGood air circulation and ventilation are essential to prevent disease. Keep your air circulation fan going 24 hours a day. Provide a consistent means to exhaust hot air, e.g., solar vent openers, exhaust fan, or opening the door.


Pest Control — Whiteflies are the chief pest I hear about. Whitefly and aphid traps are a great solution. If you have other pest problems check out Charley's pest controls to help you combat whatever ails your plants.


Happy Growing!

Alias Mrs. Charley

Watch Greenhouse 101
19 short video clips