The size and the shape of the grape tomato are just like the shape of the grapes. The diameter of the grape tomato is about 1 inch like a cherry tomato.
If you grow a single plant then it can produce a dozen fruits under favorable conditions. The grape tomato can not grow from the seeds of fresh fruit. It is suggested that you should use the original hybrid strain.
You can use grape tomatoes in salads or eat them as a snack. Grape tomatoes have lower water than cherry tomatoes. The other specialty of this variety is its sweetness.
In this article, we are going to discuss with you how to get fresh, favorable tomatoes at your home. With little care and maintenance, you will get a fresh supply of tomatoes for making delicious salads. Those people who don’t have any outdoor space or garden, have the choice to grow indoors.
Getting Grape Tomato Plants Started
For growing grape tomatoes, you need to sow the seeds six weeks before the last frost date. You can also buy seedlings from any local nursery or gardening center.
Best Soil For Growing Grape Tomatoes
As you know tomatoes like to grow in loose, nutritious and slightly acidic soil, in the same way, the needs of grape tomatoes are the same. The pH of the soil must be about 6.0 to 6.5.
Like other plants, make sure your grape tomatoes plants get plenty of light and water. As you are growing grape tomatoes indoors, choose such a place for your plants where they get light.
A window sill is the best place but if your plants are not getting proper sunlight then you can also arrange artificial sunlight for your plants.
Size Of Pot For A Grape Tomato Plant
The selection of the pot for your crab tomato plant is very important. You should prefer a plastic container with drainage holes as the boats which are made from clay dry out too quickly. The reason for choosing a clay pot is that grape tomato plants need moist soil.
Grape tomatoes are found in green, red, or yellow color with thick skin and a sweet taste. The size of the plant is according to the cultivar. You can choose small or medium-size varieties for growing in a pot or container. The best size for growing a grape tomato is 12 inches tall and wide.
Steps Of Growing Grape Tomatoes Indoors
Here are simple and easy steps of growing grape tomatoes in pots.
Step 1: Choose A Suitable Variety
You should choose a suitable variety that can easily grow in the pot or container. It is better to grow bush varieties because they need less space.
Step 2: Plant Your Tomato Seeds In A Starting Mix
Take a starting tray and fill it with potting soil or seed starter mix. Now you need fresh water to make the potting mix moist. Now start making a ¼ inches deep hole in the potting soil of each cell of the tray.
At this stage, you have to put 3 seeds in each hole. After that, cover the holes with potting mix. You should carefully follow the following tips while performing this step.
- You should sow the seeds 60-80 days before you want to harvest your tomatoes.
- In case, you don’t have starting trays then you can use useless cans for this purpose. Before using useless cans, you should wash them properly with a bleach-water solution.
Step 3: Speed Up The Germination Process With Consistent Heat And Water
After sowing the seeds, you have to wait for the sprouting of seeds. Usually, the germination process of grape tomatoes completes within 5 to 10 days. Following are the tips that will help you to speed up the process of germination.
- If you want your seeds to sprout soon then cover the seedlings with a lid or a sheet of plastic wrap. This will help to retain the moisture in the soil.
- Choose a warm location for your tray. The suitable temperature for germination is about 70 to 80 F. In case, if you are unable to maintain the temperature then you can buy a heat mat.
- When you see the soil is dry then lift up the cover and water the plants.
Step 4: Move Your Sprouted Seedlings To A Sunny Or A Artificially Lit Location
At least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight is needed for the development of fruit. Without sunlight, your plants can become weak. When the seeds sprout then you should remove the cover.
Now your seedlings need light for their growth as you are growing grape tomato plants indoors or so you should place them directly in front of the south-facing window. It is recommended that you rotate the tray frequently so each side will get proper light.
In case you don’t have a window then you can use artificial fluorescent light on the seedlings. When you are using artificial lights then make a distance of a few inches from the seedlings.
Step 5: Transplanting
When you see the seedlings have one to two sets of leaves then this is the time to transplant them in a pot. The size of a pot is according to the variety you choose. You can use a 5 to 10-gallon pot or container.
During the transplantation, you should carefully transfer the seedlings from the tray to the pot. The tiny roots of young seedlings are very delicate so you should transplant them without breaking them. Carefully, hold the seedlings with two fingers and place them in the soil of the container or pot.
Step 6: Water Your Plants When Dry
Now seedlings need water to adjust to a new environment. Whenever you see the soil of the grape tomato plant is dry then you should water them. It is better to set a frequency of water and.
You can check the dryness of the soil with the help of your finger. If you feel the soil is dry then what are your plants but if the soil is moist then water at a later time.
Step 7: Fertilize The Seedlings
If you choose an indeterminate tomato variety for your pot then you must add adequate nutrients to continue the cycle of producing fruit. After 2 weeks of transplanting, you can apply fertilizer.
Fertilize your grape tomato plants regularly until your plants mature. Make sure the fertilizer you are using must have a high quantity of phosphorus. Before buying the fertilizer you should follow all the instructions on the product.
Train Grape Tomato Plants To Grow Up
Grape tomato plants need proper support, for this purpose you need a stake or trellis, or cage. After one month of transplanting, train grape tomato plants.
In case you are using a single stake or single string trellis then you should train the main stem. You should tie the twine in a loose knot every 6 to 8 inches to the stem.
In case you are using the cage, then you should place the cage over the young seedlings.
How To Care For Your Grape Tomato Plants?
- When you see the seedlings start growing then the time comes to divide them. It is recommended that you should cut off the branches under the seedlings. Always cut from the bottom as these branches can’t bear fruit.
- Pruning, branching, topping, and thinning are required as you are growing it indoors. This will also so avoid the waste of nutrients.
- It is better to start showing the seeds after the last frost is tomato plants like to grow in warm weather.
- Feed is very important to keep your grape tomato plants healthy. For this purpose, you should fertilize the plants often. It is better to use liquid fertilizer or compost tea.
- The process of twisting of branches should be done on sunny days or in the afternoon. Never do this in the morning or on rainy days.
- If you see old and yellow leaves on your grape tomato plants then remove them and save the consumption of nutrients.
- You should keep a tray under the pot of the grape tomato plant. This will create a humid and went around the plant.
- Support is very important as it will make harvesting easier and help in the development of fruit. There are many advantages to providing proper support to your grape tomato plants. Your plant will get fresh air and easily where the fruit.
- When you grow tomato plants outdoor then bees and birds help in the pollination process. In the case of indoor planting, you need proper assistance for pollination. When flowers start blooming then you should tap the stem every day to spread pollens.
Pests And Diseases
Fungal disorders are a common problem when you grow grape tomatoes in a pot. Make sure the location of the pot is well-ventilated. There are many pests such as green caterpillars, aphids, whiteflies, and brown potato beetles that can create a problem for you.
Handpick or spray them off with a stream of water is a simple and easy way of discarding them.
To protect your tomato plants from different diseases and pests, you can use insecticidal soap.
But if you don’t want to use chemicals as some grape tomato cultivars are sensitive to soaps then water your grape tomato plants in the morning, this will help to keep foliage dry.
Avoid overwatering as it results in root rot and many diseases. Water the plants at their base. If you want to prevent your grape tomato plant from blossoming end rot then your soil must have calcium.
Homegrown fresh tomatoes are best for your health. They have a sweet and bright flavor. After 70 days, you will see grape tomatoes turning red. When you see the fruit is fully red, first, lose them on the vine then pick them.
You can also pick the fruit before turning red when the color of the fruit is still green. You can allow the fruit to fully ripen afterward.
Carefully pick the tomato and twist it until it snaps off. After picking the tomatoes, try to use them soon otherwise they will become soft and start to lose their flavor.