Learn How to Cultivate Off-Season Tomatoes in Greenhouse in India to increase their yield and have a juicy supply all year round!
With the increasing demand for abundant vegetable supply, farmers are moving towards a greenhouse. You can grow tomatoes year-round irrespective of weather, growing season, heavy rainfall, or temperature change. Let’s have a look at How to Cultivate Off-Season Tomatoes in Greenhouse and How to Increase its Yield significantly.
Check out our article on the best hybrid tomatoes in India here
Best Tomatoes Varieties to Grow in a Greenhouse
The best types of tomatoes that do great in a greenhouse in India are DARL-303, Lakshmi, Pusa Divya, Abiman, Arka Saurabh, Arka Rakshak, and Pant bahar.
How to Plant Tomatoes in a Greenhouse?
Fill a seed tray with a soil-less potting medium. Make a small hole, insert the seeds, and secure them with a layer of potting mix and mist well. It’s better to place the plants in the bright, indirect sunlight outside the greenhouse until they sprout. Once sprouted, place them in the full sun.
Note: You can also grow the seeds in the soil but to increase successful germination chances without any fear of diseases, a soilless medium is the best.
You can transplant the plants after 25-30 days in the greenhouse, once they grow up to 10-15 cm. Make sure to check the plants for any disease or fungal infection before bringing them inside.
Note: The greenhouse area must be clean, tidy, and free of debris, weed, as the area is prone to pests problems and is not easy to overcome.
Greenhouse Tomato Growing Requirements
Maintain the greenhouse temperature in the range of 20 – 30°C, with 15-20°C of nighttime temperature. But make sure that it must not fall below 15°C or goes above 32°C, as it will prevent the fruits from ripening.
Tomatoes in the off-season can grow if nurtured with ample sunlight and warmth. A southern corner of the greenhouse will be the best bet. You can also opt for high power sodium lights for 10-12 hours inside the greenhouse.
Though tomatoes are self-pollinating, they require some sort of pollination mode to bear fruits. In greenhouses, as the lack of wind and pollinators are the main obstructions, you can use greenhouse fans, or air blowers to overcome this situation.
A lot of organic matter is beneficial for the plant’s growth. Opt for well-rotted manure or hay for enriching the soil. The use of nitrogen feed and compost tea will also do wonders for the plants. If the soil has become too acidic, consider using hydrated lime to reduce acidity.
Tomatoes need damp but not soggy soil, with adequate humidity. So, water the plants when the topsoil feels slightly dry. Remember, watering during the early morning may lead to the cracking of fruits.
Have a look at the best soil for growing tomatoes indoors here
Tomato Care Tips in a Greenhouse
Use a good amount of compost for encouraging growth. Also, the plants get benefit from the application of nitrogen and potassium-rich fertilizer. Use it according to the package label. Also. avoid feeding the plants once their fruits are about to ripe.
Give plants proper support with cages or stakes, or simply tie the rows of wires at some height and tuck the plant stems parallelly on the wire. This will avoid the plants to get droopy once it gets laden with fruits.
The plant can be pruned to remove suckers, dead branches, and ripened leaves once every 20 to 30 days. You may also remove small and unhealthy tomatoes.
Pests and Diseases
Overcoming the problems of pests inside the greenhouse is a major concern, as the use of herbicide inside a closed space is not appropriate.
The plants inside the greenhouse are more susceptible to spider mites and whiteflies. As a precautionary measure, use only sanitized tools. You can knock the pests off by spraying a strong jet of water. Installing fly-catching sheets will also help.
Harvesting Tomatoes in a Greenhouse
Harvest the tomatoes when they are plump, soft, and get a bright shade of red. It takes around 12-14 weeks for them to ripe fully. Pick the tomatoes from hands, instead of tools, by twisting them a little to pluck from the stem. The fruits that are well-ripened have better flavor than those harvested earlier.