Is an indoor tomato growing kit something that will help you grow tomatoes indoors all-year round? Yes, it is.
Even so, there’s something we should be clear about: cherry or grape tomato varieties are the focus of indoor growing because their plants are small, compact, and bushy.
Besides establishing just how easy these kits can make growing tomatoes indoors, we’ll also talk productivity, costs, and what it’s expected from you to do, what kind of work and time you have to put in.
Moreover, if you’re interested in growing other fruits indoors, even if you have limited space, check out my article on how to grow strawberries vertically. It’s really interesting.
What Is an Indoor Tomato Growing Kit?
When it comes to what is an indoor tomato growing kit, there are actually two categories that we should cover:
- hydroponic systems for growing indoors – I will review one that works wonderfully for beginners and those living in small spaces
- growing in containers – this option is just as wonderful, quite diverse in its possibilities, and it addresses those who insist on growing in potting soil indoors
Grow tomatoes with hydroponics
The first category of indoor tomato growing kits is represented by small hydroponic systems, which are also called indoor gardens.
Some of the most famous are manufactured by AeroGarden but there are so many more models than those. If you want even more options, check out my guide on how to grow hydroponic tomatoes.
These are the systems that grow all kinds of plants (strawberries, too) in just water and nutrients. There’s no soil, just grow sponges/growing medium replacing potting soil.
Grow indoor in containers
The second option for growing tomatoes indoors is represented by simply growing in containers filled with potting soil. I’ll explain everything about how to grow tomatoes indoors in containers.
There are garden growing kits that are for the outdoors and there are those who are used for growing indoors and then there are those that can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Containers are the way to go for the outdoors, too. I’m talking about those who have limited space, like growing on a balcony or on a small patio. You should definitely look into how to grow tomatoes in containers. You don’t need very big pots if you have propagated compact bushy plants.
Indoor Tomato Growing Kit: Hydroponic Systems
Let’s take it step by step. And let’s start with the main interest: reviewing one of the best indoor tomato growing kits.
However, I should tell you that these small hydroponic systems are more suitable for growing grape or cherry tomatoes. From my point of view, that is pretty awesome because they’re delicious. We just need to obtain a good yield.
The advantage with using these models is that they come with clear instructions, great technologies, grow lights, nutrient solutions in a large majority of cases. Basically everything you need.
I found this really helpful guide from AeroGarden specifically about how to use this system as an indoor tomato growing kit. I love that they include tips on pruning and pollination for both tomatoes and peppers.
AeroGarden Bounty Basic Indoor Hydroponic Garden – One of the Best Indoor Tomato Growing Kits
Those who want more affordable options, should check out just below where I explain how to grow tomatoes in containers indoors.
You can grow tall plants
The first awesome thing about the Bounty model is that you can grow plants that grow up to 24 inches in height. You can extend the extendable lamp arm to go as high as 24 inches, given plenty of room for your plants to grow tall and product good yield.
The cheaper models from AeroGarden only go as high as 12 inches, which is a bit short for these types of vegetables. You can still grow cherry tomatoes in them but you’ll be pretty active when it comes to pruning the plants. That’s why I chose to recommend directly the Bounty, even though the price is high.
- largest water bowl capacity in countertop garden models – that’s great because you can grow bigger plants like cherry tomatoes but you still need to clean the reservoir every month
- includes 6 inch tall trellis – it will be really helpful for tomatoes or for cucumbers, it’s a really nice component
- 9 pods – I wouldn’t recommend growing 9 tomato plants at the same time because they grow quite big, things get crowded, about 5 to 7 plants would be best
- it already comes with 9 seed pod kits: basil (2), Thai basil, curly parsley, Italian parsley, thyme, chives, dill, and mint – you can experiment with growing these herbs hydroponically first
- grow plants up to 24 inches in height – great versatility
- 30 watts full spectrum LEDs – they’re pretty great and powerful
- full color high resolution touchscreen – you can get access to key garden function regarding water levels and how long has it been since you’ve planted your seeds
- additional buttons: Quick Plant (guide for a new garden), Garden Tips (140 tips), OK Menu (for easy menu navigation)
- it has two reminders: low water reminder and nutrient reminder – this is one very big reason why these indoor hydroponic gardens are so awesome for everyone, including beginners
- other functions are: automated lights, dimmable lights, and vacation mode
The easiest thing to do is to read the instructions that come with this indoor tomato growing kit from AeroGarden.
The advantage that comes from buying this kit for growing all kinds of plants indoor all-year round is that they have seed pod kits.
You can buy:
- Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Red Heirloom Cherry Tomato Seed Pod Kit
- AeroGarden Golden Harvest Cherry Tomato Seed Pod Kit
- or you can get the AeroGarden Grow Anything Seed Pod Kit, which comes with grow sponges, baskets, domes for germination, and liquid plant food and buy the exact seeds that you want to grow (like the Tiny Tim variety)
This video also has some nice tips.
Where to Buy?
Indoor Tomato Growing Kit: Containers
Let’s select the best indoor tomato growing kits that work with potting soil.
As an alternative, you can skip buying one of these kits and just choose to grow in a pot that’s at least 12 inches deep and 12 inches in diameter. 5-gallon containers are a good choice for most varieties.
You can make your own soil from peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and compost. A 10-10-10 fertilizer or an all-purpose fertilizer can be used.
1. HBService Self Watering High Drainage Deep Reservoir
This is not actually a proper indoor tomato growing kit. It’s just a self-watering pot that is an awesome choice for all kind of plants and flowers.
The self-watering function means that you can pour water into the deep reservoir and the soil will draw moisture naturally. You’ll water from the bottom, like we do with microgreens. It is supposed to minimize root rot.
There are a few sizes to choose from: 6, 8, 10 or 12 inches diameter. If you want the cheapest option, choose the 6 inches one and plant a Tiny Tim.
The 12 inches diameter one can fit 2 to 3 small bush tomato plants.
You’ll still need to buy/make the potting soil and the seeds.
Where to Buy?
2. Keter Urban Bloomer 12.7 Gallon Raised Garden Bed
You’ll have to assemble it yourself but it’s pretty easy to do that, following the instructions.
The 12.7 gallon container (22.4 gallon soil capacity) is pretty big but it’s still compact enough that it fits in small spaces.
The dimensions are: 32.2 inches log, 14.7 inches width, and 30.7 inches height.
It’s rectangular in shape and it has a floor standing. I really like the general look.
The water reservoir is the feature that covers the self-watering part. It has a drainage system that can be opened or closed. And a water gauge for seeing when additional moisture is needed.
It’s not exactly an indoor tomato growing kit because you need to buy the seeds and the soil but it will easily fit 4 plants.
It even includes a seed sprouting tray.
You can also use this type of raised garden bed to grow herbs, leafy greens like baby spinach, and a bunch of other small fruits like strawberries or chili peppers.
Where to Buy?
3. Lakeside Collection Store Self-Watering Box with Trellis
It supports plant growth up to 3 feet high.
You will have to place this against a wall since the trellis should have some support. Or you can place it against a window and move it if the sun gets too hot. It has wheels to make all the moving easier.
Unfortunately, it’s on the smaller side because it holds up to 10 gallons of potting soil. The price is also more affordable.
I would say that 2 tomato plants will fit easily. If you’re growing very small varieties, you can try with 3 plants.
Its dimensions are: 29.25 inches length, 13 inches depth, and 58 inches height with the trellis.
Where to Buy?
Tips for Growing Tomatoes Indoors
These are just a few tips addressing soil for seedlings, some of the best most affordable grow lights, pollination, and using a fan.
The Complete Guide to Growing Tomatoes by Cherie Everhart is a good alternative read for beginners that also briefly covers container growing.
Best Soil for Seedlings
Potting soil is a great option for growing tomato plants to maturity. However, for seeds germination, it’s best to use a planting medium consisting of one part pshagnum peat moss and one part perlite/vermiculite. Don’t use fertilizer or compost.
Sow the seeds 3/4-inch apart so that you can transplant individual seedlings.
Use trays that are 3 to 4 inches deep. There’s no need to buy germination trays, you can use whatever containers you have in the house. It’s best to use trays with drainage holes. You can drill those holes easily.
I must remind you that you need grow lights if you’re growing during the winter or you don’t have access to sunlight during the summer (a southern-facing window that gets steady sunlight).
One of the cheapest options is the GE Lighting LED Grow Light. Another wonderful choice is the Relassy LED Plant Lamp, Dual Head Sunlike Full Spectrum Grow Lamp.
Besides LEDs, fluorescent lights also work.
Tomatoes will not flourish under low or inadequate light conditions.
Use a Fan
You can use a circulatory fan directed at your containers. It will improve airflow, reduce risk of mildew and leaf fungi.
It can also help with pollination. But you’ll still need to gently shake the plants daily. Or you can use an electric toothbrush. Vibrate the back of each flower for a few seconds.
Indoor Tomato Varieties
Besides reviewing some of the best kits for indoors, we also need to talk about which are the tomato varieties to grow indoors. They’re a very important part of this whole discussion.
Compact bushy plants are the varieties we need to focus on if we’re using hydroponic systems. These are also called determinate plants because they only grow up to a pre-determined height.
Determinate vs Indeterminate Varieties
The Tiny Tim variety works well for indoor garden hydroponic systems or you can buy the AeroGarden cherry tomatoes seed pod kit.
The disadvantage with the determinate varieties is that they produce all the fruits at once.
But they are quick to reach the fruiting stage. It can take as little as 6 weeks until you can harvest.
Indeterminate varieties may grow as tall as 12 feet so, you need to consider this very crucial aspect since we’re talking about using an indoor tomato growing kit.
They will keep producing fruit over a 2-3 months period. Thus, they cover an entire growing season, which is nice.
If you want a continuous supply, you should try with indeterminate varieties first.
Tomato plants might need 45 to 70 days to reach maturity, it depends on the variety that you’re choosing to grow.
As a recommendation: stick to cherry or grape tomatoes varieties, whether you’re going for determinate or indeterminate.
Indeterminate tomato varieties:
- Gardener’s Delight Cherry
- Napa Grape
Determinate tomato varieties:
- Tiny Tim (only grows up to 18 inches tall, can be grown in pots as small as 6 inches)
- Sweet Baby Girl Cherry
- Sprite Grape
- Tomato Tumbler – good for hanging container
- Patio Princess – the plants grow small, you can grow 2-3 plants in a large container, produces small fruits (2 to 3 inches)
- Bushsteak – produces large fruit on a small plant
In my post on how long does it take for tomatoes to grow, I cover even more varieties and I indicate for each the days until maturity.
Starting with one of these varieties is just as important as choosing the right indoor tomato growing kit.