Living in Camden the view is less than lush. We have Regents Park down the road, but myself and Alex decided it was time to have some shrubbery in our lives, along with that green fingered satisfaction of growing something from nothing. We were looking for plants and vegetables for an indoor garden – eventually opting on growing Tomatoes, Chillies and Peppers. A quick google and we found that there was a garden centre literally round the corner. Sorted!

Step #1 – Nurture your growing tomatoes!

To start growing tomatotes and other vegetables you need to begin with a seed grower. We picked one up from the local garden centre for £1.99, with space for 36. The good ones should come with a tray at the bottom to catch any seeping water, and a cover for the top to keep them cosy.

There’s logic behind planting more than you need. Plants are sensitive and seeds sometimes fail. That said, in the perfect conditions (inside a warm-ish flat right in front of large windows), be aware that you could be over-run. We planted 36, and 35 grew – where are we going to put 36 tomato plants!

Purchase #1 compost that is right for seeds. Anything more and the additives in the soil can prevent the seedlings for your indoor garden from getting started. Fill your planter 80% to the top with soil, and push your seeds in around a centimetre.

Water with a spray bottle (if you water with a jug or cup you can risk washing the seeds away at this point).

Step #2 – Replant and WATER!

After around 3-4 weeks your little chilli-peppers should have reached around 2-6cm. Your tomatoes will grow faster hitting around 8-10cm.

The next step is to replant. Buy pots ideally with drainage and around 15-20cm in diameter. Note that you may need to pot again at some point. Fill your pots with either #1 soil or #2 and make a small hole. Getting your little plants out of the planter is best done with a spoon, ensuring you get all the roots, and when the soil is damp. Place it into the hole and cover over.

Step #3 – Water

At this point your plants, especially your tomato plants, are in their teens. They’re growing, full of hormones, and eager to reach for the skies. Give them as much water as you can (to a degree). A mug of water per day is probably about right, with a spot of Baby Bio once a week if you have some. Provided you have pots that drain, you’ll be fine.

Growing Tomatoes on my windowsillStep #4 – Support

By this point your indoor garden may be starting to become quite jungle-like! Your peppers and chillies should be ok, but your tomatoes will certainly need some support. In the early days kebab skewers are a good option, but as they surpass the 30cm mark you’ll want to invest in some canes. Particular when they start producing fruit.

Keep up the watering! Replant if necessary; try to ensure the circumference of your pot is at least 25% of the height of your plant

Step #5 – Eat

Five to six months later and you’ll start to reap the rewards as your growing tomatoes hopefully start to fruit. Remember that even after picking your tomatoes and peppers they will ripen. Once your fruits have reached full size it’s often a good idea to remove them. This encourages more to grow as resources aren’t being taken up, and if left in a bright windowsill they will ripen on their own!

Enjoy!

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