Wasilla Alaska Garden Adventures

Wasilla Alaska Garden Adventures - learning about gardening up north.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Winter Tomatoes in Wasilla Update

My indoor Dwarf tomatoes are setting fruit now - the last week in January - and I hope to get a decent crop soon. My plants are full of blossoms and I see no signs of any disease or pests.

I use a Blossom Set spray and have not tried hand pollinating. I might try adding some Epsom Salt to the water and see if it helps.

I am using six - 6500 degree daylight T12 florescent bulbs in three 4' shop light fixtures for grow lights set for 16 hours a day. I used Pro-Mix peat based soilless growing medium and set the pots in bottom watering trays. I feed with Safer Brand Oxygen Plus Liquid Plant Food. I cover my shelf racks with inexpensive camping "Space Blankets" to serve as light reflectors.

I have been harvesting lettuce and kale for several weeks and those plants are still going strong. Winter here in South Central Alaska is only about half way over - but that doesn't stop me from growing fresh veggies all year long. What food crops are you growing indoors during the winter months? Share your advice and any special techniques that you use. I am sure there are other indoor gardeners out there and we are all interested in learning what lighting, irrigation, nutrients, and containers work for you.


  1. I want to but haven't tried indoor gardening throughout the winter. Except herbs that I grow on the window sills. Hoping after this years' summer gardening I'll get the greenhouse I've been wanting (if I can talk my wife in to it.)

  2. Impressive! The results of my efforts to grow a few things under lights have been disappointing. Even seedlings start to reach out with spindly stalks unless the light is almost touching them. My brain glazes over at the technical details....I am just enjoying the winter break and will be back at it soon enough.

    1. You do need to supply enough light to promote healthy growth. I use 6 T12 bulbs in 3 shop fixtures per shelf. You could use 4 T5 high output bulbs - but they cost more. You need some way to adjust the hanging distance above plants - almost touching is not bad as florescent bulbs are not hot. A simple chain with hooks works well and allows adjustment.