Need advice on growing tomatoes indoors

Hi,
This summer I embarked on growing tomatoes inside from seed - I live in Scotland where harsh weather conditions prevented these from ever going outside. By the end of the summer I had no fruit but plenty of tall green plants that grew up against a south facing window.
It seemed a bit of a waste to give up on the plants so I have continued to grow these with plenty of water and a bit of plant food. They have gotten taller, about 4ft high - but no fruit!
Can someone tell me if there is any point to continue to grow these plants through the winter? Are they supposed to die off instead? Also, whilst their height is impressive, why have I not got any fruit?
It would be a shame just to get rid of these, I have 11 plants altogether. But if I am continuing to water and feed in earnest, I'd rather know now.
--
Cleanshirtru


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On Wed, 14 Nov 2012 13:42:54 +0000, Cleanshirtru

No fruit, right, but did you get any little yellow flowers? I'm assuming you have no bees or other insect pollinators indoors, so you'd have to go around with an artist's paintbrush, pollinating by hand, in order to get fruit.
If no flowers, I have no idea.
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Cora Fuchs wrote:

Tomatoes are largely wind pollinated outdoors. They are grown in huge quantities in greenhouses (no wind or bees) where apparently they may be shaken to spread the pollen about.
D
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> Unless you are prepared to pay for heavy duty sun lamps and to keep the > room warm (but not too dry) I think you are not getting any tomatoes in

Hmm ok I guess the lack of light is the issue. The plants are tall and probably spindly by definition. Over the summer I got one lonely flower on one out of the eleven plants, but it withered and died after a week, a bit like my ambitions of a bumper crop.
I am not prepared to run lamps on these plants but will relocate them to a sunny outdoor balcony when the weather improves next year. Of course being Glasgow I could be waiting a long time.
--
Cleanshirtru


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Cleanshirtru wrote:

In good conditions tomatoes will begin to flower and fruit when the plant is quite small, I have some that were planted only a few weeks ago that have small green fruit at about 30cm high.
Did yours flower? Are they flowering now? I am guessing they did not and the reason is either lack of sun or it is too cold even in the house.
Are your plants bushy and lush with many growing points and dense leaves or are they thin and spindly? Tall thin plants are a sign of too little light.
Any plant that is grown to produce fruit needs hours of direct sun per day and preferably full sun to bear well.
If they have no flowers or fruit now you will not get any this year. There is no point growing them through winter as the light will be even less. My garden now gets about 14 hours a day of sun at a high angle (less atmosphere to go though), by mid winter Glasgow will get about 7 hours and much of that will be at a low angle and very weak.
Unless you are prepared to pay for heavy duty sun lamps and to keep the room warm (but not too dry) I think you are not getting any tomatoes in future years either.
David
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You might want to look into T5 fuorescent bulb fixtures, they use much less electricity than "heavy duty sun lamps". I have 4 bulb 4ft long fixtures(2) and have some cayenne peppers fruit growing right now(very little window light, mostly that from the bulbs). That plant is still small and not taking up much room...about 12 inches high, in a 1 gal container with only two thin trunks/stems but about 6 fruit growing. I'll try a tomato next, peppers and tomatoes have similiar requirements so if I can find a tomato that doesn't take up too much room it should work.

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jbclem wrote:

(4 bulbs) x (2 fixtures) x (40 Watts) = (320 watts)
(320 Watts) x (# of hours (probably at least 10 per day)) = 3.2Kw
3.2Kw around here is about $0.50
so for a few peppers you've got about $15/mo in electricity for lights alone not counting the heat. pepper plants to get a decent flavor and productivity like daytime heat.
for, one, pepper, plant?
songbird
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27 watts per bulb for normal t5
54 for high-output t5
(both "nominal 4 feet", actually 46 inches)
Actual wattage consumed also depends on the ballast, since no ballast is 100% efficient, and there are different ballasts that will provide more or less light from the same bulbs (with more or less watts in, mostly.)
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