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Indoor growing: small fruit?

HellfireFarm

Business Member
I've noticed this in the past, but it's especially prominent this year: I started a bell pepper last winter indoors, transplanted outside, and then back inside for this winter. Inside, I got small fruit averaging ~2-3" across (~5-8cm). Outside they were much bigger, 4"+ (10cm)

Same plant, and it's fresh fertile soil for the last replant. I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed anything similar? (Obviously, the growing conditions are quite different so I guess it's not TOO surprising, but still seems there's got to be a way to get bigger fruit!)
 

HellfireFarm

Business Member
Pretty sure they're getting plenty of the right sort. Light through a southern window supplemented by artificial, good intensity.
But I'll take a closer look since that seems to be the consensus. Thank you!
 

HellfireFarm

Business Member
Reviving this since we're getting into that season again. Other than light, are there any other suggestions? I would like to get a decent indoor grow this year. Bells, Tomatoes, and Serranos.
 

Grass Snake

Extreme Member
Just curious, what kind of fertilizer are you using indoors?
 

CaneDog

Extreme Member
What's your indoor setup like? I expect a number of things go into fruit size, but good lighting and adequate (roomy) root space come to mind as probably being important. Perhaps it's intuitive, but I notice that the varieties with fewer, larger fruit are more affected by these types of constraints that those with smaller and more numerous. Varieties like bell, tekne dolmasi, antep aci dolma, pasilla, etc. have produced very noticeable smaller fruits when I keep them in smaller containers indoors, while many chinense and annuums such as serrano and jalapeno will get more toward the range of expected size.

FYI - I typically use 4 foot T5HO fixtures with a mix of 6K and 2.7K bulbs or HLG100 LED's in 4K and 3K and typical terminal pot sizes would include 5.5 square and n1 nursery pots to 1g and 2g fabric containers.
 
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Edmick

Staff Member
Moderator
Extreme Member
Tomatoes and bell peppers are on the bottom of the list of things I would ever consider growing indoors. Starting with tomatoes, determinant tomatoes are generally smaller plants but produce larger fruits. Larger fruits need strong sunlight or at the very least, a sophisticated indoor lighting system (expensive and not practical). Indeterminant tomatoes varieties are ones that produce smaller fruits typically but the plants are more of a vine and take up a lot of space. You can prune them regularly and grow them under a quality full spectrum LED light though. As far as bell peppers, they tend to be low yielding plants so if your looking for bell peppers all winter long, you're gonna want to have quite a few plants in different stages of growth. And finally. Serrano. Go for it. They're usually very prolific and can be easily grown indoors with the basic requirements and minimal investment in fancy equipment.
 

Downriver

Extreme Member
If you want to grow tomatoes inside, there's a fairly new family of tomatoes out there called micro's. I think they have to stay under 12" tall(?) to be considered a micro. Lots of cherry-sized fruit varieties, but there are some that can grow fairly large fruits. You might want to give them a look.
 

HellfireFarm

Business Member
Thank you all for the input. "the varieties with fewer, larger fruit are more affected by these types of constraints that those with smaller and more numerous" seems to be a consensus and reflects my experience with those types - I guess I shouldn't expect good luck with the Big Beef tomato then! (It was already in a bucket so I figured why not bring it in..)

Given what I'm seeing here I think I'll try some smaller bells and maybe cherry tomatoes.

As for fertilizer, the soil is a bit spent so at the moment I added a little 10:10:10 worked in really well with a tiny additional touch of phosphorus. Was thinking to add some compost too. Open to suggestions - I'm much more familiar with what works in a field than in a bucket!
 

Grass Snake

Extreme Member
I'd try Masterblend 4-18-38 for large fruiting vegetables indoors. You can buy a 3 part Masterblend kit that also comes with epsom salt and Calcium nitrate 15.5-0-0 . You can adjust the recommended mixing ratio as needed. Masterblend seems to be popular with commercial growers. That said, without good lighting you probably won't get the same results you get outside. Also, I'd refrain from adding compost at this point, it's just unnecessary IMO and could introduce problems indoors.
 
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Edmick

Staff Member
Moderator
Extreme Member
Thank you all for the input. "the varieties with fewer, larger fruit are more affected by these types of constraints that those with smaller and more numerous" seems to be a consensus and reflects my experience with those types - I guess I shouldn't expect good luck with the Big Beef tomato then! (It was already in a bucket so I figured why not bring it in..)

Given what I'm seeing here I think I'll try some smaller bells and maybe cherry tomatoes.

As for fertilizer, the soil is a bit spent so at the moment I added a little 10:10:10 worked in really well with a tiny additional touch of phosphorus. Was thinking to add some compost too. Open to suggestions - I'm much more familiar with what works in a field than in a bucket!
Not too sure about compost and fertilizer for indoor but I use fox farms ocean forest for potting soil and dyna gro as my nutrient. The fox farms soil will easily feed your plants for over a month (maybe more) with just regular watering, but after that I use half recommended strength of dyna gro weekly
 
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