Uncle Mike’s Top 10 Tomatoes for Container Growing.A container plant will use up the nutrients in the soil quicker than if it was in the ground, so you need to replace this in the form of fertilizer.I recommend planting with a granular like Tomato Tone and adding a water soluble feed like Neptune’s Harvest throughout the season to keep the nutrient levels high in the soil.It can even serve you well if you add lime or Jonathan Green’s Mag-i-cal to the soil for even more calcium.If you detect Blossom Rot on any of your tomatoes, you’ll need to pick them off and discard.Large tomato varieties like Big Boy or Beefsteak are less forgiving with lack of water and require lots of room for a big root system.You can add a little compost to a regular potting mix or use our Mahoney’s Organic Potting soil which contains a compost and is a bit denser that our regular soil-less mix.Better Bush: a good dwarf plant with small to medium sized fruit.Totem: Another dwarf plant that stands somewhat vertical so its not a wide one either and the fruit is great good for container 10″ or larger.Watch out for heavy watering or rain as they come close to ripening because they crack very easy.Marglobe: This is another heirloom with medium size real tasty fruit.Theoretically, a tomato can be grown in any size pot if you water and fertilizer well. .
The Best Tomatoes for Containers and Tips for Growing Big Yields
When growing in containers, there are a few simple strategies you can use to boost success and keep plants healthy and productive.Some tomatoes, like ‘Micro Tom’ grow just a foot tall and can be planted in small, six-inch diameter containers.When looking for the best tomatoes for containers, read the description of the variety noting its mature size and pick an appropriate-sized pot.For that reason, I tend to grow my container tomatoes in plastic pots or fabric planters.Many companies also offer planters with attached trellises for easy set-up and an instant tomato garden.Super compact varieties like ‘Red Robin’ or cascading tomatoes for hanging baskets like ‘Tumbler’ don’t require cages or stakes.For indeterminate, or vining tomatoes, which can grow six feet tall or more, you’ll need to provide strong support for the vigorous plants.Blossom end rot isn’t caused by a disease but rather calcium deficiency typically from inconsistent watering.To check moisture levels, stick a finger down into the potting mix and if it’s dry an inch or two down, water.To ensure my plants have a steady supply of nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, I incorporate a slow-release organic tomato fertilizer into the soil when I fill the container.The plants are low-growing only reaching a height of about 18-inches, but they also trail, making this a great choice for hanging baskets and planters.I also like to tuck the plants along the edges of my raised beds where they cascade over the sides, and provide us with months of sweet fruits.Terenzo is an All-America Selections winner, lauded for its easy cultivation and large crop of delicious tomatoes.The plants are low-growing only reaching a height of about 18-inches, but they also trail, making this a great choice for hanging baskets and planters.I also like to tuck the plants along the edges of my raised beds where they cascade over the sides, and provide us with months of sweet fruits.Terenzo is an All-America Selections winner, lauded for its easy cultivation and large crop of delicious tomatoes.Plant three seedlings in a 12-inch hanging basket and you’ll be enjoying a bumper crop of one to two-inch diameter fruits all summer long.Plant three seedlings in a 12-inch hanging basket and you’ll be enjoying a bumper crop of one to two-inch diameter fruits all summer long.Called ‘the perfect patio tomato’ by Johnny’s Selected Seeds, this productive cultivar bears 4 to 6 ounce fruits that are round to oval and bright gold in color.The fruits are produced over a short period of time which is ideal for anyone wishing to make tomato sauce.– A 2020 introduction, Sunrise Sauce is a paste tomato that grows just 30 to 36 inches tall, making it an excellent choice for pots.Called ‘the perfect patio tomato’ by Johnny’s Selected Seeds, this productive cultivar bears 4 to 6 ounce fruits that are round to oval and bright gold in color.The fruits are produced over a short period of time which is ideal for anyone wishing to make tomato sauce.The plants grow three to four feet tall and produce 4 ounce, plum-shaped fruits that are deep red in color.The goal of the project was to introduce tomatoes that offered heirloom flavor on compact plants and this is a standout variety that is perfect for pots.The goal of the project was to introduce tomatoes that offered heirloom flavor on compact plants and this is a standout variety that is perfect for pots.The determinate, container-friendly plants grow about four-feet tall and begin to produce their bounty of 6 to 8 ounce fruits just 65 days after transplanting.The determinate, container-friendly plants grow about four-feet tall and begin to produce their bounty of 6 to 8 ounce fruits just 65 days after transplanting. .
Growing Tomatoes in Pots
Growing tomatoes in pots levels the home garden playing field, bringing a crop of homegrown ‘maters within reach for almost anyone, regardless of real estate.That's because you can grow tomatoes in pots just about anywhere you have a sunny spot, whether it's on a deck, driveway, balcony, rooftop, fire escape, or somewhere else.Whether you want to grow tomatoes for snacking, cooking, sandwiches, slicing, or all the above, there are loads of varieties for you to choose from.It's also possible to grow indeterminate tomatoes in containers, of course, as long as you provide enough support and soil volume.Those seedlings may look small now, but a full-grown tomato plant needs a lot of space for a strong root system.If you live in a warm region like the Deep South, Texas, or Desert Southwest, you may want to avoid black plastic containers.They tend to hold a lot of heat, which warms the soil and can diminish plant growth.Tomatoes are susceptible to diseases (such as blight) and pests (like nematodes) that can hang out in soil, and one advantage of growing in pots is that doing so can reduce outbreaks.Light and fluffy, it will provide plenty of space for air and moisture move through the soil.Be sure to dig a hole deep enough to cover two-thirds of the tomato stem to encourage more root growth.You can use traditional mulch materials, like straw, shredded bark, chopped leaves, or newspaper (minus the glossy circulars).Paper decomposes quickly, especially in hottest regions, so plan to refresh the layer as needed during the growing season.Place a saucer beneath each pot to catch water that runs through the soil, so plants can absorb that extra moisture over the course of a hot day.A drip irrigation system can help reduce the time you spend holding the hose, and will pay for itself quickly if you're raising a large crop of potted tomatoes.If you're only tending a few pots, time spent watering provides an opportunity to inspect plants and keep an eye out for problems.When summer vacation beckons, line up someone to do the watering if you hope to still have tomatoes to pick upon your return.Follow these 10 simple tips and it won't be long before you'll be reaping the rewards in the form of plump, juicy tomatoes — no traditional garden space required! .
Growing Tomatoes in Pots: Best Varieties
Heirloom tomatoes are a fabulous option in a large garden, but their long, unruly vines don’t work well in a container.These hybrid tomatoes stay smaller and produce a reliable crop of fruit.They’re bred to slow growth after reaching a certain height, while indeterminate tomato vines continue to sprawl until the first frost.Many compact grape and cherry types bear fruit very early in the season so you can enjoy them longer.If winter comes early in your region, you’ll definitely want to grow a variety that matures in less than 70 days.On the other hand, if you live in the South or Southwest, try a tomato variety bred to tolerate heat.Regular tomato plants stop setting fruit when the temperature rises.Below you’ll find a few of our favorite tomato varieties for container growth.A determinate hybrid that produces tennis ball size fruit within 70 days.Heat and disease resistant, this one’s a good choice if you live in a hot climate.Also a good choice for hot regions, solar fire hybrid produces fruit within 77 days.If you’ve got your heart set on large, juicy tomatoes, try this compact plant.Bush steak only reaches 2 feet high, but produces huge fruit within 65 days.This determinate, compact plant produces a bumper crop of fruit within 71 days.This compact plant produces very sweet orange cherry tomatoes within 65 days.Water plants frequently because pots dry out more quickly than garden soil.Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden from the Iowa State University Extension. .
5 Tips for Growing Tomatoes in Containers
The soil's moisture content is one of the biggest challenges you face with container gardening.If your plants are receiving inconsistent watering, tomato fruits can crack or split.It is important to apply water directly on the soil and avoid wetting the foliage: this can encourage blight and fungus. .
Best Tomato Varieties for Containers
While these plants are merely half the size of their original predecessor, the Better Boy, they still produce a heavier crop of tomatoes with the same delicious flavor.Prized for its bush habit that doesn’t require excess staking, this hybrid determinate variety roughly takes 72-80 days to mature and performs best when you cage them well.Pros and Cons– Suitable for small space gardeners, easy to grow, high yield, disease resistant, aromatic and flavorful tomatoes, might need some staking.Bush Champion as its name says has compact growth and desirable qualities of early bearing and heat tolerance appeal to gardeners who need to grow tomato plants in space-constrained spots like containers or raised beds.Pros and Cons– High yield, disease resistant, low maintenance, suitable for containers, average taste.This plant grows up to a maximum of 3 feet tall and bears large, sweet, and red 4-inch tomatoes packed with succulent texture, flavorful meat, and adequate sugar content.Pros and Cons– Suitable for containers, sweet and large fruits, long harvest season, needs little staking, pest problems.This sturdy plant produces clusters of plump, robust, and crack-resistant tomatoes that are largely prized for their exceptionally rich flavor, making the variety an all-around, dependable choice for all your basic recipes, including sandwiches, snacks, bruschetta, and slicing.A relative of the popular Early Girl cultivar, this hybrid is perfect for the areas with short growing seasons or for those who want a quick harvest as it takes 54-62 days to reach maturity.This early maturing tomato cultivar was bred with the sole purpose of growing in pots, window boxes, and containers.Being a hybrid determinate, it is a dwarf plant that grows up to a height of no more than 2-3 feet and produces a prolific crop of 2-3 oz pear-shaped, bright red tomatoes that are sweet, flavorful, and last long on the shelf.Carmello is believed to maintain reliable growth irrespective of the changing weather and even manages to produce a sweet, rich flavor during the coldest part of the season.Pros and Cons– Heat resistant, highly productive, requires support and large container due to the size and spread.With thorough pruning, this variety has the potential to produce flavorful tomatoes that taste incredibly sweet and have a long shelf life.Sun Gold cultivar is one of the most favorite cherry tomato varieties of many growers due to its sweet taste.Famous for sun drying, this Italian heirloom variety is a fairly big determinate plant featuring small, egg-shaped fruits that have few seeds and pack a high flavor punch.However, don’t be fooled by their size, as their rich tomato taste makes them wonderful for sauces, roasting, and pizza topping.Moreover, the determinate vines yield a prolific supply of fruit, ideal for selling in bulk in fresh markets as well as making specialty products.This super early heirloom tomato cultivar was developed specifically for the short summers of Manitoba prairie regions.With an amazing disease tolerance and vigorous habitat, this sweet slicer is a great choice for short growing seasons and northern climates alike.Pros and Cons– Sweet flavor, can be grown in small containers, low maintenance, prefers warm temperature, less juicy.Sophie’s Choice is a dwarf heirloom tomato variety that doesn’t exceed the 2 feet height usually and looks great in small 5-gallon containers.It is one of the best early ripening tomato varieties (55 days average), produces a decent harvest, the fruits are large and flavorful.Popular for its unique flavor derived from a slightly lemon tart balancing the sugar content perfectly.Pros and Cons– Disease-free, looks unique, average, and balanced, some growers reported it as acidic, due to the color it’s hard to find out whether it ripens or not.And to top it all, the delicious, smoky flavor of the heirloom tomatoes makes it a wonderful addition to your salads and sauces.Perhaps the earliest heirloom ever, Stupice plants are compact and bear small fruits that produce well even in cooler zones.The dark green potato-leaf foliage is appealing to the eye, while the small red fruits mature rather early and offer a balanced flavor.It’s small, and its upright habit makes it a nice choice for pots, while its striking, dark purple four-inch tomatoes with incredibly sweet, earthy, and smoky flavors are a hit in even the pickiest of eaters.Pros and Cons– Excellent flavor, big fruits, take the time to mature (80-100 days), average yield.Good for warm weather, the Indian Stripe is an heirloom cultivar known for its great taste, which is similar to Cherokee Purple but the only difference we’ve found is that it is more productive.An orange-fruited tomato variety, Mountain Gold has been bred to be superior regarding plant habit and disease resistance over its counterparts.The plants show vigorous growth, protecting the fruits from sunburn, and the sweet, balanced flavor negates the chances of indigestion.Other desirable traits include disease tolerance and a determinate habit, which makes it apt for growing in containers.Considered to be a breakthrough in the history of tomato breeding, the Health Kick Hybrid is one variety that contains a 50% higher amount of lycopene than regular ones and produces a bountiful yield of 4-oz deep red fruits within 75 days only. .
How to Grow Tomatoes in Pots—Even Without a Garden – Garden
And you don't need a big space to yield hundreds of pounds of tomatoes from just a handful of container plants.Who can resist all those sweet, juicy orbs ripening in the sun every summer, filling the air with that unmistakable heady scent of tomato vine?But when I uprooted to a different part of the country and found myself in a rental home for the short term, with only a deck that was suitable for gardening, I thought my tomato dreams were dashed for the next couple of summers.I’ll share what I’ve learned—and how I grew hundreds of pounds of tomatoes from just a handful of container plants.That first year, I ended up growing a wide variety of tomato plants in containers, easily and successfully, in my hardiness zone 6b climate.I had enough of a harvest every week to eat fresh and cook with, and a final crop at the end of summer for several jars of homemade skin-on tomato sauce.I found that an unexpected benefit of container plants is being able to protect them more easily from critters (in my case, growing tomatoes on a second-story deck deterred all the deer in my neighborhood), not to mention having better resistance against pests and diseases that naturally live in the garden (since you start with fresh potting soil).Then, follow my tested-and-true tips below to learn how you can maximize the minimal space you have and cultivate healthy, vigorous tomato plants in your small-space container garden!If, on the other hand, you have a decent growing season and enough space for a large, tall plant, indeterminate tomatoes will give you abundant harvests all summer long and are totally doable in containers!Recommended indeterminate tomato varieties: Cherokee Purple, Green Zebra, Black Krim, Cuore Di Bue, Chocolate Cherry.Ideally, the tomato plants you start with should have been repotted at least once, and hardened off properly so they’re ready to live outside in the sun.(If you started your own plants from seed, follow my previous guides on how to repot your seedlings into larger containers, and how and why to transplant them a second time.).If you’re bringing transplants home from a nursery or garden center, look for thick, sturdy stems and healthy green foliage free from insect damage, sunburn, and yellowing (which indicates watering issues or nutritional deficiencies).I also try to avoid “top heavy” plants on tall, skinny stems, as it could be a sign they haven’t received adequate sunlight or been repotted.Because growth is well distributed throughout the soil volume (and not just on the edges of the pot), the dense network of branched roots is able to increase the plant’s uptake of water, utilize all available nutrients, and aid in its natural defenses.The permeability of fabric pots also helps to promote proper drainage of excess water and improve oxygenation to the roots (which maximizes the plant’s metabolic performance and, in turn, boosts crop yields).They hold heat in and keep roots warm in late spring to early summer, when tomato transplants are most susceptible to temperature swings.On the flip side, black plastic pots may get too hot in the peak of summer, so they need to be shaded to prevent the rootball from overheating.You can wrap or cover plastic pots with shade cloth, canvas, or towels to insulate against the heat (office binder clips work great for securing them), as well as try to keep them off heat-retaining surfaces like concrete.Not only will the saucer protect your deck or patio from standing moisture, it will allow your plant to absorb any excess water over the course of a hot day.Before putting the tomato transplant in its final planting hole, add the following amendments to the soil and stir them around a bit:.It takes a surprisingly large amount of water (at least a gallon, from my experience) to fully saturate the soil the first time.As summer goes on, you’ll want to check the soil a couple times a week to ensure a consistent level of moisture.But in climates with short or finicky growing seasons, sometimes you just need to get them outside sooner (or you never know when temperatures may dip below freezing).One way that I protect my transplants in late spring to early summer is with “walls of water” (also known as tomato teepees).Walls of water act as mini greenhouses, collecting heat from the sun during the day and radiating it back out at night.They do need to be refilled periodically as the water evaporates, but they’re surprisingly effective in colder climates and I highly recommend using them if you want to get an early start on the growing season.To reduce your chances of damaging the roots, add your tomato support at this stage before the plant grows too large.If you are growing determinate tomatoes, the metal conical cages that you find in most garden centers will suffice.But, I am generally not a fan of them for indeterminate tomatoes, as I find they’re too flimsy to support the long, sprawling vines.Both of these supports are strong, extendable, and durable (I’ve used the same ones for years and they still look good as new) and they’re also attractive, if you care about that kind of thing.(Quick tip: If you use tomato ladders, you can stake your plants first and then add the “walls of water” over them, making things a little more streamlined.).They’ve easily supported my container tomatoes that grew over 7 feet tall and are convenient to store away at the end of the season.With tomato ladders, you have to stay on top of tying or clipping the vines to the stakes to keep them neat and tidy.Use an organic mulch like straw (not hay, which contains seeds), shredded bark, or arborist wood chips to cover the soil by at least 2 inches, taking care not to bunch it up against the stem.One substantial layer of mulch should last the whole summer, and the straw can be composted with your spent tomato plants at the end of the season.Follow the package directions for proper application, and keep the fertilizer bag or bottle next to your plants so you’ll never forget to feed them.If nighttime temperatures are consistently below 45°F at the time of planting, fill a Wall of Water and place it over your seedling to protect against frost.To reduce your chances of damaging the roots, add your tomato support at this stage before the plant grows too large.Use an organic mulch like straw (not hay, which contains seeds), shredded bark, or arborist wood chips to cover the soil by at least 2. .
How to grow tomatoes in pots — 7 easy steps
What’s more, knowing how to grow tomatoes in pots is more convenient and easier to move around the home.And the best part is, a single plant can produce hundreds of tomatoes in one season, promising a juicy, summer feast.So if you want to save money on your grocery bills, here’s how to grow tomatoes in pots in seven easy steps.If you want a home project, you should also check out how to grow an avocado tree from a seed.Once you’ve bought your chosen tomato variety at your local garden center, you’ll need to find large pots to plant in.Most pots will have a hole at the base to prevent the roots sitting in water and affect their growth.A general rule of thumb when planting a tomato seedling, is to first remove the bottom sets of leaves.Then, dig a hole in the soil with a trowel or hand fork that is deep enough for most of the plant to be buried, so that only the top bunch of leaves are showing.Then once the stake is in place, tie it to the stem with a piece of plant wire or twine.If you prefer to place your tomatoes on a balcony, this will also protect them from bending out of shape in the breeze.Place tomato plants in sunny spots, and if they’re not getting enough sun during the day, move the pots around to a location that does.Bear in mind that too much sun isn’t good for young plants, and may kill them.If temperatures are kept higher than 90 degrees F, the plant stops producing flowers and fruit will no longer grow to its maximum size.Also, be sure to check these 5 plants that can help you sleep better, while you learn how to clean every room of your home for spring-cleaning tips. .
Growing Tomato Plants in Containers
Small tomato plants set out in pots at the beginning of the summer will grow quickly and produce prodigiously.Good air circulation is important, but choose a place protected from high winds.‘Mighty Sweet’ grape tomato and other determinate varieties will produce a prolific crop; indeterminate tomatoes such as ‘Fourth of July’ bear fruit early and continue to set fruit all summer long; pruning large plants back will keep them in scale with your pots.Since the plants are close at hand on her patio, taking care of them isn’t a lot of work: and cherry tomatoes, especially, are so tempting that they usually don’t even make it into the kitchen. .