Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable to grow, but not everyone feels like they have the room and space to plant them. For gardeners with limited space or living in an apartment, growing tomatoes in a container is a brilliant solution.
With new, dwarf varieties, better container technology and some expert guidance, growing tomatoes on a balcony, deck or patio can be easy. Here are some tips for growing tomatoes in containers.
Top tips for growing tomatoes in containers
Find the right tomato plant
Not all tomato varieties grow easily in containers. Large, heirloom varieties such as 'Brandywine' and hybrids such as 'Better Boy' are best grown in the ground or large containers. Dwarf varieties, such as 'Pixie II', stay small in containers, but don't produce lots of fruit for very long. Newer, dwarf-indeterminates are better. Varieties such as 'Tidy Treats', 'Husky Red' and 'Tasmanian Chocolate' grow less than 4 feet tall and produce fruit all summer long.
Get the Right Pots
With tomatoes, the larger the container, the less watering and fertilising you'll have to do. To help keep your tomatoes hydrated, choose self-watering containers. These containers have a reservoir in the bottom of the pot that you fill with water. Water slowly seeps into the soil keeping it moist for days.
Feed your tomato plants regularly
You'll need to feed your tomato plants regularly throughout the growing season. Place your tomato container in full sun and feed the plants regularly with a diluted plant food. You can also use an organic, time release fertilizer to feed the plants slowly all summer.
Water your plants regularly
One of the keys to successfully growing tomatoes is watering them properly. You'll need to keep the soil moist but not saturated.
How to tell if your tomato plant needs a drink? Use the finger test. If the top inch of soil is dry when you push your finger into it, it's time to water your tomato plant.
Pick a good spot
When you're growing tomatoes, it's important to put them in a spot where they'll receive at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
As the sun changes location during the summer on your deck or patio, move your containers to get the maximum light and heat for the best production.
Even dwarf varieties of tomatoes will benefit from some support to keep plants vertical and producing better. Use tomatoes cages or a stake that's fastened to the tomato plant with VELCRO® Brand Garden Ties. Tie the tomatoes a number of times, about 8 inches apart, along the stem to help support them during storms.
Ready to start growing your own tomatoes? Pick up a pack of VELCRO® Brand Garden Ties before you get started and stay on our blog for more gardening tips and advice!