Growing Tomatoes in Pots – Tomatoes are everyone’s favorite. They are sweet, juicy, and above all, very delicious. They are easy to cook, too! You can make them into sauce to your pasta, or simply make a soup. They are rich in taste and very healthy. Now, imagine that you can grow them by yourself. That sounds even better!
However, growing vegetables can be difficult as most of them are required to be in large area to plant directly to the soil. But worry not, tomatoes are generally okay with limited space. Thus, you can easily plant them in the pots. Moreover, tomatoes are productive plants so you can harvest quickly. They also don’t require any special care, so you don’t really need to pay extra attention to them.
Growing tomatoes in pots is especially beneficial to you as it can minimize damages caused by pests and diseases. It is also able to protect the plants from critters. Despite all that, it is very important to plan beforehand. You need to pay attention to the type of tomatoes you are about to plant. Even though tomatoes are generally good with containers, there are some varieties that deliver worse produce if you’re growing it inside a pot. Another thing you need to be careful of is the soil that you use and the amount of sunlight your plants receive in a day.
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Can Tomatoes be Grown in Pots?
To answer it shortly, yes they can be grown in pots. Tomatoes don’t mind small and limited space, but certainly there are some other things you need to take care of. The key point to planting tomatoes in pots is that you need to carefully plan before you start planting. Here are five essentials that you need to take note of growing tomatoes in pots :
Pick The Right Pots
Choosing the right material for your pot is critical. It is advised to use pot made of fabric as it is beneficial to your roots growth. Fabric pot exposes your roots to air which can burn off the tips of the roots. This effect helps in stopping them growing long and spindly. Instead, they form branches of new and shorter roots. Therefore, the growth is well distributed in the soil which makes it easier to absorb more water they need.
It is also a terrific idea to use black plastic pot in cooler climates. Not only that it is practical for moving and cleaning, it is also good to store heat inside the soil. It is very useful to keep the roots warm in cooler temperature as tomatoes are mostly vulnerable to temperature swings.
The Bigger The Better
Tomatoes need big pots in order to deliver the best produce. Bigger pot also means healthier root system. If you are planting in plastic pot, you can use at least an 18 inch diameter pot for determinate tomatoes and 24 inch diameter for indeterminate tomatoes. But if you plant them in fabric container, it is best to use 10 gallon for determinate varieties and 20 gallon for indeterminate varieties. Don’t forget to make drainage holes for both pots, too. Saucers may be important as well to contain the excess water from your plants.
Use Premium Soil
Compared to garden soil, premium soil is lighter and more fluffy. Premium soil gives enough space for air. Most importantly, it is perfect for the moisture to move through so the environment is breathable enough for the roots.
Water! But Not Too much!
Watering them properly is one of key points to grow tomatoes in pots. It is significant to keep the soil moist consistently, but surely not soaked. Over watering can cause the roots drenched and at the end of the day, rot the plants. It is also vital to keep a saucer under your pot so the excess water can be contained. The extra water can later be useful as an additional source to give moisture during hot day.
Let them out in sun
Tomatoes love sunlight. Thus, you need to expose your tomatoes to direct sunlight for at least six hours every day. That is why it is crucial to choose the right location to your pots. You also need to be careful at grouping your pots together because tomatoes need good air circulation in order to reduce the spread of diseases.
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Which Tomatoes Grow Best in Pots?
Another essential that you need to know is what type of tomatoes that you can grow in the pot. It is best to choose variety that delivers great produce in short period of time. It is also vital to choose the variety that is generally easy to grow and resistant to diseases.
This hybrid determinate variety is medium sized and have bushier growth. Most importantly, it is a very productive plant. It roughly needs 72 to 80 days to mature and produce rather high yield and delicious flavor.
Patio F is dwarf determinate variety that is an excellent choice if you have small containers. The fruit is bigger than cherry size but it doesn’t produce very heavily. However, you can grow many plants in one bigger pots to improve productivity. It need around 70 days until it can bear its fruits.
A hybrid determinate variety that can be grown in pots, containers, and even window boxes. It is a dwarf that grows no more than two to three feet. The fruit is pear shaped and having very sweet flavor. Moreover, it is considered as a very productive plant as it only need around 75 days to mature.
Early Girl Bush
This hybrid determinate variety is popular type to plant because of its quick harvest. It only needs 54 to 62 days to harvest. It also doesn’t grow too large which is perfect for medium sized pots. It is also very productive as it can have a hundred of fruits from a single plant.
Sun Gold is cherry tomato variety that is popular because of its sweet taste. The fruit will remain in orange color and never turn red. However, as the fruit is rather huge, it requires big containers and a support. It matures in 55 to 65 days so it is considered as high produce plant as well.
This heirloom indeterminate variety bears small fruits so you can keep it in rather small pots. It can produce well even in cooler zones and the fruit matures quite early. Stupice can be a good option for you if you live in a region that have short summers.
Mountain Gold is a specially bred tomatoes that is made for container gardening. The superior character to it is its disease resistance. The plant is stout and compact. It produces medium sized, orange fruits with smooth skin. It also has sweet flavor and extremely productive. The variety takes 70 days to mature.
Tips for Growing Tomatoes in Pots
Now that you are already aware of all the basics, you may need some tips to make your tomatoes grow healthier. Healthy tomato plants can boost the productivity and give you richer fruits. Not only that, it can also make your plants stronger to resist diseases. Here are five tips for growing tomatoes in pots :
Plant Them Deep!
Unlike most plants that need to be planted shallowly, tomatoes need to be planted deeply. Deep planting is good for its root system. You need to at least cover two-thirds of the stem with soil. Planting it this way can encourage healthier roots from the stem that later is very important for the plants growth.
Feeding your tomato plants with organic fertilizers can do wonders. They are rich in clean nutrients that are free from any chemicals. For instance, you can feed your plants with soy meal, bone meal, or kelp meal. You can even add other organic thing to boost your plants produce. You can try sprinkling small amount of baking soda around your plants base. Baking soda will lower the acidity level of your soil and make your fruits sweeter! Other option you can try is mixing well composted coffee grounds to the soil. It is a useful material of mulch to richen your soil and make your plants healthier than ever!
Drill A Drainage Holes
Watering tomatoes can be a little tricky and require lots of attention. Too much water can cause your roots to rot. Therefore, it is critical to have drainage holes to your pots. It is so your excess water can escape the soil. Similarly, you also need saucer to keep the excess water your plants just shed. It is to give extra moisture in warmer temperature so the roots stay cool without having you water them all the time.
You need to insert the support after you plant each tomato. It is to support the main stem and remove the weight of the fruits from their veins. It is critical to add the support early because doing it later may disturb the growth of its roots. For determinate varieties, it is best for you to use traditional tomato cages or stakes. On the other hand, you can use string trellis, tomato ladders, or square cage for indeterminate tomatoes. You can also make the cage by yourself using band metal fencing or wires.
Adding a layer of mulch can help retaining moisture in the soil. You can use any mulch materials. For instance, you can throw straw, shredded bark, chopped leaves, or even newspaper. However, paper decomposes quickly especially in hotter regions. That is why you need to keep tracking on your mulch and keep refreshing the layer so your soil is moist enough throughout the growing season.
Growing Cherry Tomatoes in Pots
Cherry tomatoes are perhaps everyone’s favorite to grow in the pots. Due to its rather small fruits, it can be grown in small to medium sized pots so it is compact and practical. Moreover, it produces lots of fruit at a time so it has high yield. Above all, the fruits are delicious so they are perfect to replace your unhealthy snacks!
Match It with Flowers
If you think that vegetable garden looks visually dull, fret not! You can match your cherry tomato plants with blooming flowers in the same pot. Start by planting your tomato plants in the middle of your box containers. After that, add some support so that your tomato plants grow upwards. For final touch, plant yellow flowers all around the container’s rim. This look will surely enhance your garden’s ambiance if you’re growing tomatoes in pots outside.
White Plastic Pot
Small cherry tomatoes plant is excellent for growing tomatoes in pots indoors. Choose the dwarf variety so it doesn’t grow too big inside your small house. You can upgrade the look by using a simple white plastic pot. Don’t forget to put saucer under your pot so the excess water from watering don’t go anywhere and flood your floor. Certainly, it is best to place the pot by your windowsill so it can receive enough sunlight for healthy growth.
Smart Pot with LED
Growing tomatoes in smart pots may be the most realistic idea if you’re having a busy life. A smart pot is equipped with a self watering pot that you can monitor easily so your plants will not lack of water. Moreover, it is completed with LED lights that can replace the need of sunlight. However, these treatments may not work to every variety of cherry tomatoes. It is very likely that you need a special bred of cherry tomatoes that is accustomed to the artificial treatments.
Self Watering Pot
Self watering pot may be a very effective solution to the moisture problem. It will provide evenly moisture to the soil. Thus, the roots can stay cool without being wet. You can easily make your own self watering pot. Firstly, you need a water basin as the water reservoir. Secondly, you can use smaller basin as your growing pot. After that, you can connect the two containers using a wick made of cloth material. If your plant needs support, you can attach long twigs around the growing pot. Then voila, your self watering pot with cherry tomato is ready for you!
Bush of Cherry Tomatoes
Bushy type of cherry tomatoes will look delightful if you hang them using a hanging planter. The small fruits will look pretty outside as if they are flowers. The bushy type will not need excess support so it can flow out of the planter naturally. This style will serve as sweet decoration to beautify your front yard and deliver you with delicious fruits at the same time.
Growing Roma Tomatoes in Pots
Roma tomatoes have unique shape to their fruits. Unlike any other tomatoes, they are not round but pear shaped. They are bright red when ripen and of course, the fruits are very sweet and tasty. They are also dwarf variety, so they cannot grow big. Thus, the small structure of the plant makes it an excellent choice for indoors.
Planting roma tomatoes with support can make your plant grow neatly upwards. It is also necessary so that your stem doesn’t feel heavy, especially if your plants are in peak. Roma tomatoes are considered as a high produce plants, so it delivers lots of fruits at a time. Thus, support is needed to keep your stem stronger. You can make simple support by metal wire and insert them right after you plant the young plants.
Planting roma tomatoes using ceramic pot is possible to do. All you need to do is drilling the drainage holes at the bottom of your pot so the soil doesn’t get soaked. After that, you can place the pot in the front yard so it receive direct sunlight. To make it look richer, you can group the plant with other types of tomato plants. However, keep in mind that it is better not to keep them too close to each other to prevent the disease spreading.
If you are living in warm regions, a saucer can save your tomatoes from dryness. When you water your plants, the excess water will flow through the drainage holes to the saucer. The water contained in the saucer can be an effective way to retain your soil moisture during extra hot day. However, you cannot solely rely on the water contained in the saucer. Even though it can be very useful to have saucer, you still need to properly water your plants especially in hot temperatures.
Growing Beefsteak Tomatoes in Pots
Beefsteak tomatoes looks like a miniature of halloween pumpkin. They are unusual looking and huge, as they are the largest variety of cultivated tomatoes. Some beefsteak tomatoes can even weight 450 grams or more. The fruits are red with numerous small seed compartments throughout the fruit. Beefsteak are usually used as toppings on large steaks or beef sandwich, thus explains the name.
With Round Support
Beefsteak tomatoes are big so you need more flexible support for them. Building a round shaped trellis can be a solution. You can make them by yourself using wires. Firstly, measure the height of your trellis, then cut the wires off accordingly. Secondly, use another wire and bend them slowly until it meets the other end of the wire. After that, you can connect the straight wires to the bend one and tied them together until it becomes a trellis. Then, you insert the trellis around your young plant. As a result, the plant will grow around the trellis beautifully as it matures.
Small Clay pot
It is not advised to grow beefsteak tomatoes in a rather small clay pot. However, you can do that to plant young plants before you transfer them to bigger containers. Young transplants are susceptible to diseases and rather sensitive to temperature swings, so you have to make sure that they are in a controlled environment. Make sure to keep them secluded from other plants so they don’t catch any diseases from other plants.
Wide Wooden Barrel
As beefsteak tomatoes need big containers, you can use a wide wooden barrel as their pots. It is nice to have wide pots as the trellis support also need some space so it doesn’t get in the way of roots’ growth. You can place them on your porch alongside your colorful flowers. It is so that your tomatoes can get enough sunlight and also enhance your porch visual by wide variation of plants. Furthermore, you can match them with smaller potted plants to add dimension to your garden.
Growing Grape Tomatoes in Pots
The major difference between grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes is the shape. Cherry tomatoes are small, bite sized, and round, just like a cherry. Similar to cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes are small as well. But instead of round, they are oblong and shaped like grapes. The fruits have thicker skins with meaty texture so they may not have rich taste. However, grape tomatoes last longer in shelves so they become even more popular for practical reason.
Small Bush of Tomatoes
Keeping a thick looking tomato plants in a pot can be an attractive addition to your porch. Matching them with radiant pink colored flowers can bring dynamic to your garden. All you need to do is give them the moisture they need. Water them regularly and make sure the water reach the soil evenly instead of just brushing the bush.
Hanging planters are surely in style lately and keeping tomatoes inside of them isn’t strange thing to do. In fact, they are charming looking and feeling fresh. You can use an old baskets as containers and hang them using simple rope. Layer the containers using fabric bags so the soil can get enough air for the roots. Thus, a refreshing and organic looking garden is ready to beautify your porch.
Plastic water basin can be DIY pots you can do at home. You can simply prepare two water basins to use them as big saucer and the growing pot. Use the bigger one as saucer and the smaller one as the growing pot. Don’t forget to drill drainage holes on your growing pot so the excess water can fall to the saucer. Alternatively, you can use this design as a self watering pot to your tomato plants. Simply attach ropes that connect two containers, then your self watering pot is good to go.
Out of The Bag
Planting dwarf tomatoes inside a big fabric bag is giving you a look of bonsai. It is important to show the big bag to showcase the red fruits. You can make the fruits dangling out of the bag to make an illusion of heaviness. To keep your bonsai shape, trim the branch regularly and keep the plants short. Nevertheless, you can effortlessly create a perfect tomato bonsai.
You can have a metal rail to attach a planter of grape tomatoes. Let the tomatoes grow wildly to mimic the natural looking. Keep them side by side in order to have a long rail of tomatoes. However, it is advised to put a little space in between plants so the air can flow freely. Good air circulation is critical to the soil and the tomato plants.
Growing Tomatoes in Pots Outside
There are thousands of ways to grow tomatoes in pots outside. As outdoor planting commonly use large containers, you can use large growing boxes and place them in your front yard. Moreover, keeping your growing pots outside can be very beneficial to your plants. For example, they can get as much sunlight as they need. They can also get better air circulation that can keep them away from diseases. To sum it up, putting your pots outdoor is good for your plants’ health.
Using colorful standing basket can be a fun option to grow your tomatoes outside. The colors bring vibrant looking to your front yard. If you’re living in cooler regions, you can layer the basket with a black plastic bag. The black plastic bag helps in storing the heat to keep your roots in ideal temperature. However, the bag can do harm to your plants during summer. In order to reduce the damage, you can cover your plastic bag using fabrics or other cool materials so the soil isn’t burned by the heat.
Short Wooden Box
A sleek wooden box is great item to compliment your modern garden. Paint black to bring the luxurious feel to the atmosphere. You can also grow other plants into the box to put variation. For example, you can match your tomatoes with tropical plants in contrast of slick style your container has. Lastly, place them in your backyard so it receives full sunlight.
Another great place to put your tomatoes containers is the patio. Your patio is very likely to be exposed to direct sunlight. Thus, it is an ideal place to grow your tomatoes. Furthermore, patio is considered as closed environment so the risk of having animals to damage your plants can be reduced significantly. You can put your tomatoes plants alongside your other vegetables to create a small healthy garden.
A rectangular pot can give wide space for your tomato cage. You can build the cage by the rim of your pots to protect your plants. This cage can keep flying pests away. For instance, whiteflies and flea beetles are worst enemies to your tomatoes plants. Tomato cage is very useful especially if you place your pots in an open space like front or back yards.
If you are having a wide courtyard, you can transform it to be tomato jungle. Firstly, build a wide trellis to cover the top of your courtyard. Secondly, hang your tomato pots to the trellis. After that, let the plants grow wildly on top of the trellis. Soon, you will have a vegetable garden on top your head. Let the tomatoes dangling on the trellis as if you are in the room made of tomatoes! You can reinforce the natural feel by planting creeping tropical plants on the walls around your tomatoes tunnel.
Growing Tomatoes in Hanging Pots
Growing tomatoes in hanging pots can serve as pretty decorative item if you choose the right variety of tomatoes. Bushy variety is the finest to pull the look. It appears lavish and colorful as the red color of the fruit pops. It is also better to choose dwarf variety so the plant doesn’t grow way too big and heavy. Another tip you can use is to choose the type that doesn’t require support so your plant can look naturally growing inside the pots.
Growing small bush of tomatoes is the epitome of having a hanging tomatoes planter. It looks lovely and the weight will not be burdensome to the planters. Use a basket with plants roots as decorative motives to catch a natural ambiance. After that, you can hang them using metal chain for sturdy support.
Growing tomatoes in pots upside down is a trendy innovation that is popular among home growers now. It looks unusual but it is still very effective. The key point of creating an upside down planters is make sure that it grows downwards. You can attach a small funnel under your pots to let your plants grow down instead of up. For the pots, you can use metal to bring a shining visual to your house.
Let it sprout
Letting your tomatoes crawl up to the rope of your hanging planters can look surprisingly pretty. The rope can act as the support for your tomatoes. This organic look will look good to greet your guests by your front gate. However, watering them can be a tricky activity as the leaves can shade the soil. It is dangerous if your water don’t reach the soil evenly because it can lead to blossom end rot later on.
Similar to the previous style, letting the tomatoes grow naturally is probably the best idea. Let the bush grow until it shapes like a ball made of tomatoes. It can be a pretty addition to your wall. However, it can get pretty heavy to your hanging planters as it keeps growing out. You can use a sturdy hangers as solution. For example, you can use metal chains so it can hold your hanging planters with more strength.
Decorate your tall fence with a hanging planter made by a metal. If you have a very tall fence, be certain that it doesn’t block the sunlight that is very essential to your tomato plants. For the planters, you can layer the inside with fabric bag then fill the fabric with high quality planting soil. You can plant dwarf tomatoes so it is rather light to the planter. By the end of the day, the tomatoes can be pleasant greenery to your boring, white fence.
Growing tomatoes in pots is possible as they do not mind limited, contained space. It is rather easy to do, as well. However, there are some of essentials that you need to take care of. Choosing the right variety of tomatoes to plant inside the pot is the most major concern you need to address. Not only that, it is also vital to properly plan the watering schedule as they need evenly moist soil to grow healthily. Lastly, think carefully of where you place your plants so they can receive enough sunlight they need.