Tomatoes are one type of vegetable that is easily grown in containers. What’s great about growing them in containers is that you can easily adjust the conditions surrounding your tomatoes. While it is fairly easy to grow tomatoes in containers, there are still some guidelines you will want to follow to grow the best tomatoes possible.
How to Container Garden Tomatoes: Starting the Plants
You can grow any type of tomato in containers, but there are species that are more easy to manage when grown in containers. Typically, you are looking for tomato plants that will grow more compact and bushy.
- For larger tomatoes, choose plants like Patio Hybrid and Husky Red or Husky Gold Hybrid
- For regular-sized tomatoes, choose plants like Mountain Delight, Mountain Pride, or Celebrity
- For cherry tomatoes, choose plants like Red Robin, Yellow Canary, Tiny Tim, or Cherry Gold
- You can either start the plants from seeds indoors in mid-March or April, or buy pre-grown plants in May
How to Container Garden Tomatoes: Suitable Containers
Tomatoes can be grown in a variety of containers, but they tend to grow quickly so make sure to use a large enough container.
- For smaller plants, use any pot that has a 12” diameter and is 12” deep
- A 5-gallon bucket or container is always the perfect size and inexpensive
- Make sure your container has multiple drainage holes at the bottom
- Place a coffee filter or something similar at the bottom of the container to prevent soil from spilling out of the holes and keep pests from getting in
How to Container Garden Tomatoes: Potting Soil
Often for container gardening, you do not want to use soil straight from your garden. Instead make or purchase a soil that will work well for container gardening.
- Good-quality potting mix bought from the store usually works fine
- You can also make your own peat or compost-based soil
- For organic tomatoes, find good-quality organic potting soil from the store
- To plant the tomato plant, place some soil on the bottom first, and then set the plant inside. Bury the roots and stem just below the lowest leaves and fill in with potting soil
- You should leave about an inch of space below the rim of the pot for future watering
How to Container Garden Tomatoes: Tomato Plant Care
Since your tomatoes are growing in containers, you will have to make sure you are attentive to their needs of water and nutrients.
- Either add a slow-release fertilizer to your soil or every two to three weeks, add a water-soluble fertilizer
- Water your tomato containers every day, and make sure the soil is not too dry or soggy
- Place your tomatoes in a location where they will get at least 8 hours of sun a day and are protected from strong winds
- The more tomatoes you pick, the more will pop up!