Grow Tomatoes in Containers
If you are a lover of plants and would like to have a garden of your own, but are constrained for space availability due to residing at flats or apartments, then container gardening could the right choice for you. Here, the “king of containers”, namely, tomatoes take precedence.
Ideal for a beginner to container gardening, the limitations of space are actually a blessing for this vine plant that can grow upwards and when fixed on a trellis, you can be sure of ripe tomatoes to last you through summer and make delicious dishes to savour!
Generally, when it comes to choosing the variety, the dwarf varieties seem to be the obvious choice. Coming in grape and cherry varieties, you can have your pick of either Tiny Tim or Florida Basket, Patio Hybrid, Small Fry or even Pixie II with colors yellow, red or pink and are meant to be grown in containers and though they grow downwards, fixing them to poles can enable upward climbing easily.
For obtaining full sized variety of tomatoes, try Determinate Varieties which grow to medium heights and the tomatoes grow close together and are more suited to be grown in containers rather than go in for the jumbo or giant varieties whose fruit size may not be ideal for container gardening.
The options could include Patio Hybrid or Husky Red Hybrid as well as Husky Gold Hybrid for bigger fruits, Tiny Tim, Red Robin, Cherry Gold, Pixie Hybrid for container cherry tomatoes, Celebrity , Mountain Pride and Mountain Delight for normal sized garden tomatoes that can be grown in containers easily.
The containers chosen must be of 12 inches height and 12 inches in diameter and plastic pots fare better than clay ones and placing a mesh screen at the bottom of the sand pit can prevent insects from sneaking into the pot.
All plants need sun, water and air to grow and container tomatoes require atleast 6 to 8 hours of sun exposure with proper drainage holes for excess moisture draining along with a well mixed soil that can absorb moisture easily. These plants need sufficient watering on a daily basis as they are not close to any other water sources. Good potting soil is definitely a must for growing container tomatoes.
Ensure that for upright growing, you fix the poles or the cages at the initial stages itself so as not to disturb the plant later on. Also, planting of some marigold can keep pests away and add more of fresh soil to the tomato plants as they grow bigger for obtaining ripe and numerous tomatoes.
While pruning is not need for container tomatoes, pinching off suckers and tying up of branches that are heavy with fruits can prevent them from breaking off.
As for use of fertilizers, adding nutrition every 2 weeks should suffice and not much fertilizer use is required and ensure that you add nutrition only during the blooming season.
Use potted soil that is mixed with bone meal and good compost and avoid manuring for healthy growth of the plant.
Finally, resort to harvesting frequently, ensure there is no water logging during heavy storms or rains, use fresh soil every year instead of reusing old soil and you can enjoy ripe and juicy tomatoes from your home garden!