Growing Container Tomato Plants


Growing Tomato Plants in Containers

~Tomatoes grown in containers have the same needs as garden tomatoes including full sun, warm temperatures, adequate watering, food, good soil, and staking/caging the plant.  They grow really well in containers because the support of the pot encourages growth upward.  The larger the container the bigger the plant will get and it will retain more moisture.

~Here are some facts to help determine which type of pot to use for your container tomato: Plastic pots hold moisture well and are more lightweight so may be more convenient for moving.  Glazed clay pots also retain water, are more decorative and look better but can be heavy if you need to move them.  We do have rolling plant stands that make moving containers easier.  Unglazed clay should be your last choice; it’s heavy and also dries out too quickly which means frequent watering is needed to keep plants moist.  No matter which pot you choose it should have open drainage holes in bottom, if not then you can make them.  Saucers under the pots are good accessory to help water the plant; they collect the excess water and allow for re-absorption.  If the plant becomes to dry especially on those hot summer days even a good watering may not help because the water can run right out the bottom and not sufficiently water the root.  Saucers catch the excess water and allow for the roots to evenly and slowly reabsorb the water.

~Tomatoes need nutrients so using the right soil is important.  Rich compost or manure is a good additive to the soil or use one of our planting soils.

~Tomatoes need nutrients to provide a full bountiful harvest.  An organic fertilizer like fish emulsion or the Thrive fertilizer is a good start for your plants.  They prefer a good nitrogen rich fertilizer to help produce robust tomatoes throughout the season.

~Crushed eggshells applied to the surface of the soil offer a great source of calcium which is critical for a healthy plant.  Don’t forget to water because the plants can’t absorb the calcium or the fertilizers without adequate water

~Tomatoes in containers need more watering than ones in your garden.  Finding the right balance can be difficult because too much water can weaken the vines and rot the root of the plant.  On hot summer days the plants may need to be watered daily.  A good way to judge is if the soil feels dry water if, it feels moist then the plant should be ok.  An added layer of mulch on top will help with keep the moisture from evaporating too quickly.

~All varieties will work as a container tomato but dwarf (bush), grape or cherry are a good starting point.                                

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