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Living: Tips for Planting and Growing Tomatoes in Containers

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By Fiona Miles

Growing tomatoes in pots could be extremely fulfilling but at times, it could be pretty disappointing in the event the plant dies.


There are several factors that adversely affect healthy plant growth and damage young tomatoes. These problems related to growing tomatoes in pots could be magnified in sub-tropical and tropical climates because of a high degree of humidity which leads to a multiplication of pests.

If you are alert about these issues, you would find that growing tomatoes is certainly not a big deal.

Tomato yields bumper crop provided proper care is taken all through the growing season. Growing tomatoes in containers is a great opportunity to enjoy homegrown tomatoes. You could grow luscious tomatoes in containers almost anywhere you wish, from driveway, deck, rooftop, balcony, to even fire escape, provided there is sufficient sunlight.

Here are some expert tips for successfully growing tomatoes in pots and other appropriate containers.

Find a Nice Spot: Placement of pots is a crucial factor in successfully growing tomatoes in planters. You must consider placing the planters at the best possible spot that receives a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. If your pots haven’t been placed near a water source, you’ve got to ensure they are within the reach of a garden hose.

Alternatively, you could carry a watering can, but you must give your tomatoes a steady supply of water.

You should keep pots in groups, but don’t let them stick to each other because a diseased plant can spread the disease through leaves rubbing against each other. By grouping, you will be able to shade the root areas of plants that you have in your inner pots, which is a good idea if you have them sitting in a driveway of asphalt or concrete, as they absorb and reflect heat.

Pick the Best Tomatoes: The next step is to pick the tomatoes you will be planting. You will need to look for tomatoes which grow well in pots. You could obviously grow the indeterminate ones as well, but you would have to ensure you give them proper soil volume and support.

Choose the Perfect Pot: Tomato seedlings are rather tiny, but you will find that a full-grown plant has a strong-root system that needs a substantial amount of space. The perfect pot size for a great yield is 18 inches for determinate and 24 inches for indeterminate tomatoes.

If you go for pots that are sold by volume like fabric pots, you should aim for around 20 gallons. If you are using a 5 or 10- gallon container, you should stick for smaller bush or patio-type tomatoes like Patio, Bush Goliath, and Better Bush. In smaller pots, your plants will need more feeding and watering.

Except for fabric containers, all other pots will need holes for drainage. You will have to drill a few in if there are none. People in warm areas should definitely avoid containers made of black plastic, as these hold tons of heat, which in turn makes the soil warm and curbs growth.

Put Top Quality Potting Soil: You must use top quality potting soil that is fluffy and light providing the right moisture and air circulation required by the plants. Avoid soil from any planting bed as that soil would prove to be quite heavy for the planters and may be containing some disease-causing germs.

One of the chief advantages of growing tomatoes in containers is you could reduce the chances of disease outbreaks.

Add Enough Support: Insert a firm support while planting each plant. You should not leave it for later as that may damage growing roots. You could use a conventional tomato stake or cage. Secure the support as firmly as possible.

Conclusion: Follow all the above-discussed tips for growing tomatoes successfully in pots. You must cover the soil with a perfect layer of mulch made from conventional mulch materials such as shredded bark, straw, newspaper, chopped leaves etc. Keep watering the plants properly. Avoid using excessive water. Keep the soil moist but definitely not saturated.

Add continuous-release fertilizers directly into the soil. You may use an effective liquid plant food throughout the season to keep the plants well-nourished. Above all, enjoy the process. Nothing could be more satisfying than seeing the plants grow and then finding ripe and juicy tomatoes hanging from your own potted tomato plants.

Author Bio: Fiona Miles is a homemaker and avid horticulturist. Planting is her passion, and she tremendously enjoys blogging about different types of flowers for different climates, growing tomatoes in planters, and much more.

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