By LI Roe
By Atascosa, TX
A great fertilizer for tomatoes is fish emulsion because it has a high nitrogen content. The down side of using it is that it stinks so much. I imagine that yellow pear tomatoes would do well in a container; they are incredibly hardy.
The main thing to remember about tomatoes is that they are very temperature sensitive, so they won't do well in cool weather. Even if you plan to put them in a pot, I would leave them outside during the day to harden them off before letting them stay outside for good.
My daughter planted one of the patio tomatoes in a 5 gallon bucket last year. She put some corn cobs in the bottom and all soil was from our compost pile. The plant grew to about 8 feet tall, and so many tomatoes they out lasted the growning season. It was a cherry tomato plant, must have gotten thousands from one plant. A lot were still trying when the first frost came! Needless to say, we lost the rest.
By RosaI have planted some in 5 gallon paint bucket and flower pots, they turn out great. Tomatoes and mint were my very best plants.
By Vicky Hunt
I have been planting Tiny Tim cherry tomatoes in my patio planters for the last few years with much success. They are so delicious. I live in a short summer season area. If they grow well here, they will grow well anywhere. I plant them in balcony planters available at any department store.
"Square Foot Gardening" by Bartholemew is a very good resource.
I set out to imitate the expensive Earth Box system.
This year we have 4 kinds of tomatoes in the self-watering containers from the Wal-Mart, about 12 inches wide (about $6 here in Canada). I put Miracle Grow potting soil in them and mixed in about a quarter cup of dolomite in each pot. I am filling the reservoir with Miracle Grow tomato fertilizer every 2-3 weeks.
I am using 14" cages but cut the bottom ring and shortened the legs. I use bungee cords to guy the cages to the rim of the containers. I keep the reservoirs filled since the weight is needed to prevent the plants from falling over - this has happened a couple of time in high winds (with very little damage). The big indeterminate plants empty the reservoir on a hot day.
The "window box Roma" from Stokes is heavy with fruit and has a very compact from. We are most pleased with it. For some reason the cherry tomatoes are not doing well in this setup - I think we have some kind of wilt, although there is a fair bit of fruit.
Yellow Pear has too much foliage for the amount of fruit and has become top-heavy. I think I fertilized too much early in the season. We will not repeat this variety next year.
Lemon Boy is also sprawling and hard to keep caged but has a good number of medium to large tomatoes. Our most successful plant with this system is Little Fingers eggplant - we are seeing dozens of fruit on our two plants.
I had wonderful success this year with the Bush Goliath Tomato plants in containers. I planted them in May and moved them in and out of the garage until the danger of frost passed. Off of 2 plants we harvested over 50 tomatoes of about 5"-6" in diameter. Believe me I will definitely be doing these again and using more containers.
Plant from sibling as early as possible in large flower pot. When the temperature is nice set the plant outside. Bring it in before evening. A week after blossoms appear, sprinkle with a little fertilizer (do not sprinkle close to the stem) and give a lot of water. Check plants in early morning for insects and bad leaves, pinch them off. Always cut in the morning, plants can easily get diseases, early morning dew heals the cut.
The picture was taken 3 weeks ago. I have these two growing on my balcony, it's just enough for the family.
Take an empty clear plastic water bottle, cut off the bottom, drill a hole or bang a nail hole thru the plastic cap, and screw the cap back on to the neck of the bottle.
This is a guide about growing tomatoes in hanging planters. We have seen the upside down planters for growing tomatoes, but you can also grow them in normal hanging planters.
I used an old bench that no one could sit on and sat my potted tomato plants on and around the bench. As they grow, I can tie them to the bench for support. I have red, yellow and black cherry plants, so I am hoping for a little color also.
By Wanda from Climax, NC
Thanks for this neat tip!
The new tomato plants were out today, and I couldn't resist, thinking surely, I had some large planters at my apartment. You guessed it, no planters, but I do have a cat. He's particular about the cat sand he uses, and fortunately for me, I had several of the "plastic" bags in the recycle bins. They're wide and fairly tall. When filled with soil and a plant is about the same size and a large planter. It looks kinda funky, but hey, the cat wasn't going to use them, and they was free.
By debit4857 from Vancouver, WA
I really love your idea! This is one very green way to garden! About the way they look. You can always wrap a recycled solid colored plastic bag around them!
Several years back, I also posted a tip about not using planters. Just the bag of soil! You lay the bag of potting soil on it's side then cut an X in what's now the top & poke some drainage holes around the sides & towards the bottom of the bag. Now plant your tomato or whatever, right into the bag filled with the soil. NO planter needed! When you water, place the spout of a watering can or the hose right into the X-shaped hole.
I am planning on planting in five gallon containers. Before planting my tomato plants in plastic containers should I cut holes in bottom for drainage?
Hardiness Zone: 6b
By Elena from White Plains
Elena, Hello! Yes you will have to drill or poke some holes in a plastic container, but may I offer something else to consider? We live in a number 7 (seven) hardiness zone and our experience with the plastic containers was that they got too hot in late summer, and eventually burned the roots of our plants. (Tomatoes and peppers, mostly.)
Over the years, we have found that five to ten gallon styrofoam containers (picnic coolers or bait containers if you are searching for them at a Wal Mart style store) actually caused less heat damage to the roots of the plants and increased the yield of each plant. We poked holes through the bottom of these containers, too, and added a very shallow layer of river rock or gravel before filling the bin with the appropriate soil/manure mix.
The only drawback with this approach was if an unsuspected virus or bacteria took hold in one of our porous, styrofoam containers we had to trash such, but truth be told, that's only happened a very few times (in single containers) in over ten years of using this method.
Hoping you find something that works well for you and yours, just wanted to alert you to the possible down side of using hard, plastic containers in the garden. Good luck and happy eats with the garden fresh foods!
The foal ice chests are a wonderful idea. You can also mix in styrofoam "peanuts" to make the weight less...
What size container and how much soil will I need?
By Wendy M.
I have planted tomatos in five gallon buckets with holes punched in the bottom for drainage. I fill them to within about six inches from the top with soil. I use regular black dirt in the bottom half and potting soil in the top half. The reason I use black dirt in the bottom is that is heavier and therefore the buckets aren't as apt to be blown over in a storm or knocked over by some of the overly zealous wild critters around here or by unsupervised little kids, that don't know enough to stay off my patio.
I have tried several times to grow Tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets with garden soil in the bottom and Potting soil on top, Miracle Grow brand with watering, but they do not do well for me. I find that if I plant them in the ground it works better.
How often do you have to change the potting soil used to grow tomatoes in large pots on a patio?
I would do it every year. I have always been told that when you plant a garden you shouldn't plant the different veggies in the same spot every year.
Tomatoes grown in containers need the same amount of sunshine as those cultivated in the ground-at least 6-8 hours per day. They also need even amounts of water, so make sure to check the container's moisture levels daily, especially in hot weather. As for your plant getting spindly, all tomato plants benefit from regular pruning. Snap off the suckers (shoots that appear between the main stem of the plant and the petioles (stems of the leaves). Proper pruning will help channel the plants energy into producing fruit rather than leaves and improve the air circulation around the fruits. Fertilizing with too much nitrogen can also result in spindly plants.
Sounds like you need more nitrogen in the soil. Tomatoes are heavy feeders and expect supplementary fertilizer during the growing season. Be sure to provide lots of water in hot weather. Tomatoes use a lot of moisture.
Containers dry out quickly. Keep well watered and much top of container. Also fertilize often because if you are watering correctly (by watering till water is coming out of the bottom or side drain holes ). The fertilizer gets washed out. Also if you are growing a determinate variety (growth is pre determined ) you do not need to prune suckers or any other pruning other than removing dead leaves.
I have Big Boy tomato plants that I am growing in smart pots on my deck. I went through some bottom end rot, and added tomato-tone feedings. I lost about 15 tomatoes.
Is it okay to plant a Roma tomato plant with a dwarf citrus tree in a wine barrel? Do tomatoes have to planted all by themselves? I live in San Luis Obispo where everything seems to grow great.