How do I grow cherry tomatoes in a container? I travel by RV and I was wondering if I can grow cherry tomatoes in one of those plastic (20 gallon) containers? Do I have to fertilize often? Your input will be much appreciated.
By araucano from FL
I have only ever used five gallon buckets for tomatoes and they are plenty large enough. I bought the paint buckets that WalMart has then have somebody that has a drill, drill holes in the bottom for for drainage. I never planted cherry tomatoes because I don't like them, but last summer I planted one grape tomato plant and two regular ones. None of them did real well, but the problem is they don't get enough sunlight, on my patio. I have heard many success stories from people that used five gallon buckets for tomatoes.
Redhatterb is correct, a five gallon container is plenty large enough for one plant, however, there is one particular problem that we have had with the five gallon plastic containers: As the plant matures and the roots get closer and closer to the plastic wall of the bucket the roots take in too much heat from the outer wall of the plastic and the plant begins to die off long before it should. (Probably losing half the potential harvest.)
So, what we use is the 10 gallon styrofoam ice coolers and put two plants in each container! You will need to drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage but the holes need to be rather strategically placed. Imagine that each of the two plants will take up one half of the container and try to center two sets of holes, one for each plant. Also, don't get the holes too close to the edges of the container or the water will simply go down the sides and drain without touching the roots.
Put a few rocks and/or a bit of larger sized gravel in the bottom of each container. (You don't need much and it doesn't need to completely cover the bottom. Think roughly of about two coffee cups full.)
In a separate container (wheelbarrow?) thoroughly mix approximately 4 to 5 parts Miracle Grow potting soil to 1 part gardening manure to fill the container within a couple/three inches from the top. ( I wish I could be more specific here, but my husband does this step and he rather eyeballs it!)
Then plant the bedding plants. We have more luck with the grape tomatoes than the cherry tomatoes, but we buy locally and it may very well be an area issue. We grow our regular tomatoes in this same manner and usually have a lovely crop every year.
We water them once a day for only about five minutes, after sunset. It gets really hot and humid here in the summer and watering them after sunset helps the soil to retain the moisture - or at least that's what my husband claims. :-) Once a week, we feed them the Miracle Grow Tomato Food.
Good luck with this. Nothing says "Summertime" more than a fresh, home grown tomato! Don't forget the salt shaker!
Yes, you can definitely grow tomatoes that way. I would add two things to what everybody said; the plants may still need staking but (obviously) stake differently, outside the container and you can use old, used pantyhose that won't cut into the plant to hold it up. Also, tomatoes do best in acidic soil and the easiest way to get this is to save your used coffee grounds to put right on top of the tomato soil.
Cherry tomatoes can also be grown in hanging baskets. And a couple years back I had some "volunteer" cherry tomato vines appear in my yard from "nowhere" (obviously seeds from tomatoes tossed out, or spread from the horses from feed scraps or some such). They just meandered along the ground minding their own business! I didn't even give them planned watering or any feed of any kind. My oh my, were they delicious! In fact, young son who "didn't like tomatoes at all" would pick them warm from the sun and eat them on the spot!
We have successfully grown cherry tomatoes in 5 gallon pickle pails. I also add bone meal to the soil as all plants seem to do well on bone meal.
My concern, if you RV a lot, is you will likely be moving this plant on and off from your RV. You might consider adding a planting material which doesn't add a lot of weight but will retain moisture, perhaps coconut shell material.
Remember, the growing plant and the growing tomatoes will add more weight to move.
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