Tomato plants for containers began as the fourth of July afternoon barbecue idea long before any of the neighbors got around to planting anything else. Jim and Beth decided they needed a new backyard adventure, and seeds from a friend with a tomato plant were tossed into the fire as the kids sang Happy Birthday. A few cans of tomato juice and water on the stove brought that bright sunny day of fun to a close. That first summer, the couple harvested an incredible amount of fruit, quickly and easily, in difficult climate zone, and enough of a crop to eat right away and store for future use, for a few jars of fresh tomato paste and homemade tomato sauce.
This year, they are planning to grow tomatoes in the garden, not in pots. They are hoping the containers will provide a nice habitat for bugs to live in and create a juicy, sweet treat for the picky taste buds. They are also hoping tomatoes that can be eaten right off the vine, without the pulp, will save them time and money. Jim has planted strawberries, peppers, lemons, onions, garlic, grapefruit, and other popular varieties, but the majority of their attention this year is going to tomatoes. They love the rich taste, the firmness, the sweet juice that comes out of them, and the variety available in both containers and hanging baskets.
Most tomato growers, unless they are starting seeds indoors, set their plants into potting soil, or compost soil. This encourages the roots to remain strong and healthy so they don't have to work as hard to maintain themselves. In-ground garden tomatoes tend to be more compact, so there is more room to root. Smaller containers are easier to keep on a narrow deck or patio, but most people are happy with one to two inches of room to spread out. Keep in mind when watering, you want to water the soil only, not the plants.
One of the biggest problems with starting plants from seed in plastic pots is keeping the soil moist until they start growing. The leaves on plants like this are very small and take up much of the water. So it's important to water the container only, and you may need to add an extra drip of water during hot, dry weather. Too much water in the container can cause the plant to drown, or to have excessive rot.
The type of plant you get will depend on the area of your garden. Taller growing season plants like alpines, zelkova, cherries, kohlrabi, raspberries, strawberries, and grapes tend to do well in larger pots. Containers like these are great for those who like to grow a lot of plants and want the ease of care provided by an in-ground garden. Smaller containers such as snapdragons, chrysanthemums, begonias, and sunflowers also do well and can be planted in larger pots during the summer. For indeterminate tomatoes, the best time of year is in late summer.
If you are going with plants that are taller, indeterminate tomatoes will provide more room for air to circulate. This helps your plants to grow to their full potential. Containers allow you to see the plant as it grows, allowing you to train it to grow properly. tomato plants that are grown in pots will usually stay on their own, so you won't have to worry about weeds. Most weeds will be killed by the sun, which is what makes it easier for tomatoes to grow.
There are many benefits to growing tomatoes in a small spaces, especially if you are new to gardening. It is cheaper than using a larger garden, especially if you are growing on a small scale. With small space, there is less of a chance of the plant becoming old and becoming useless because it can't support its weight. With larger gardens, if you don't plan on replanting every year or two, you have to spend money on purchasing seeds, purchasing additional pots, etc. This is not necessary with containers.
One of the biggest benefits of planting tomato plants for containers is that you will save money by not having to buy seeds every year or have to replant. This saves you time and money. You will be able to pick up fresh tomatoes every day, instead of buying them at the grocery store. You will also not have to deal with the frustration of trying to grow a tomato plant that will not produce fruit. Frost and excess water are the biggest problems in larger gardens, but in a container, these issues are nonexistent.