Container Gardening: Tomatoes Container Gardening: Tomatoes
Container gardening is ideal for small yards, and you can even grow tomatoes in containers. It’s not especially difficult, but this type of container gardening will be much more successful if you remember some basic things. There’s great pleasure in watching the tomatoes grow and ripen, although the greatest pleasure of tomato container gardening comes when you can finally eat the tomatoes.
You do need a variety of tomato that’s right for your climate. Unless you have this, you won’t grow tomatoes successfully. The simplest way with container gardening is to buy small tomato plants and put them in the container. Until night time temperatures reach 55 degrees or higher the plants won’t flower or fruit properly.
Tomato container gardening can be done in containers of many different sizes, although the size needs to be appropriate for the variety. As tomatoes root deep when planted in the soil, the containers does need to be large enough. Find one that’s at least 14 inches tall or higher and 18 inches wide.
When you plant the tomato seedling in the container make sure it’s planted deeply enough, up to the first set of leaves.
Container gardening with tomatoes means watering and feeding is especially important. When growing, tomato plants need plenty of water. With larger containers you should only need to water once or twice a week, depending on the weather. Don’t let the plants dry out. If you do find them wilting, put the container in water for an hour or more. You should feed the tomatoes with fertilizer every couple of weeks as they grow. This will keep them growing and ensure a good crop of tomatoes. Use manure tea or compost tea in container gardening for the best results.
Tomatoes are thankfully not too prone to best, whether in the ground or in container gardening. You might see aphids, especially when the plant is young. These are quite easy to remove, but keep and eye out for the tomato hornworm. If you see them, crush between your fingers.
There are a number of different diseases that can attack tomato plants. It can be incredibly frustrating to watch your plant grow only to have it wilt and die before the fruit ripens. To avoid this, buy plants that are resistant to different diseases (you can tell this by the different initials on the plant tag). In some cases, as with verticillium wilt, you’ll need to remove the plant and discard it; it can’t be saved. Don’t compose it. Other diseases, such as leaf spot, can be controlled in container gardening and you’ll still manage a good crop of tomatoes.
After the Crop
Once you’ve harvested your container gardening tomatoes, discard the plants. You should also be sure that you don’t reuse the soil for tomatoes the next year as it might contain diseases and pest that could affect your young plants. Always use fresh potting soil for container gardening of tomatoes to help keep clear of diseases and pests.