How to grow tomatoes in anything that holds dirt.

Growing Tomatoes in Containers

Summer is here and we all have tomatoes on our minds!  Start now and in a few months you can be eating delicious juicy tomatoes instead of the grainy tomatoes from the grocery store.

Tomatoes are the most popular home-grown vegetable.  They are versatile, meaning they can be used raw or cooked in a variety of recipes.  Homemade tomato sauce for spaghetti or pizza is amazing when made with garden-fresh tomatoes.  Fresh lettuce and tomatoes make a beautiful salad.  Tomatoes can also be puréed into a nutritious juice or smoothie.


Why are container tomatoes so popular?


1.  They are a great starter plant for first-time gardeners.

  A common question of new gardeners is whether they should try to grow a tomato plant in a container.  The answer is, “Absolutely!”  Starting out with a container and a tomato seedling is a great way to learn.  Tomato plants are very hardy and do well in a variety of locations.  Smaller, more stout plants grow well in pots so long as they receive good sunlight and ample water.  Consider a small patio tomato variety such as a Tiny Tim or a Window Box Roma.


2.  No difference in taste between in-ground and container tomatoes.

There is no difference in the flavor of a tomato grown in the ground compared to a plant grown in a pot.  A healthy plant requires proper sunlight, nutrients and water.  The flavor is developed by the genetics of the plant combined with a proper growing environment.


3.  HOAs generally allow potted plants:  Some Homeowners Associations (HOA) prohibit their residents from creating an in-ground vegetable garden.  For some people, growing plants in a container might be the only way to garden.  You can be legal by growing plants in a pot.  You can grow a number of varieties if you have room for multiple pots.


Things that will make any gardener happy:


1.  Container tomatoes require less space.  This is a perfect solution for anyone with limited space for growing.  You can grow tomatoes on a patio, balcony or even on a window ledge.  All you need is a spot that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight.


2.  Weeding is easier.  It is far easier to pull weeds from a pot than from the ground.  Your time commitment will be far less than managing a traditional garden.


3.  Requires less water.  The soil in a container in a pot is more contained, limiting the loss of valuable moisture.  Watering times are shorter, requiring less water to sustain your plants.


4.  Instant landscaping!  A tomato plant in full bloom is a beautiful showpiece on your balcony or in your yard.  Some gardeners showcase beautiful assortments of tomatoes, peppers, herbs and other edible plants in beautiful pots, carefully arranged around a patio.  Instead of decorative flowers, why not showcase your own edible landscaping?