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?