Are you frustrated with limited gardening space? If you enjoy the hobby of home gardening and want to try growing tomatoes, don’t hesitate because tomatoes can be grown anywhere as long as the sun is shining. Growing tomatoes in containers isn’t just an exercise for those with limited garden space. Many home gardeners grow vegetables in containers, even if they don’t have space in their gardens. There are many reasons to grow vegetables in containers, but the main reason for growing tomatoes in containers is for convenience, management and flexibility.
Growing tomatoes in containers is not much different than growing them outdoors. Just like growing in the ground, young tomatoes should be carefully grown indoors until they are strong enough to be replanted. Planting in containers is similar to planting in the ground – bury as much of the plant’s stem as possible. This promotes root development in the buried portion of the stem and provides a good base for the plant – which is a good thing wherever tomatoes are grown.
For container-grown vegetables, it’s a good idea to check the condition of the growing medium. Once you’ve found the recipe for past gardening success, you can use them again and again for future success. You can choose to grow your tomatoes completely without soil, completely organically, or a mix of both. Growing tomatoes in containers has this important advantage. The most basic recipe for a good container soil mixture for growing vegetables is 40% compost, 40% peat moss and 20% perlite.
Growing tomatoes in containers does not require you to mix garden soil, but vegetables grown in containers do require attention to irrigation and fertilization. Unlike traditional garden tomatoes, container-grown tomatoes have limited root cover and their growth is limited by the amount of water and nutrients in the container. Container vegetable plants may need to be watered daily, sometimes twice a day, to prevent them from dying during the hot summer months. This obviously depends on the size of your container (the bigger the better) and whether you want to cover it. Tomatoes are particularly water-consuming plants. So the more you can meet their watering needs, the better off you’ll be at harvest time.
Of course, you can reduce all the drawbacks of container growing by simply installing an automatic drip irrigation system in your containers. As complicated as it sounds, the equipment isn’t expensive, but it’s actually quite simple to install, and an automatic drip irrigation system set at between $50 and $100 will save you a lot of hassle later on. Depending on how many tanks you have, it can be a worthwhile investment in the long run.
Mulching in containers may sound like an unnecessary part of traditional gardening, but it’s a great way to reduce water evaporation and fight weeds (if you use compost or garden soil). Pine bark mulch works well, as does a black plastic mulch. The mulch has the added benefit of keeping your tomato plants clean.
Don’t be afraid to use fertilizer once the first flowers start appearing on your plants. Using twice the amount that you normally use will help. Increasing the amount of fertilizer you apply during the first flower formation period will increase fruit production and result in higher yields. However, try to keep it the same regardless of the fertilization rate.
Don’t forget to pick the tomatoes as soon as they are ripe. Tomatoes should not be left for too long, and each selection will promote the production of new fruit.
Growing tomatoes in containers is undoubtedly a very flexible and efficient gardening practice. Tomatoes are usually a very hardy plant, so don’t be afraid to get creative in your container garden.