How to Grow Tomato Plants in Containers

tomato growing in containers and pots

Growing In Containers

Container gardening is a great way to garden when you don’t have much space, and tomatoes are the king of containers. The structure and limited space actually encourages upward growth for this vining plant, and when you combine a good tomato pot with a trellis or cage, you have a recipe for successful, tasty tomatoes this summer.

Choosing A Variety

While you can grow your prized heirloom tomatoes in containers with proper care and attention, the varieties that succeed the best in containers are dwarf varieties like grape and cherry tomatoes. Try Tiny Tim, Pixie II, or Florida Basket, which was bred to grow in containers. These smaller tomatoes lend themselves well to vining downward in hanging baskets, but you also can train them upright with the use of stakes, poles and cages.

Determinate Varieties

If you want full-size tomatoes but need the plants to be compact in size to fit within your container, choose a determinate variety of tomato. These stay at a more manageable height and produce their juicy red fruits more closely together, making them desirable for container gardening. However, pay attention to fruit size when choosing a determinate tomato for a container; stay away from giant or jumbo varieties, as these plants will not be able to grow and fruit well within the confines of a pot.

Sun, Soil and Water

Tomatoes grown in containers need the same amount of sun as they would in the garden; be sure to place the container in a spot that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of sun during the day. Containers should be well-drained, with plenty of drainage holes. You can use regular potting mix for small containers and hanging pots, but soil needs to be mixed especially for larger containers. It needs to be light, and retain moisture well.

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