Tomato Gardening In Containers
Grow perfect tomatoes in containers. Growing vegetables in containers is fun and easy, and perfect for apartment dwellers.
If you live in an apartment or townhouse and have a balcony that gets good sun, it's easy to grow luscious tomatoes in containers. The tips below will guarantee you a lovely crop of fresh, ripe tomatoes until frost.
1. It's easiest to use tomato plants from the nursery. The employees can tell you which tomatoes grow best in containers in your area.
2. Choose the right pot for the tomatoes you want to grow. For a miniature tomato, choose a pot that holds one-two gallons of soil and additions to the soil. A cherry or patio tomato plant needs at least three gallons of soil. Large tomatoes require five gallons, and seven is better.
3. Make sure the pot you pick has good drainage.
4. Use broken ceramic or rocks to cover the drainage holes.
5. Pick a good, all-around potting soil. You don't need to buy a special potting soil for vegetables. Any well-rounded soil will do.
6. Pick off the bottom branches (small ones) from the tomato plant.
7. Fill the container about ¾ full with soil. Put the plant in the pot and finish filling with soil.
8. Water thoroughly, but do not soak.
9. Fertilize once a week with any commercial fertilizer such as MiracleGro ™.
10. There are lots of pests that love tomato plants. Decide if you want to use organic or chemical pest control to rid your plants of these pests when they first appear. For instance, you can get rid of aphids by spraying with a mild, soapy water solution (top and bottom of leaves). Do it once a week for complete control. Check with your nursery for other ways to control pests or look on the Internet for pest control.
11. Water whenever you can stick your finger 1-2" down and the soil is dry. For most containers, this is every day.
Finally, enjoy your homegrown tomatoes from about sixty days after you plant them until frost!