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Last Updated on March 17, 2017 by Diane Hoffmaster
These gardening tips for growing tomatoes have been sponsored by Uncommon Goods but all opinions are my own.
When I first moved into this house 10 years ago, the first thing I did was start putting in garden beds. I was fairly successful at my garden adventure and regularly brought in baskets of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and herbs. As the years have passed, the trees surrounding my yard have grown significantly taller and the amount of sunlight my yard gets has dwindled. It has become harder and harder to grow anything back there, no matter how much I try. For three years I have planted tomato plants and not gotten a single tomato in return for my hard work. This year, I am researching gardening tips for growing tomatoes in containers in a last ditch effort to have tomatoes from my own back yard. Keep reading for a few of the tips that I found for growing tomatoes and then check out the Uncommon Goods gardening gifts selection and treat yourself to some unique gardening gifts!
Gardening Tips for Growing Tomatoes in Containers
Choose the right pots: I know that baby tomato plant looks tiny right now but it is going to grow BIG and have an extensive root system. You are going to need a fairly large pot by the time it gets to be full grown. Choose a pot that is at minimum one foot across, preferably 18 to 20 inches if you can manage that. The material you choose is up to you. I prefer clay and wood but they are heavy and don't hold up to the elements as well as plastic. Plastic is also easier to sterilize in the fall when you clean your pots and it is much lighter. The larger the root system your plant creates, the healthier it is.
Research different varieties: There are a million different types of tomato plants out there. Indeterminate varieties tend to be viney and don't work well in pots. Determinate types tend to grow more like bushes and are better when growing tomatoes in containers. Of course, heirloom and organic are nice when you can find them.
Cage Your Tomato Plants: One of the most important gardening tips for growing tomatoes I am going to share is to cage those suckers when you first plant them. Whether you plant in the garden bed or a container, you will need to invest in tomato cages. The plants become unwieldy and the tomatoes they produce are heavy. Give them plenty of support. Once the plant starts growing, it is hard to get the cage around them properly.
Attract pollinators for maximum harvest: No matter how beautiful your plants are, without pollinators, you will have zero tomatoes. Plant your container garden with a combination of tomato plants and brightly colored flowers. Use Butterfly Attracting Garden Spikes for a boost of color as well as a water source for pollinators. Skip the pesticides in your yard since those kill not only the 'bad bugs' but the good ones, too. Without pollinators, your container garden will not thrive!
Be vigilant about feeding and watering: Water thoroughly but make sure you pot has good drainage. You don't want roots sitting in water or the plant will rot. Inconsistent water--too little and then too much water and you will have cracks in your tomatoes. This has always been g HUGE problem in my garden. Water the soil, not the leaves, to discourage fungus. Use a natural fertilizer and/or compost to keep your plants well fed.
Give them a LOT of sun: Tomatoes are one of those plants that need full sun. That means at least 8 hours a day in a totally sunny spot in your yard. Don't have one? I have been known to carry my pots around the yard in an attempt to get them more sunlight! If your pot is heavy, put it on wheels!
I'm hoping that growing tomatoes in containers this year will prove to be more fruitful than my previous attempts at putting them in the garden beds. I am also going to ask for a few gardening supplies for my birthday this year so I can make the most of my gardening efforts. If you are making your own wish list, check out the collection of Uncommon Goods Mother's Day gifts here and their top 25 gifts for mothers here. From gardener's tool seats to hummingbird feeders, they have an amazing collection of unique gardening gifts!
Do you have any other gardening tips for growing tomatoes?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.