Tomato Information – Container Gardening

Growing your own tomatoes at home is a great way to enjoy the fresh delicious taste of this popular fruit. Home grown tomatoes are far superior to their store bought cousins - in fact many people find that the difference is night and day. Many people who have limited space for a garden may assume that home grown tomatoes are out of reach, but the truth is that tomatoes take very well to container gardening. With the right equipment and the right techniques you can enjoy delicious tomatoes all summer long, no matter how little space you have.

Tomatoes can easily be grown in containers, and with the right care that container garden can yield a large number of fresh and delicious tomatoes all season long. It does not take a lot of tomato plants to yield a lot of tomatoes. Just one or two tomato plants can give you enough fruit for not just your own family but your friends and neighbors as well.

You can set up these container gardens just about anywhere – on your porch, on your patio or even on your back deck. In fact tomatoes are so versatile and easy to work with that they can be grown in hanging baskets, in window boxes or anywhere else you want fresh delicious tomatoes. These beautiful plants can bring beauty and charm to your home, while at the same time giving you some delicious ingredients for your favorite meals. From fresh tomatoes for your pasta dishes to delicious tomato sandwiches, there are many wonderful ways to use your container grown crop.

Choosing the Right Varieties

In order to grow your tomatoes successfully in containers you will need to choose a variety that will grow well in your particular climate. There are literally hundreds of different varieties of tomatoes on the market. So you are sure to find a variety that will be perfect for your own climate. The staff at your local nursery or garden center should be able to help you find just the perfect tomato for your needs.

Temperature is an important consideration when growing tomatoes. Most varieties of tomatoes will need a nighttime temperature of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit in order to grow properly. Under those temperatures the plants will not be able to flower and grow fruit. Gardeners who live in colder climates will need to seek out hybrid varieties that are specifically designed to grow in colder temperatures.

It is also important for gardeners to keep in mind that they may have trouble getting their container grown tomatoes to set fruit when the weather is very hot. If the daytime temperatures are over 100 degrees for extended periods of time it is important to move the containers to a shady spot or provide them with artificial shade during the hottest part of the day.

Choose the Right Size Container

In order to grow tomatoes successfully in small spaces it is important to choose the right size containers. Most varieties of tomatoes can be grown in containers as small as a medium sized hanging basket, all the way up to a 25 gallon tub. But in order to be successful gardeners will need to take a number of things into account, including the adult size of the plant and the variety. Cherry and grape tomatoes would be perfect for smaller containers like window boxes and hanging baskets, while full size tomatoes will need to have a larger container in which to grow.

When dealing with full size varieties of tomatoes it is also important to provide the proper support for the plants. Gardeners have a number of choices when it comes to support for their tomato plants, including cages, trellises and stakes. Gardeners can make their container gardens look great by incorporating those supports into the design of the container garden, providing a natural beauty that will look great on the deck, patio or porch.

When growing tomatoes in any type of container it is also important to keep in mind that these plants are every heavy rooters, sending down roots as deep as five feet in the traditional garden setting. . Therefore tomatoes will need to be fed regularly to keep that large root system in top condition. Container grown tomatoes should receive a quality fertilizer in order to keep them healthy.

When planting those tomatoes in the container garden it is important to plant the seedlings as deep as possible in those containers. The plants should be put in the soil at least up to the first set of leaves. This will allow the plants to develop stronger stems, leading to a stronger, healthier and more vigorous adult plant.

Proper Nutrition

Like any plant, container grown tomatoes will need the proper nourishment in order to grow healthy and strong. It is essential for gardeners to give their plants the proper food and water during the growing season. Keep in mind that the deep root system of the tomato plant will require equally deep watering. For large containers a weekly watering should be sufficient, but smaller containers will need to be watered more frequently. It is important to never allow the containers to dry out completely-this could cause the plants to wilt and leave long term damage. If the plants do dry out completely it is important to place the entire container in a sufficiently large bucket for at least an hour. This will help the roots soak up the water they need and start to regenerate the wilted plant.

Proper fertilization is just as important as proper watering, so gardeners should pay careful consideration to the nutritional needs of their plants. Container grown tomatoes will need to have a top quality fertilizer applied every other week during the growing season. Compost works wonders for container grown tomatoes, so composting your garbage is a great way to provide fresh fertilizer for your tomatoes.

Dealing with Pests

Pests can be a big problem for tomato growers, and pests can be a particularly hard to deal with in a small space like a container. The best defense against these pests is vigilance, and it is important for gardeners to watch their plants carefully for signs of infestation. Keeping a spray bottle full of insecticidal soap is an excellent defense against pests-just spray the leaves if you notice troublesome insects. Examining the leaves, stems and fruits of the plants on a regular basis is the best way to keep insect pests at bay.

Tomato Diseases

Pests and disease can be another challenge for gardeners working with container grown tomatoes . As with pest problems, the best defense is to keep a sharp eye on those plants and watch for early warning signs of trouble. If you notice spots on the leaves of the tomato plants it is important to examine them carefully and start applying the proper treatments at once. Copper containing compounds can be very effective at treating many fungal illnesses in tomato plants, including container grown varieties.

Growing tomatoes in your own containers is a great way to enjoy your favorite treat all season long. With the right care these wonderful fruits will grow very well in even the smallest of spaces, allowing everyone to indulge in their favorite garden treat.