Guide to Growing Tomatoes in Containers

Tomatoes grown in containers offer a comfortable alternative to the otherwise laborious task of growing tomatoes in the fields. Contrary to popular belief, tomatoes grown in containers will fair just as well, if not better than tomatoes set out in the dirt. It all depends on the size of the container you use and the potting mixture chosen for cultivation.

First you need to find the right size container for your plants. If you want the little cherry tomatoes (which are excellent in salads) then you can use the regular size hanging baskets, but if you prefer the larger tomatoes you'd do best to purchase five gallon buckets, because your plants need plenty of room to grow, you don't want them to be cramped. Next you need to go to a nursery and purchase your tomato plants. You don't want to get too large of a plant, you can buy a determinate tomato plant, that stops growing after they reach a certain size, or indeterminate that will continue to grow and produce larger tomato plants. Two of the most popular indeterminate tomato varieties are Early Girl and Big Boy. Both of these varieties are bred to be resistant to many common diseases.

Now you're ready to begin planting, make sure you put some holes in the bottom of your container for proper drainage. You don't want your plant to become overwhelmed with excess water. Remove a few of the bottom leaves and place in the container. Make sure you don't use a flimsy, light weight container, because when your tomatoes are in bloom they may be top heavy and could cause the plant to topple. Putting some type of stakes in the container and tying the plant to them will help to keep your tomato plants straight. Use a well mixed potting soil supplemented with plenty of organic matter to enrich the taste of your tomatoes. Ask at your neighborhood nursery for help in picking out the proper soil and fertilizer for in home planting.

Plants need plenty of sunlight, at least 6 to 8 hours a day. A grow light can be very beneficial in growing young plants, especially on cloudy days with limited sunlight. Be sure to water them daily, forgetting to water them for a couple of days and then starting to water them again, and then you once again forgetting; this rigorous process could delay the growth of your tomato plants. So please, be consistent with your care for them.

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About The Author, Dael Leathe
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