7 Tips for Successfully Growing Tomatoes in Containers

The nice thing about growing tomatoes in containers is that you can move it around. That being said, you want the plant to be in a spot that will give it at least six hours of sun a day. Tomatoes need the sunlight to grow up strong and healthy, so make sure they get it.

Choose the right size pot in order to get the best tomatoes in a container. Most tomatoes will thrive in a cage that is 18 to 24 inches in diameter. That is roughly 20 gallons for pots that are sold by volume. If you have any questions, feel free to ask the employees at your local nursery; they should be able to help you pick the best size for your plant.

When you first plant your tomato, also insert a tomato cage or a similar structure. When the tomato plant gets bigger, the structure will help it grow vertically. However, if you insert it into the soil later, it can possibly disrupt and even destroy the roots. So put the cage in early so the roots can grow around it.

It may seem like a good idea to skimp on the soil in order to save money, but DON’T DO IT! The soil is absolutely vital for your tomato plant to grow. If you get cheapy stuff, then you’ll get poorly grown tomatoes. Spend a bit more money upfront and buy some premium soil to promote strong and healthy tomatoes.

If the soil you buy doesn’t have fertilizer in it, then make sure to get some. This is an important step that a lot of people forget or ignore. Because the tomatoes will be in a container, they need you to provide all the nutrients. And they’ll get those nutrients from the fertilizer you add. So don’t skip this step.

Make sure to leave at least one inch of space between the top of the soil and the top of the container. This is because you’ll most likely want to add some mulch to the container. The mulch will help the soil retain moisture, which will keep the tomatoes healthy. If you don’t have that space, then it’ll be messy and damaging to remove the soil in order to make room.

Watering your tomato plant regularly is important, but it’s absolutely vital in a container. Too much water can drown the plant and cause it to rot. Not enough water will make it dry up and die. Water regularly to keep it alive and healthy. If you can press your finger into the soil and it’s dry, you need to water. The key for tomatoes is to keep the soil moist but not wet. You may need to water every day, depending on the climate you live in.

8 Genius Yet Simple Tomato Growing Tips

This may seem counterintuitive, but you may want to plant three or four varieties of tomatoes, especially if this is your first year planting them. By growing a few different varieties in the same year, you can determine which is best. The local climate, soil type, and garden location will all affect your tomatoes, and you may find that one variety grows much better than the others. After that, you can focus on that one variety, if you want.

The best location for tomatoes to grow is in direct sunlight with shelter from the wind. The sun will give the tomatoes all the energy and nutrients they need to grow, and the protection from the sun will allow them to grow without their root and vine system being compromised.

Speaking of root systems, plant your tomato seeds four inches deep. This promotes a strong and healthy root system. If you live in a really hot climate, you may want to plant them six inches deep in order to access moister soil.

You may also consider composting your soil. I highly suggest this since the compost will provide more nutrients for the tomatoes to absorb. This may not be necessary, but it can definitely help if your tomatoes seem to be struggling to grow.

Once the tomatoes have grown and are beginning to sprout flowers and other runners, pinch and prune them. The flowers may be pretty, but they’re taking away energy that could be used to grow better tomatoes. Also, the runners and growths in the joins of the stem take away energy too. By pruning and pinching them off, you help the plant conserve energy.

For those with limited ground space, use cages, trellises, or stakes for vertical growth. This is actually a great idea even if you have a large garden. Vertical growth makes it easier to harvest when the time comes, plus it can also help prevent infestation and fungal growth.

When your tomatoes get to about 3 feet in height, remove the leaves from the bottom foot of the stem. These are the oldest leaves on the plant, and they’re the ones most likely to grow rot and fungus. By removing them, you’re saving yourself possible work in the future. It’s just a nice precautionary measure to grow the healthiest tomato plants possible.

Remember to water your tomato plant regularly. Now, this is always important, but irregular and infrequent watering can actually do more damage to tomatoes than good. Poor watering habits can lead to the tomatoes drying out or even growing rot, neither of which are good. Most experts say your tomato plant should get at least 1 inch of water a week.