Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables crops in North America. Or, are they one of the most popular fruits crops grown in North America? Either way, we all seem to love our tomatoes. I bought a variety of tomato plants a few weeks ago. I planted some of them in my straw bale garden and a couple in five gallon containers. While the ones in the straw bales are struggling to survive but the ones in the containers are growing like weeds. Considering growing some of your own tomatoes in containers this year? I’ve got some tips to help your tomatoes grow big and juicy.
Why Grow Tomatoes in Containers?
- Containers are great for small gardens. You could grow your tomatoes on your porch or even indoors!
- They’re portable. You can move the containers throughout the day to ensure they get enough sunshine. Tomatoes need at least 6-8 hours of sunshine per day.
- They are protected from bugs and critters that may be roaming around the rest of your garden.
- If one plant ends up getting diseased the rest will be protected because they are isolated from each other.
- They’re not permanent. You aren’t committed to keeping your vegetable garden in one spot in your yard. If you know you are going to be moving you can easily take your tomatoes with you.
Getting Set Up
Use a bucket that is at least 5 gallons. I actually used an old kitty litter bucket for one of my containers. If you have cats this is a great way to reuse the old litter containers. You can use other containers such as big bins from laundry soap or old garbage cans. Any kind of large container will work and the bigger the better. For drainage, drill holes in the bottom of the buckets and then fill the bottom quarter with gravel. Fill the rest of the container with compost and potting soil. If the water cannot drain out of the bucket your plants root may rot or get diseased.
Add your tomato plant, make sure it gets plenty of water and sunshine and you’ll have plenty of juicy tomatoes on no time!
What Do Tomatoes Love?
- Sunshine: At least 6-8 hours a day.
- Water: The fruit is made up almost entirely of water so make sure you water them lots so they will grow fat and juicy.
- Calcium: Add eggshells or powdered milk to the soil.
Have you tried growing tomatoes in containers before? Let me know how it worked for you!