Tomato plants have always been popular among vegetable gardening hobbyists and this seems like a global trend. What makes planting tomatoes so appealing to vegetable gardeners? Perhaps, it is the ease of growing tomatoes that is attractive. Perhaps, the bright color of the tomatoes could be a draw too. Most people would agree that bright colors always look cheerful and brighten up one’s day. In case you are not aware, tomatoes come in many shades of colors - yellow, green, red, white and even purple!
If you love salads, it would be an excellent idea to grow your own tomatoes so they can be available all year round. It doesn’t matter if you live in an apartment. Tomatoes can be planted in containers and pots too. Here in this article, we will share some gardening secrets and what it takes to get started in growing tomatoes in pots.
TIPS FOR GROWING TOMATOES IN POTS
Firstly, decide on the variety of tomato you want to plant. The dwarf varieties typically grow better in containers. However, if you want to grow full-size tomatoes, choose the determinate variety, which is more compact and manageable.
Here are the items you need to buy to get started with growing tomatoes in pots:
1. Container / pots 2. Tomato plant 3. Gravel 4. Potting soil 5. Fertilizer 6. Compost
BUYING A CONTAINER Bigger pots are a better option for growing tomatoes because the the tomato plant has roots that grow wide. Generous space is needed for the tomato plant to develop a strong and healthy root system. As a general guideline, you should get pots with diameter of at least 12 cm. On top of that, you need to check for adequate drainage holes on the pot to make sure adequate drainage for your plants.
PLANTING YOUR TOMATO PLANT Before you fill the pot with soil potting mix, fill it with a few inches of gravel first to help promote drainage. Next, add the potting soil till it fills up about half of the pot. Place your tomato plant inside and cover with the rest of the soil and fertilizers. Leave behind about 2 inches from the edge of the pot for putting compost.
Finish off with laying the compost over the soil. Perlite may be added to the compost to assist in moisture and air retention, which helps in root development. Add fertilizers once every 2-4 weeks.
Position your tomato plant at a location where it can get 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. Water your tomato plant often since they need an inch of water per week. Lack of water will result in your tomatoes having split or cracked skin. It can also result in blossom-end rotting if there is insufficient water. Take note to water your tomato plant from below; you can place your pots on a saucer or tray.
If you want to attach growing supports for your tomato plants, do it at the planting stage when the roots will not be bothered. You can either place a cage or poles to hold up the plant and keep the fruits clean.
CONCLUSION Growing tomatoes in pots is interesting and rewarding in terms of the harvest and nutritional benefits. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can reduce the risk of having cardiovascular diseases and cancers. Tomatoes are also fantastic sources of phytochemicals, fiber, vitamins A, B and C. So, why are you still waiting? Start growing your tomatoes today and reap the wonderful benefits of tomatoes!