Container gardening is on the rise in many urban environments. This type of gardening is primarily utilized by city dwellers still wishing to grow their own fresh food and live a greener lifestyle but who don’t have an acre of land to do so. All you need to get started with container gardening is a small outdoor space such as a patio, balcony, or simple front step.
Tomatoes are one of the most popular choices for those just starting to get their hands dirty in the garden as they are easy to grow and incredibly delicious. There’s nothing quite like a freshly grown tomato, right off the vine and still hot from the afternoon sun.
Growing tomatoes in pots is fairly easy; however, you will want to choose specific varieties for optimal results. Though this list is not exhaustive, these tomatoes make excellent options for container gardens. You will be enjoying fresh, juicy tomatoes in no time!
If the name didn’t already give away the fact, these tiny tomato varieties are an excellent addition to any patio space. This tomato plant usually doesn’t grow more than two feet tall and, with proper care, produces a steady stream of delicious mid-size tomatoes when grown in a container garden.
If you are looking for a compact plant that grows well in a pot but produces large, juicy tomatoes, then the Bushsteak tomato is the variety for you.
Big Boy Bush
This plant is an excellent option for a larger family, as it is incredibly productive. The tomatoes from Big Boy Bush are medium-sized and the plant grows in more of a bush shape that doesn’t require excessive staking. It does well with a tomato cage and is the optimal choice for those with small spaces.
This tomato variety is for those who crave nothing more than a handful of cherry tomatoes as a mid-day snack. When placed in a large pot, Whippersnapper tomato plants will grow to fill the space and produce fruit accordingly. In fact, one plant can produce hundreds of delicious, crunchy, cherry tomatoes.
Baxter’s Bush Cherry
Some bush or vine type tomatoes are a little high maintenance when it comes to staking, cage, or trellis requirements. This variety is prolific, but will also do fine when left to grow on its own without support.
It can be hard to be patient before your tomatoes have matured, but this compact, heat tolerant tomato variety is actually ready for harvest in just 65-70 days. It is low maintenance and is the perfect choice for small containers.
Window Box Roma Tomato
This hybrid variety was cross-bred specifically for its ability to grow in small spaces like window boxes, pots, and other constrained areas. This dwarf plant is compact, yet that doesn’t cause the tomatoes to be lacking in flavor. The 2-3 inch fruit is sweet and juicy, making excellent additions to salads and sauces.
If you are really lacking in space and only have room for hanging baskets, Tumbling Tom is an excellent cherry tomato variety that produces yummy yellow and red tomatoes. This plant will trail over the edge of any container or basket that it is planted in, creating beautiful accents for your patio or balcony decor.
Tips for growing tomatoes in containers
One of the hardest challenges of container gardening is figuring out how much to water them. Tomatoes require moist soil, but too much water can lead to rot. Water early in the morning to prevent water from sitting overnight and move pots into a covered location if you are experiencing heavy rains. Also, always be sure to water the soil and not the leaves of the plant.
Fertilizer is an essential requirement for a healthy tomato plant. They take up a lot of nutrients as they grow, so it is important to follow the specific fertilizer guidelines for each variety you select.
Tomatoes are sun-hungry plants and do best when they are exposed to eight hours of direct sunlight. Don’t leave them in shady or covered areas for an extended period of time and be sure to check their location a few times per day to ensure that the sun is reaching it. Move pots to give your tomatoes maximum sunlight, if you notice that they are wilting.
Have you ever planted tomatoes in containers? Which varieties worked best for you? Let us know in the comments below!