How to Grow Tomatoes in Containers
As long as you have 6-8 hours of direct sunlight (preferably 8 or more) tomatoes can be grown in the ground or in a container. The size of the container depends on the type of tomato you're going to grow. The larger the container the larger type plant you can grow. In this case I'm going to use a rectangular fiberglass container (used and cracked on one side) that can either be good for one plant that can grow up to 6' tall or two patio tomatoes that will get upwards of 3.5-4 feet tall. I'm opting for the latter which will give full size fruit (yes, technically it’s a fruit but don’t put it in a fruit salad).
The first thing I notice is that the container has two pre-drilled holes in the bottom which is good for drainage.
Oddly enough we want to cover them up with either a screening material or in this case we are using a rock. The idea is not to stop water flow but instead keep soil from leaving the container.
The next step is to have some soil nearby as we need to fill the container up, but, not so fast there cowboy we don't want those rocks to move so as a kind gesture take a handful of soil and plop it right on top of the rocks first.
That will hold them down whilst filling up the container.
Now get going and fill er' up! The soil I'm using is a Heinz 57 mix. In other words a little bit of everything: potting soil, compost, perlite, agricultural diatomaceous earth, sand and even some walk on bark I mixed up.
If it seemed like it was organic and in the way it became my special Things Green potting soil. I like to pat down the soil as I go along because there will be settling.
You want to stop around 1/2"-2" from the top so water has a basin to soak in. Tomatoes typically come in 6-packs or individual 4" containers. I have seen them in #1 gallon upwards to #5 gallon sized containers, too.
For our purposes we are using pot packs. Push the center of the bottom of the cell to move the plant upwards. Hopefully the root ball will be well established with those beautiful white roots. Tan roots means the plant is old. Tomatoes are one of a few plants that can be planted deeper than the top of the root ball. In this case we'll remove a few of the lower leaves then when it's time to plant we'll bury it a bit deeper. What will happen is that the buried stem will actually grow roots developing a stronger, sturdier plant. Most other plants will rot and die if you did this.
Place the plants where you want them to grow then get them in that soil.
If you notice one of these plants has two stems. This is what we call a two-fer (two for the price of one). Instead of separating the plants I decided to leave them to see if they get along, grow at the same pace or maybe one will choke the other one out like an overbearing relationship.
When all is said and done put the plant in a sunny location then water it because if you water it first you're going to get a hernia then those will become the most expensive tomatoes ever! Remember, keep the soil moist, not wet. Think of a sponge that’s been rung out. That’s what moist soil should be like.
This particular planting I'm donating to an elderly person with some food safe organic fertilizer fromAgroThrive.com.
In a short time this will be best tomato plantin town! Here is the planter, two weeks after.
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