If you’re dreaming of home-grown tomatoes, but have limited space, growing them in pots is that the ideal solution. Cherry tomatoes, with their compact growth, small fruit and early harvest times are an ideal variety to undertake. Read on to find out everything you would like to understand about growing cherry tomatoes in pots.
CHOOSING A POT FOR GROWING TOMATOES
Pots are available tons of sizes and materials. Clay pots are inexpensive, but the clay is porous and dries out quickly within the heat. Plastic also dries out fairly quickly and should become brittle over time. Wooden barrels are an honest option, although they’re too heavy to maneuver. If you’ll afford them, glazed clay pots are one among the simplest choices because they don’t dry out as quickly as unglazed pots and that they are available a spread of sizes. Self-watering planters are often a coffee maintenance solution, and fabric tomato grow bags are a really inexpensive thanks to growing tomatoes effectively. the wrong way up tomato planters was an enormous fad on TV, but aren’t always successful, particularly in hotter climates.
The size of the pot is a crucial consideration too. for little determinate varieties, a 5-gallon pot is sufficient. Sprawling indeterminate varieties have larger leaves and vines, in order that they need more water. A 15-gallon pot works better for them. A wheeled plant caddy underneath the pot is useful for moving the plants when needed.
Even if you’ve got rich, fertile garden soil, resist the temptation to fill your pots with it. Regular garden soil is simply too heavy to use during a container where it becomes compacted and hard. Potting soil designed specifically for vegetables is your best choice. It should contain compost and vermiculite or perlite to lighten the mixture and hold moisture.
To make your own potting mix, combine equal parts sphagnum with vermiculite or perlite. Buy these materials in bulk at an honest gardening center and you’ll save tons of cash over bagged potting mix.
CHOOSING A CHERRY TOMATO VARIETY
Visit an honest nursery and you’ll find several sorts of cherry tomatoes. the way to choose? First, compact or bush varieties made for container culture usually work best. Another thing to stay in mind is harvest. If you reside in a neighborhood with early frosts, pick a spread that matures in 65 days or less. another consideration: Determinate plants usually produce an early crop then dwindle. Indeterminate varieties are usually larger plants that require support. They still bear fruit until nipped by an important frost. If you would like tomatoes all season long, grow both determinate and indeterminate plants, or several different determinate types that mature at different times. a couple of to undertake include:
Tiny Tim, Small Fry or Patio Pik. These determinate varieties have a compact growth and produce clusters of cherry tomatoes within 65 days.
Golden Nugget and Early Cascade. Golden Nugget may be a determinate hybrid that produces yellow cherry tomatoes, while Early Cascade is an indeterminate type that produces red cherry tomatoes. Both produce tomatoes early for weather regions.
Sweet Million and Sun Gold. Both sprawling indeterminate types, Sweet Million produces prolific, small red cherry tomatoes, while Sun Gold produces very sweet yellow cherry tomatoes. Great for an extended, warm season.
Sweet 100 and Yellow Pear Tomato. In weather, tomato plants may crack or not set fruit properly. These two varieties can handle a touch more heat than most.
PLANTING THE TOMATOES
Start your own seedlings indoors 6 to eight weeks before the last frost, or buy transplants from a nursery. search for stalky, bright green plants that stand but 12 inches high. Tomatoes are very cold-sensitive so wait to plant them until daytime temperatures are predictably 75 degrees or warmer.
Plant seedlings on an overcast day or within the evening if possible. Water them well and apply a touch of transplant fertilizer. Set your tomatoes on a sunny patio or deck shielded from high winds.
CARING FOR YOUR CHERRY TOMATOES
Containers don’t provide equivalent insulation as a garden location, so your cherry tomatoes will need a touch more babying. First, protect them from extremes in temperature. Move them indoors if weather threatens. In extremely popular weather, move them to a more shaded location.
Container soil dries out very quickly. Water-stressed tomatoes will drop flowers and stop bearing fruit. Additionally, if you permit the soil to dry out then drench it, you’ll have problems like blossom end rot or cracked fruit. attempt to keep the soil evenly moist instead. Water a day approximately during the warmth of the summer therefore the soil is moist, but never soggy.
If you’re growing a compact bush variety, the plants won’t need support, but larger indeterminate varieties will need a cage or trellis.
Lastly, since nutrients leach quickly from potting soil, decide to fertilize your container plants every fortnight with a water-soluble fertilizer for vegetables. Within eight weeks, you’ll have delicious cherry tomatoes from your container plants.