Growing heirloom tomatoes in pots are extremely doable, and during this post, we’re making a gift of all our greatest tips. the selection to grow heirloom tomato varieties is extremely fashionable home gardeners due to their tried and true growth habit and predictable flavor and production rate.
WHAT IS AN HEIRLOOM TOMATO?
While we wish to think that an heirloom tomato may be a sort of tomato that has been passed down for generations, the truth is that seed catalogs don’t keep track of the age of a tomato variety. Rather, tomato seeds are marketed as heirloom varieties if the plant is taken into account open-pollinated.
Open-pollinated and heirloom sorts of tomatoes are genetically stable so you’ll expect tomato plants grown from saved seed to be just like the parent plant. Heirloom tomatoes are compatible with all or any sorts of gardening…from raised beds to five-gallon buckets.
When you’re growing tomatoes in pots, you’ve got complete control of location, potting soil, and watering. And despite what you’ll have heard, tomatoes do rather well when grown in containers.
BEST HEIRLOOM TOMATOES FOR CONTAINERS
You can grow any tomato in containers, but the simplest choices are the more compact plants. Of the 2 types, determinate tomatoes tend to be smaller. But there also are dwarf and micro dwarf plants which will be grown in even the littlest of containers.
DETERMINATE TOMATOES FOR CONTAINERS
INDETERMINATE TOMATOES FOR CONTAINERS
BEST CONTAINERS FOR GROWING TOMATOES
The most important characteristic of a pot for growing tomatoes is that the size. We recommend that you simply use the most important size container you’ve got. If the container is just too small, you’ll stunt the expansion of the roots which can cause fewer and fewer tasty tomatoes.
Most heirloom tomatoes are indeterminate tomatoes, and they’ll grow into an outsized plant which will be 6+ feet tall and wide. So you would like to offer them much space for strong roots and room for stakes to tie them up. We recommend a minimum of a ten-gallon pot (these are almost like what we use).
5-gallon buckets are more suited to smaller plants, so believe getting a dwarf variety for containers that tiny.
There are many sorts of tomato plants and selecting the proper variety for your growing conditions can quickly get overwhelming. But if you’re not growing from seed, you’ll have tons fewer options.
BEST POTTING MIX FOR GROWING TOMATOES
The quality of your soil is directly associated with the health of your plants and therefore the flavor of your tomatoes. an honest potting soil retains moisture without getting soggy, has balanced nutrients and much of organic matter, and features a pH between 6.5 and 6.8.
Promix may be a good brand to settle on for growing tomatoes. a mix of 50:50 potting soil and compost makes a superb growth medium for tomatoes.
Whatever you are doing, don’t attempt to plant tomatoes in pots you fill with the soil from your garden. True garden soil might not drain well in containers, plus you’ll possibly usher in disease and weed seeds to your containers.
CHOOSE the proper LOCATION FOR YOUR TOMATOES
Tomatoes need a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight to supply fruit. If your tomatoes are growing in shade, they’ll be smaller and make fewer flowers and fruit.
For those folks who sleep in locations where summer temps top 90F, search for a location that gets morning sun and offers a touch of shade within the heat of the day. Temps over 90F will decrease your tomato production.
HOW TO SUPPORT TOMATOES IN POTS
Make sure to possess an idea for supporting your tomato plants. this is often very true for plants grown in containers. For dwarf plants, your standard tomato cage will do, except for larger plants, try tying them to a trellis or suspended string may be a great option.
However you opt to traffic jam your tomato, it’s always better to permit it to grow vertically than to permit it to sprawl across the bottom. Sprawling tomato plants are more susceptible to disease and pest issues.
BEST thanks to PRUNE TOMATOES IN POTS
If you’re growing indeterminate tomato plants, then you ought to prune the suckers to urge larger tastier fruit. A sucker may be a new branch that sprouts from the most stem of your tomato. You’ll see them forming within the crook where a leaf meets the stem.
Suckers grow into stems that make many flower clusters and more tomatoes, but they also draw on the nutrients and water in your tomato pot. And as suckers grow into stems they create more suckers.
So you’ll see it easily gets crowded and therefore the nutrient and water demands increase if you don’t prune.
HOW OFTEN TO FERTILIZE TOMATOES IN CONTAINERS
If you’ve chosen an honest quality potting soil, you’ll not get to fertilize your plants. However, if your plants don’t seem to be growing or the leaves are pale or yellow, those are good signs your soil needs fertilizer.
Fertilizing up to once per month with an organic liquid fertilizer will give the simplest results without risking burning your plants. It’s important to settle on an appropriate fertilizer for the expansion stage of your tomatoes.
Early on, they’ll need more nitrogen so fish fertilizer (like this) is great for young and growing tomato plants. When it’s time to form flowers and fruit, choose a fertilizer lower in nitrogen and better in phosphorus (this one is that the bomb).
HOW OFTEN TO WATER TOMATOES GROWING IN POTS
If there was a simple answer present, then I would surely provide it to you! But the reality is there’s no hard and fast rule about how often to water your tomatoes. The timing of watering your plants really depends on tons of things including the weather, where you placed your plants, and the way well your containers are draining.
If it’s really hot and your plants are in 8+ hours of direct sun, they’ll get to be watered twice daily. If it’s been cool and that they get some shade from the afternoon heat, you’ll get to water every 2-3 days. the simplest thing to try to do is to see the soil in your containers a day.
If you poke into the soil together with your finger, is it dry about an inch down? If so, then plow ahead and water. once you water your tomatoes, make certain to water the soil within the container.
Tomatoes don’t take up considerably water from their leaves, and wet leaves can cause disease problems. To confirm you’re watering at the bottom of the plant and not sprinkling water on the tops of the plant.
You may have some problems with pests when growing tomatoes in pots. Check for eggs and tiny bugs on the undersides of your tomato leaves. Other signs of pests include curling leaves, holes in leaves or fruit, or sticky residue on your leaves and fruit.
In many cases, simply picking and squishing pests is enough, but if the matter gets out of hand to try some organic pesticide treatments.
Tomatoes adapt well to container gardening. the dimensions and size of your container have a big effect on your results. If you’ve been hesitant to grow tomatoes in pots, try the following pointers for the simplest success.
Choose an outsized container with good drainage
Fill your container with an honest quality potting mix and compost.
Place your tomato in a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight with morning sun preferred to afternoon sun
Use stakes, strings, or trellises to encourage your tomato to grow vertically
Prune suckers off indeterminate plants to regulate growth
Watch for signs your plants need fertilizer and supply food the maximum amount as once monthly
Monitor for pests and water needs daily.