In general, plastic or fiberglass pots are best for growing tomatoes for a few reasons. University of Maryland Extension. Tomato cages, stakes, or homemade cages made to fit the container are all good options. If temperatures drop below 50 degrees, bring the plants inside or protect them from the cold. Tomatoes need moisture, so be sure to water regularly. The Right Container . Too much early exposure to wind and sun can weaken or destroy young plants. Plastic and fiberglass, unlike clay pots, don't dry out quickly, and while tomatoes love heat, they don't like being dry, and dry … One of the most important things you can do to ensure success is to use … Plastic is inexpensive, even for huge pots, and it's unlikely to break the way clay so often does. A pot must be 8 inches deep. One easy way to fertilize tomatoes is to mix a small amount of soluble, balanced tomato fertilizer (like Miracle-Gro Tomatoes) into water. Good peat or compost-based soil, whether purchased or mixed from your special recipe, is ideal. Keep in mind that the ambient heat around a container can warm up the soil more quickly than in-ground plantings. That's the absolute minimum. For one plant, you need a container that is at least 1 square foot, but 2 square feet is better. The good news is that even if you don't have space for tomatoes in your garden — or don't have a garden at all — you can still grow tomatoes. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. After you have the perfect pot, make sure that it has adequate drainage — the tomato plant will rot if it is sitting in soggy soil all the time. Debra LaGattuta is a certified master gardener with decades of experience with perennial and flowering plants, container gardening, and raised bed vegetable gardening. So, the first thing to do when considering growing tomatoes in a pot is to find a variety that thrives in container culture. Five controllable factors are essential for successfully growing tomato plants in containers. Look for a compact, bushy, non-vining plant that is an indeterminate variety, which means that it produces fruit fairly steadily throughout the growing season. The soil should go up to about an inch below the rim of the pot to allow room for watering. Five-gallon buckets are the perfect size for one plant. There are a lot of liquid fertilizers available in the gardening store or online store such as fish emulsion, Epsom salt, compost tea, kelp meal, and so on. You can enjoy home-grown tomatoes even if you don't have room for a traditional garden. The trickiest thing about growing tomatoes in a pot is that they are heavy feeders, and every time you water, you wash nutrients out of the soil. Once a month is good, but every other week, applying the fertilizer at half-strength, is better. If soil is fast-draining, consider using a water-retaining additive, self-watering container, or checking soil moisture every day. Before planting tomatoes, we amend our soil in a similar fashion we do for most crops: by adding a combination of several mild slow-release organic fertilizers to the beds, spread evenly over the surface and lightly scratched into the top couple inches of soil. Even compact tomato varieties benefit from some support. When it comes to fertilizing tomatoes in pots, little and often is better than a lot, less often. Use Really Big Containers. One of the joys of summer is eating ripe, organic, homegrown tomatoes, still warm from the sun. After you have the plant set at the proper level, fill in around it with potting soil, patting down lightly as you go. As a result, only providing slow-release fertilizer for container tomatoes won’t fulfill your tomato plants’ needs. Pay attention to these three areas, and you'll be in tomato heaven in no time. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. There are three keys to successfully growing tomatoes in a container: choosing the right tomato variety, proper planting, and ongoing care. Continuously monitor the location throughout the growing season. The soil's moisture content is one of the biggest challenges you face with container gardening. Fertilize and water at the same time. Jobe’s Organics 9026 Fertilizer. It is too heavy for container gardens, and it compacts more as the season goes on. You can use a measuring device like a sun calculator or go outdoors to inspect the amount of sunlight the location receives during the day. Fill the pot with high-quality potting soil and make sure the container has good drainage. When planting the tomato, put some soil in the bottom of the pot and set the tomato plant in. 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