Tomato planters, like tomatoes, come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors and allow you to grow your own produce on patios, decks, and balconies and in hanging planters. If you are an urban gardener or apartment dweller, plant the right kind of tomatoes in the right kind of container, give them a little loving care, and you, too, can pick your own delicious tomatoes right off the vine!
Types of Planters
1. Patio Planters - Traditional patio planters work very well as tomato planters as long as they are chosen with moisture retention in mind, which means ceramic, plastic, fiberglass, or metal. Width is more important than depth when making your choice since the tomato root system is shallow.
2. Hanging Planters - Plastic or fiberglass are the favored materials for hanging baskets because these materials are strong and durable but light enough to move even when filled with plants and wet soil.
3. Upside-Down Planters - You can grow dwarf tomato plants upside down in suspended planters, such as the Topsy Turvy Upside Down Tomato Flower and Vegetable Planter, reported as one of the successful new inventions of 2005. These interesting suspended planters are good for growing tomatoes, herbs, and flowers in a very small space, and come with instructions on how to start your seeds or what small plants to buy, and when to hang the planter. The plants are watered and fed through a hole in the top of the container and the tomato plant itself hangs down from the bottom. Another similar container is known as the grow bag, which operates in the same way, but has several openings along the sides of the bag and allows the growth of more plants. There are several advantages to these types of containers for tomatoes:
- You don't have to stake the tomatoes to hold up the vines as they mature.
- Insect infestation is discouraged as it is difficult for insects like cut worms to reach the plants.
- Because air circulates so well around the plants, there are almost no disease problems.
- The fruit doesn't rot as quickly as it does when it rests on the soil.
Secrets of Success
1. Dwarf plants like the Basket King or Tiny Tim are good for tomato planters and produce small cherry tomatoes that ripen early. Small Fry is another good choice.
2. Since vegetables require lots of moisture when they are growing, it is best to have your tomatoes contained in moisture-retaining planters, avoid porous materials like terracotta or wood unless you line them before you add the soil.
3. Sow seeds indoors in the early spring and transplant seedlings into pots when they are about three to four inches tall. Plant the seedlings into your outdoor planters after the last frost. If you don't want to bother with seeds, buy young plants that have been pot-grown and are about eight inches tall with healthy leaves and no flower bunches.
4. Place your tomato planters where they will receive at least six hours of sunlight a day and are protected from blazing sun and gusting winds. Use rich soil, make sure the plants are watered regularly, and don't let the soil dry out. A self-watering system is good if there is any doubt about regular waterings.
5. Use tomato cages, trellises, or twine to support the vines as they grow tall, and pinch out the little side shoots in the leaf axles (the shoots that sprout in the v-shape between each branch and the main stalk).
Browse through the many suitable tomato planters available online and order with confidence for easy home-delivery. You will soon have the joy of picking tomatoes off your own vine and making the best salads ever.
About the Author:
Scott Gray is a garden enthusiast and freelance writer, currently consulting for All Garden Planters - a company that provides large plastic garden planters , white ceramic planters - in fact, all types of elegant garden planters!