Growing Tomatoes in Containers

Three Air Pots

Growing tomatoes in containers has a number of advantages over planting tomatoes straight into the garden soil or greenhouse border.

  • It is easier to keep your plants disease free.
  • You can grow tomatoes on the patio.
  • Plants can be moved around the garden if necessary.
  • Helps protect against ground level insects etc.
  • Great for bush varieties that can trail over the side of a large pot.

Growing tomatoes in containers is particularly suitable for bush varieties because of the height. Bush plants will reach up to about 24 inches in height (depending on the variety) making a large pot ideal.

Of course there are drawbacks to containers such as:

  • Plants need watering more regularly.
  • Stability – may blow over in strong wind.
  • Require more careful watering/feeding – Blossom End Rot can be a problem.

One consideration is the container size – some tomato varieties need more room for their roots than other varieties. For example, Red Alert and Oregon Spring will need bigger containers than Tumbling Tom and Garden Pearl. Also, filling a container with too many plants can have an adverse effect on the amount and quality of the crop.

A Few Types of Container:

  • Grow Bags
  • Tomato Pots
  • Air Pots
  • Dirt Pots
  • Auto Pots
  • And Many More!

Growing Medium
Potting soil, also known as multipurpose compost from the garden centre, can become compacted and shrink over time. This will remove air from the soil and have an adverse effect on the growth of the plant and the health of the roots below.

Adding perlite is of great advantage and helps the root zone retain air and provide the oxygen that the roots need for respiration (plant growth) and nutrient absorption.

A Mix of 50% potting soil and 50% perlite is regularly used.

I’m sure there are a lot more advantages and disadvantages with growing tomatoes in containers – if you think of anymore, please leave a comment.

Check out the website tomato growing for more hints and tips about growing in containers.