Have you ever thought of growing tomatoes in pots? Tomato plants remain one of the most widely planted vegetable plants and this trend seems to be universal. Ask around and you are likely to discover that most vegetable gardening hobbyists started off with planting tomatoes. The bright and cheerful colors of tomato plants make it a beautiful plant to have, not to mention the nutritional benefits of tomatoes. And, do you know that tomatoes come in several colors and not just red alone? Tomatoes color ranges from yellow, green, red and white to even purple!
Research has shown that tomatoes contain an element lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant that reduces the risk of macular degeneration, cardiovascular disease and many cancers, particularly prostate cancer. Tomatoes are also a superb source of phytochemicals, fiber, vitamins A, B and C. In addition, tomatoes offer a good amount of potassium and iron, with almost no sodium or fat content.
With such great health benefits, it is no wonder the tomato plant is a favorite among vegetable gardeners. Just imagine how convenient it would be to have tomatoes all year round in your own garden. Planting tomatoes require some skills in addition to tender loving care. Here in this article, we will discuss about gardening tips and what it takes to start growing tomatoes in pots.
Tips For Growing Tomatoes In Pots
The dwarf varieties of tomatoes usually yield higher success in container vegetable gardening. However, if you want to plant full-size tomatoes, you can choose a determinate variety of tomato, which should have no problem fitting into a container. Determinate tomatoes are more manageable in terms of size; they also tend to bear fruit much closer together and last longer.
Here are the items you need to buy to get started with growing tomatoes in pots:
- tomato plant;
- potting soil;
Buying a Container
It is imperative that you select the right kind of container for growing tomatoes. The roots of tomato plants grow wide and need ample space to develop strong and healthy roots. Buy bigger pots for your tomato plants; the diameter of your pot should be at least 12 cm. There should be plenty of drainage holes on the pot to ensure adequate drainage for your plants.
Planting Your Tomato Plant
Now that we have the pot and tomato plant, the next course of action would be to prepare the pot for planting the tomato plant. First, fill the pot with a few inches of gravel to promote drainage. Next, add the potting soil till it reaches the half mark of the pot and place the plant inside. Cover up with the rest of the soil and fertilizers, leaving about 2 inches from the edge of the pot.
Add the finishing touch by laying compost over the soil. You may also add perlite to the compost to help retain moisture and air; this actually helps in root development as well. Fertilizers may be added once every 2-4 weeks.
Tomatoes thrive in warm temperatures. Place your tomato plant at a location where it can get 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. Water your tomato plant regularly; they need an inch of water per week. Lack of water will result in your tomatoes having split or cracked skin. It can also cause fruit rotting during harvest if there is insufficient water. Always water your tomato plant from below; you can place your pots on a saucer or tray.
If you want to give your tomato plants growing supports, you can place a cage or poles during the planting stage. Growing supports help to support the plant and keep the fruits clean. It is recommended to place the supports during the planting stage as doing it later will disturb the roots.
Growing tomatoes in pots is more than just than planting them into the soil. Besides adding fertilizers, compost and exposing it to ample sunlight, there are other concerns to be taken care of. For instance, you would certainly want to protect your tomato plants from harmful pests and killer diseases.
Prevention is always better than cure. How do you avoid soil-borne diseases and what can you do to protect your plants from fungal diseases.
If you are serious about growing juicy, tasty tomatoes, get a copy today. You will not regret it.