Container Gardening: Planting Tomatoes in Pots
So I'm also trying to grow 4 cherry tomato seedlings in pots. I've seen considerable growth after a month of transplanting. Two died before but the remaining 4 tomato seedlings seem to be doing okay. Various sites tell me they should be taller by now but as long as they're thriving, I'm fine with the current showing. I see some brown spots, not many. And I just learned today that those may be Septora Leaf Spots, which if untreated will worsen to this:
|snapped from https://www.flickr.com/photos/scotnelson/14460168739
Here's what I've learned so far about planting tomatoes:
- For container gardening, a 10 to 12 inches deep of a pot is recommended.
- Tomatoes self pollinate. Once my plant flowers, hand pollination may be good to maximise yield. Some use vibrating toothbrushes. Careful shaking of the plant may also suffice. Check an info article here on hand pollination of tomato plants.
- Variants like cherry tomatoes do fine in pots. Stake early on, before roots grow underneath. Else, you may damage them.
- Determinate tomatoes are short, bushy ones that don't crawl or grow too high. Height between 4 to 5 inches and stops growing when the top bud bears fruit. These normally yield a harvest once, at the same time. Tomatoes ripen in one to two weeks.
- Indeterminate tomatoes grow tall (6 feet and taller) and yields all throughout the season until it dies.
- Tomatoes will be most healthy in slow-release fertiliser/potting mix combinations. Otherwise, remember to fertilise at least every other week.
- If you're doing a transplant, you can cover up to the first layer of leaves. This will ensure more root growth.
- Tie the stem to the stake just under the leaf. Use garterised or elastic strings for support. These accommodate movement and won't hurt or restrict the growing stems. Add support strings as your plant grows.
- Water the soil around the stem, never the leaves as these may lead to blight or fungal infection. This site recommends watering in the morning, which is when tomatoes use much of the water.
- Position your tomato plants in full sun. Minimum 6 hours.
- Certain types of tomatoes are best for pots. Some may be planted all year, others at specific months. Check this from Bunnings for tips on tomato types and when to plant depending on where you are in Australia.
- This site estimates flower growth when the plants are 12 to 18 inches in height. May take a month or more after planting. From flower, to green, to mature, this site estimates anywhere from 5 to 9 weeks.
- Other general container gardening tips are mentioned in my planting potatoes in pots article on this site.
Here's a tutorial from Migardener about growing tomatoes in pots:
Here's basic info on the tag of the tomato seedling pot I bought:
My plant has an estimated growth height of 8 feet tall and should be fruiting in 2 months.
burpee.com info on tomatoes
tips to growing tasty tomatoes