Connecticut Garden Journal: Container Tomatoes | Connecticut Public Radio
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Connecticut Garden Journal: Container Tomatoes

Apr 16, 2020

There's been a big spike in people buying vegetable seeds. Hopefully this means lots of people will be growing a Victory Garden of vegetables to help offset the economic hardships caused by the pandemic, have some healthy food, and get outside and enjoy Nature. But many people don't have room for a garden. The solution is container gardening and the number one vegetable everyone wants to grow is tomatoes.

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Modern breeding has created lots of new bush tomato varieties that fruit all season and fit well in any container. For big fruited varieties try 'Galahad' and 'Bush Early Girl' that grow 4-feet tall. 'Celano' is a 3-foot tall grape variety. 'Lizzano' and the heart-shaped 'Goodhearted' are cherry tomatoes that fit nicely in hanging baskets.

Use an 18- to 20-inch diameter, lightweight, plastic resin container with good drainage holes in the bottom or try a self watering container. Fill the pot with potting soil. Starting your own seeds indoors allows you grow unusual varieties. However, for just a few plants, it's easier to purchase transplants locally. Plant one tomato per pot and, if there's room on the edge, plant quick maturing arugula, radishes and leaf lettuce that will be eaten before the tomato gets too big.

Keep well watered, if not using a self watering pot, and fertilize weekly with a liquid organic plant food. Some gardeners like using time release fertilizer that feeds the plant every time you water. Grow in full sun and enjoy the harvest. Once plants get ragged looking in late summer, remove them and plant some fall vegetables, such as spinach, radishes, and kale.