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tomatoes
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potting soil
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Container Grown Tomatoes
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Container Grown Tomatoes

If you have never grown a vegetable garden and you would like to start, container grown tomatoes are the perfect choice to learn. Tomatoes are very hardy (and forgiving) plants for the beginner. They need only three things to make them thrive - and make you a successful gardener.

First the plants need good soil. You can start the plants in potting soil, or a good garden soil will work if it is loose enough to not compact tightly in the pot.

Plant seeds indoors in a smaller pot (I use a plastic disposable cup so that I have plenty of room for the roots) to get a good start on the growing season, or you can wait until the nurseries or garden centers have plants ready for you to purchase. Make sure if you get a plant that it is not too early to set it outside after your permanent repotting. You will not want to repot anything that does not yet have its permanent (or 2nd set) of leaves. Plant with the first sprouted leaves at the soil line - they are only temporary and will die off.

Secondly, tomato plants need a lot of sunlight. If you start your plants from seed and do not provide enough light they will be very "leggy", meaning the stem will be long and thin, and the leaves will be sparse. The plant itself then becomes fragile and you have to be very careful with repotting. If you plant seeds or store your purchased plants indoors, put them in a south window where they get full sun for as many hours as you have daylight. Heat goes hand in hand with the sunlight - the plants love heat. Keeping them warm will promote the best growth and make the plant a better producer.

Third, of course, is moisture. The container will make it easier for you to keep moisture to your plants since the rest of the ground will not absorb your watering efforts. Tomatoes do not like to have their roots kept soggy, but they also detest being dry at all. If your leaves start to wilt you have waited too long. But remember - tomatoes are very forgiving, so give them a good drink and they will stand up and appreciate your effort on their behalf! The good thing about the container growing is that you can better regulate your plant's moisture and have less waste. Just remember - the hotter the weather the more you need to water. The plants will also use a lot more water when they are bearing fruit. Using a self-watering container will help you determine what is best for your particular plant.

The benefits of container growing are many. The moisture control/ease of watering is just one small benefit. Another is the absence of mess, since the soil will be contained in the pot and you won't have to walk through it. It is much easier to care for your container tomatoes when you have them close to the house making it easy to remember to maintain them regularly. You can also keep the weeds out of your pot much easier than in your regular garden or yard. Grass can not invade as easily as when the garden is connected to ground. And if you should need to move your garden for some reason - just pick up and go and take your plants with you! Your container grown tomatoes will provide you with plenty of produce in repayment for your tender loving care.


Street Talk

Thanks for the gardening tips! I will give it a try!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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