Growing Tomatoes In Containers
City living these days does not have to mean missing out on the enjoyment of gardening. For those who like to eat vegetables, this will bring even more joy as you have the added satisfaction of eating your own homegrown produce. Gardeners have always been keen on growing tomatoes in containers but it also give those will live in apartments the opportunity to have their own garden despite limited space. You may have wondered why people choose to grow tomatoes this way particularly of they have a garden or yard and the basic reasoning behind this is convenience as well as flexibility and better control. Tomato plants will flourish in warm temperatures, with sufficient sunlight and adequate drainage. The occasional use of fertilizer will also give the plant a boost providing it with additional nutrients to produce bigger and juicier fruits. Just like planting in the ground, it is recommended that indoor tomato plants should be treated with care and only transplanted as and when they have grown strong enough. When transplanting, it is necessary to plant the stem as deeply as possible as this encourages quality root formation which in turn provides your tomato plant with an excellent base foundation.
By growing tomatoes in containers, this enables you to control level of your growing medium. Your gardening experiments with successful outcomes can be repeated in future gardening projects, like your own secret recipe. You may decide to try organic gardening or total soil-free gardening, or even combine the two. One suggested recipe for a good mix of container soil for growing vegetables is 40% each of compost and peat moss with 20% perlite. An additional advantage of container gardening is that no weeding is necessary nor is messing around with dirt in the garden. These container vegetables will however need extra care when it comes to fertilizing and watering. Tomatoes grown in containers have limited root coverage and their growth is restricted by the levels of nutrients and water in the container. It may be necessary to water your plants twice a day to stop it wilting and plenty of water will ensure thirsty tomato plants will produce an abundant harvest.
For easy watering, you may consider installing automated drip irrigators and this is actually simple to install without costing a lot of money either. A system like this would cost between $50 and $100 and will save you a lot of hassle, particularly if you have many plants to tend to. This is a worthwhile investment that will certainly pay off in the long run.
One way to prevent water evaporating is to use the mulching method. By applying mulch to your plants this reduces weeds, particularly if using garden soil or compost with black plastic mulch and pine bark mulch both working well. When your tomato plants start to flower, increasing the use of fertilizers by doubling the amount applied, will promote the production of fruit to give you better overall results. However, your fertilizer rate should always remain constant. While it looks good to have a blossoming tomato plant full of fruit, picking the tomatoes as they ripens will encourage the plant to produce more fruit. So you see, growing tomatoes in containers can be an extremely productive method of gardening and it is also a very versatile way to do it. Remember, this is your project so you can be creative as you wish with your container garden and tomato plants are particularly robust plants.