Growing Tomatoes In Pots
Many people have growing concerns about the quality of food they eat so growing tomatoes in pots is ideal. Just because the number of organic foods available is increasing does not mean that organically grown goods represents high quality produce. While produce grown commercially tends to concentrate on aesthetics and longevity for supermarket shelves, the taste and the nutrient value is often lost. Due to the long journey from the field to the store – that they must survive unscathed – this means they are picked while still green so the skins are thicker in order to slow down the ripening process.
In order to get fresh tasty tomatoes, the best way is to grow your own. This ensures you know exactly where they came from and that they are free from chemicals like fertilizer or pesticides. Don’t let a lack of space stop you because tomatoes grow well in containers. There are even dwarf tomatoes including Better Bush that grow well in pots and take up very little space. Several varieties are available that form small bushes, also perfect for pots. However, the tomatoes often tend to ripen all at the same time and will produce no further flowers during the season. Some types grown as a tall vine and these will continue to product tomatoes right though the season.
With the former, you will need a bucket holding a minimum of three gallons while the latter will require at least a five gallon pot. Cat litter containers make good buckets and are also good for recycling but make sure you drill a hole in the base to let water drain away. For something that is more pleasing on the eye, garden centers offer fancy planters for sale. With the vine varieties you will also need to purchase tomato stakes as these are essential for growing tomatoes in pots for this particular type. They should be placed in a sunny location but for those in southern areas, don’t have them in full sun all day as this will make them susceptible to sunburn. If this occurs you will see the tip of the leaves turn white and the scorching sun will cause the tomatoes to crack or split.
On the other hand when growing tomatoes in pots, they need sufficient water too. If there is no rain to provide this naturally, then water them yourself every few days (or daily if you are further south) as the leaves will droop when the plant is too dry. They will need a good soaking to revive them however, the soil should be damp rather than soggy. Fish emulsion is a byproduct of processing fish and this is perfect to use as fertilizer. In the event of pests, use insecticidal soap as it is safe to use and is actually just soap. Starting with a seedling purchased from a garden center means you could be eating your own juicy tomatoes within a month.