Use these important tips when growing cherry tomatoes in containers.
This is one case where bigger truly is better. If possible, use at least a 5-gallon container for growing cherry tomatoes.
Plus, deeper is better than shallow. Tomato plants have large root systems.
You can accommodate tomato roots in a container, but help the plant along by giving it as much room as possible to grow.
containers that are 18” to 24” deep or more.
When it comes to growing to cherry tomatoes in containers, you have a wide selection. You can grow any cherry tomato variety in a container, but some will fare better than others. Plants that produce medium- to smaller-sized fruit are easier to manage in containers than large fruited varieties.
Indeterminate cherry tomato plants can grow to be 6-8 feet tall. If left unstaked, these plants will sprawl into vines. Choose indeterminate cherry tomato varieties if you have a large barrel or container. Consider staking these plants, too.
Determinate cherry tomato plants will grow to be 2-4 feet tall – a good size for the average container plant. Many bush tomato varieties fall into this category. Keep in mind that these tomato plants produce most of their fruit at one flush, mostly within a 2-3 week period. You could choose several different determinate tomato plants which mature at different points in the season in order to harvest tomatoes from containers across a longer period of time. Or choose semi-determinate cherry tomato plants for a longer fruiting period but less sprawl.
Dwarf cherry tomato varieties mature at under two feet tall. They work well in small containers 5 gallons or less in size.
Plant purchased cherry tomato seedlings or seedlings you’ve started indoors. Don’t sow seeds directly into your containers – germination and development will take too long.
Set your cherry tomato containers where they can enjoy at least 6-8 hours of sun a day.
Make sure pots have good drainage and monitor the soil moisture. Containers are above ground, which means roots have a limited growing area. The potting mix in containers can dry out quickly, particularly in the heat of midsummer. Check your cherry tomatoes in pots often to make sure they get enough water – at least once a day. Keep soil evenly moist.
At the same time, make sure your container has adequate drainage holes. Over watering can drown your cherry tomato plant or make them vulnerable to root rot. Containers are portable. You can bring your containers inside or set them in a protected area if the forecast is for too much rain.
Well-balanced soil helps maintain moisture equilibrium. Choose a good potting mix with lots of organic matter, rather than potting soil or garden soil, to allow for the best drainage and water retention. Potting soil can be too heavy for containers. You can also maximize success when you choose a large self-watering container.
Watering your tomatoes in pots can leach nutrients from the soil. Use a water-soluble tomato fertilizer about every 7-10 days to feed cherry tomatoes in containers.
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