How to Grow Tomatoes From Seed in Containers
Growing Tomatoes in Containers
In this article, I'll show you how to grow tomatoes organically in hanging baskets and pots.
There are step-by-step instructions with photos.
I wanted to grow my own organic vegetables in my small garden, but this was not possible after years of spraying and using chemicals on the soil.
Then I read that I could buy organic seeds and compost.
Organic Tomato Seeds
Tomato Seeds or Plants
It is up to you whether you want to grow your organic tomatoes from seeds or buy the plants in a gardening center.
Buying Tomato Seeds
- Tomato seeds are much cheaper to buy so you can you can grow more plants.
- A lot more work is involved in caring and transplanting the seeds and seedlings.
- You may lose some seedlings if not taken care of properly.
- Seeding trays, compost and time are extra expenses.
Buying Tomato Plants
- You will be able to pick out and buy the strongest and healthiest plants.
- You only buy the amount of tomato plants you have room to grow.
- Less work involved as you can plant them immediately upon purchase into the container or pot.
- They are more expensive to buy.
Which Containers To Use
It will depend on how much room you have. The size, weight, type and price of containers vary enormously.
There are light weight plastic containers or heavy ceramic ones. It is entirely up to you and depends on your taste but please be practical. There is no point in getting a heavy ceramic pot for a balcony when there are plenty of light plastic containers and pots that can be used just as efficiently.
If you buy a grow bag to plant your tomatoes in then you have bought the container and compost in one go. Or you could even improvise and use containers that are free by fixing up a barrel or bin that is no longer in use.
I would recommend that you buy the best compost that you can afford. After all you will save money when you get a bumper crop of tomatoes.
Transferring your Plants
Once the tomato seeds have germinated and grown to a strong plant, they are ready to be transplanted in to the containers. Make sure the container you have bought has plenty of drainage.
If you are using a free drum or plastic container you will have to make enough holes in the pot to allow the water to flow out easily. Add the soil to the pots or barrels etc and prepare it by giving it a good watering.
It depends on the size of the container as to how many plants you grow in there. I had quite a large pot so put three tomato plants in it. There was plenty of room and this was also going to help me stake and tie the plants together later when needed.
Make a deep enough hole to be able to place the tomato plant roots securely in the pot. Cover with more soil and flatten it around the plant. Add crushed eggs shells to protect the plants from slugs and snails.
At this stage I always add the stakes too. This is because when the tomato plants begin to grow taller and need staking you may be too busy. Why not do it now and that way you will be ready to tie the growing tomato plants as they need to be made secure immediately.
Taking Care of Them
Watering and feeding are important for the successful growing of tomato plants.
To ensure you have a bumper healthy crop of tomatoes a little work is needed.
Never let your plants get dry but also do not over water them
As the plants grow tall they will need to be gently but securely tied to the stakes.
Once the flowers begin to show the plants will need a little more care.
You should snip with your fingers some of the shoots from the plants so that you can help it along.
There will be many shoots trying to compete with each other on each plant. You need to limit these so that you give the flowers and eventual tomatoes a chance to grow. The plant can only support so many tomatoes so some pruning is necessary.
How to Stop Slugs and Snails From Eating Your Plants
Once you have placed your tomato plants in the container, pot or grow bag they are in danger. Unwanted guests are just waiting for to leave them so they can have a meal at your expense.
There is a very easy way to stop slugs and snails from eating and destroying your tomato plants. This method is free and very successful.
It Works for All Your Vegetable and Fruit Plants
Save the egg shells from your kitchen a few weeks before you are going to plant your tomatoes. Just keep a container somewhere handy and throw the egg shells in it.
Once you have finished planting your vegetable plants crush the egg shells in to tiny pieces. Spread the shells around the small delicate plants. The slugs and snails hate the rough surface and will not attempt to go near your roots or leaves.
The egg shells also provide the plants with lots of nutrition and help them to grow healthy.