Are you longing for homegrown produce, but think your suburban lot is just too small? Is your condo perfect for you but provides no space for a veggie garden? Don’t despair – patio tomato plants are ideal for city life.
Look for a spot on the balcony or deck that has six to eight hours of full sun exposure throughout the day. If it is protected from the wind, so much the better.
Then source out the ideal pot for tomato plants – wide bottomed to provide stability and a decent depth for root growth. Pots with a water tray at the base will help keep the plants hydrated. It’s also a good idea to line the bottom of the pot with small stones, providing improved air flow and drainage, as well as adding weight for sturdiness.
Fill with good quality soil.
Store bought potting soil might work for some things, but produce for the dinner table isn’t one of them. Mix a quality potting soil that includes vermiculite with an equal part peat moss or well sifted compost. Some gardeners suggest including a slow release fertilizer as well.
Choose a tomato variety that is suited for pots. Cherry and grape tomatoes grow well on patios and provide handy and nutritious snacks all summer long. Roma tomatoes are also a decent bet, as are any other medium-sized variety.
Use a traditional tomato cage when the plant is fairly young. It will grow into the support. Some people also tie the stalks off to an existing post, trellis or wall. Be sure to use garden string or coated wires that won’t damage the stalk or create rust spots.
Harvest your patio tomato plant often, whenever the fruit is ripe. This will promote the health of the plant and cut down on bugs and other pests. Weed when needed as well, although a layer of mulch in the pot will help with that.
Enjoy the harvest your patio tomato plants yield. Consider all of the health and economical benefits of homegrown produce. Potted plants make this type of gardening fruitful even in the city.