Tomato Patio Planter Growing Guide
A bumper Summer crop…and a healthy one
Enjoy the satisfaction of picking your own tasty tomatoes straight from your Patio Planters, knowing exactly how they have been grown. Most garden centers sell ready-grown young vegetable plants, so choose the varieties you like, use our suggestions, or keep costs to a minimum and start your own tasty vegetables from seed in Rootrainers or pots in the windowsill. Seed packets or plant labels usually indicate if a variety is particularly suitable for container growing.
Tomatoes contain high levels of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that supports the immune system and helps maintain healthy skin, and vitamin E, essential for a healthy heart. One medium-size tomato provides 50% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C, they contain no saturated fatty acids, are low in salt, starch, and sugars, and high in fiber. Tomatoes are the richest source of a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which can fight against certain cancers.
- Place a layer of gravel or other suitable material into the bottom of the planter to help drainage.
- Fill with good quality multi-purpose compost or potting soil to approximately 1.5 inches from the top of the planter.
- Each planter will take 2 to 3 plants, depending on the variety.
Water plants before planting and allow to drain.
Place the plants into the planters.
Carefully add water after planting without soaking the compost/potting soil.
Do not place outdoors until after the last frost or keep in the light, in a frost-free situation.
Side shoots (which sprout from the junction between the main stem and a branch) should be removed by pinching them out with the fingers. If allowed to grow they will produce a mass of foliage but few tomatoes.
Lower leaves should be removed if they show signs of yellowing to avoid the risk of infection.
A constant supply of moisture is essential for tomatoes - dry periods significantly increase the risk of the fruit splitting.
Rub off aphids with your fingers, spray them off with water, insecticidal soap (potassium-salt soap is available at most garden centers), or diluted detergent (about one teaspoon to several liters of water.
Feed regularly from early summer with a good liquid feed or use a slow release fertilizer following manufacturer’s instructions.
Pick as soon as the fruits are ripe (color and size will identify this) for the best flavor and eat as soon as possible. This also encourages the production of more fruit.
You can use your Patio Planter to grow all types of tomatoes, here are just a few examples of our favorites:
- Red Alert: early cropper with outstanding flavor
- Totem: perfect for patio planters, early and full of flavor
- Tumbler: specially bred for patio planters, with cherry-sized fruits cascading over the edges
- Tumbling Tom Yellow: as Tumbler, but attractive yellow fruit
- Garden Pearl: Compact habit and big crops of sweet cherry tomatoes
Compost specially formulated for containers will help to keep the compost moist. A layer of mulch (e.g., chipped bark) around the top of compost will help conserve water moisture and help prevent weeds from growing. Watch out for slugs and snails once the seedlings appear. Feed with a liquid tomato fertilizer once a week starting when the first fruits start to form. Pick crops regularly and use while fresh.