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Vegetable Crops for the Garden | Growing Tomatoes in Pots | General Gardening at The GardenZone

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Growing Tomatoes in Pots


More and more people are becoming concerned about the quality of the food they eat.  You can find more and more organic produce in stores, but just because it was grown organically doesn't mean it's of the highest quality.  Commercially grown vegetables are bred for looks and longevity on store shelves, not for taste and nutrition. They have to survive the long trip from the farm to the store unscathed.  To that end they have thicker skins and ripen slower, plus they're usually picked green.

The way to get the freshest best tasting tomatoes is to grow them yourself.  That way you can be certain exactly where they came from and that they are free of pesticide and chemical fertilizers.  If you are lacking in space then you can grow tomatoes in containers. There are dwarf varieties that don't take up too much space and do well in pots.  Determinate varieties make small bushes that do well in pots.  The tomatoes will tend to ripen all at once then set no more flowers for the season. Indeterminate tomatoes make a tall vine and the produce tomatoes throughout the season.  There are also dwarf varieties Better Bush being one that is suited for growing tomatoes in pots.

You should have at least a 3 gallon bucket for a determinate variety, you should have at least a 5 gallon pot for an indeterminate or vining variety.  Cat litter buckets make good buckets and it's a great way to recycle.  Be sure to drill a hole in the bottom to let water drain.  You can buy fancier planters from a home center if you want something nice looking.  You'll also want tomato stakes for a indeterminate variety.  Put them in a sunny place, if you live in the south or southwest you don't want them getting full sun all day.  The tomatoes can get sunburned, you'll see the leaves turn white on the tip.  The tomatoes can also split and crack in the scorching southern sun.

Water your tomatoes every few days if they're not getting rain, you'll see the leaves start to droop if they get dry.  If this happens make sure to give them a good soaking.   You want the soil to stay a little moist, not soggy.  In the sunny south you might have to water daily.  To fertilize you can use fish emulsion, it's a byproduct of fish processing so it's organic.  If you see pests you can use insecticidal soap. It's safe to use on your plants, it really is just soap.  It's not dangerous to lady bugs or the praying mantis which are natural predators.

If you start with a seedling from a garden center within a month you could be enjoying your own juicy tomatoes!

David Verde grows his own vegetables in his container garden. Peppers, broccoli, lettuce, carrots and onions are vegetables he grows in the ground. He has the most success growing tomatoes in pots.

If you're interested in healthy food, you may also be interested in our sister site, The Health Site, Your Online Health Channel.

Article ©2010 Jayne Walker. All rights reserved.

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