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Discover Container Gardening with Tomatoes

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Originally Galway, Ireland
Posts: 15026
Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 11:58 am   Post subject: Discover Container Gardening with Tomatoes

Discover Container Gardening with Tomatoes by Cyndi Roberts

An easy, proven way to save you money while
providing good nutrition for your family!

You don't think you have a green thumb?
That's OK--you don't really need one!
Just a little knowledge and info to get you

Those of us who live in rural areas have a
decided advantage over city and apartment
dwellers. We can nearly always find room
for a vegetable garden even if it's a small

But even if you don't have an acre or two of
land to play with, don't despair! You can still
supplement your grocery budget with fresh
veggies grown in a container garden--even if
the only space you have is on your patio!

Tomatoes are about the easiest vegetables
to grow. They come in all sizes: from bite-size
cherry tomatoes to great big beefsteak
tomatoes. And tastewise, store-bought
tomatoes just can't compare to vine-ripened!

The first step to starting a container garden is
to locate your container. You can use almost
anything. A half-barrel, the kind you see for
sale at garden centers, works great. You may
have plastic buckets already on hand and these
can work, too.

If you use buckets, usually one plant to each
bucket is enough. And keep in mind, one plant can
produce a lot of tomatoes!

Just put a layer of rocks in the bottom of your
chosen container for drainage. Then fill with
quality potting soil about 2/3 thirds of the way

Tomatoes are best grown from seedlings. Most
garden centers, discount stores, and even some
grocery stores have these in stock in the spring.

Remove the plant from the plastic pot it comes in
by squeezing the bottom of the pot to loosen the
soil and gently lift it from the pot. Carefully
loosen the roots a little as sometimes they tend
to be a little root-bound in the small pots.

Dig a hole a little bigger than your plant ball and
just set your tomato into the hole right up to the
leaves and fill all around with more potting soil.

Of course, you must water the plants to make them
grow! Your tomato plants will respond well to regular
feeding. Apply a liquid fertilizer once a week.

Once your plants are larger, you may need to stake
them; however, if you are growing the "bush" variety,
they won't need to be staked.

Once your plants are bearing, you may find yourself
with a surplus. Whole tomatoes can be frozen for use
later on in soups and casseroles. Just wash and put
in sealed plastic bags and place in freezer. When
you're ready to use them, let them thaw partway so
the skin can come off and they're ready to go in the
soup pot!

If you prefer to freeze your tomatoes already chopped,
just dip each tomato in boiling water for about 10
seconds. Then the peel will pull right off. Chop the
tomato, put in bags and freeze.

Here's a good vegetable soup recipe for using frozen

Combine 1 1/2 cups frozen chopped tomatoes
1 can new potatoes, drained and chopped
1 can sliced carrots, drained
1 large can tomato sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 3/4 cups beef broth

Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, to let flavors mingle.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

About the Author

Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter
"1 Frugal Friend 2 Another", bringing you practical,
money-saving tips, recipes and ideas. Visit her online at to subscribe and receive the
Free e-course, "Taming the Monster Grocery Bill".

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Northern Virginia/ DC metro
Posts: 62
Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 12:16 am   

I am just about ready to do some container tomatoes myself! I have my seedling started and can't decide how big to let them get. I have about 10 little sprouts and am running out of deck space. The package said that the larger the pot, the larger the plant ... hmmmm

Thanks for this article, I can't wait to have fall tomatoes!

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Winterpeg, Manitsfreezin, Canada
Posts: 25
Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:39 pm   

I am going to try and grow some tomatoes indoors over the winter. Maybe they will grow, maybe they won't.

So far the tomatoes in my actual garden are going nowhere. 4.5 feet high and not one tomatoe in sight. Flowers everywhere but no go on the tomatoe. Oh woe is me Razz

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Posts: 6615
Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:49 pm   Post subject: tomatoes in pots

I grow my tomatoes in pots or tubs. They are doing well. Usually during the summer they don't produce much but they are under a tree that keeps the sun mostly off of them. I have several different kinds and the small patio tomatoes are doing the best right now. I've been picking the tomato worms off daily though. Darn things! Dooley

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Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:33 am   

Where do those nasty worms come from anyway? They are the biggest reason I have not tried tomatoes before, I didn't want to deal with them! yuck!!

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Posts: 6615
Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:55 pm   Post subject: tomato worms

They are the larva for a big moth. I don't remember which one. I cut the whole stem off and then, I drop a huge rock on them and watch them splat!! Laughing Dooley

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Central Illinois
Posts: 5
Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 5:37 am   Post subject: Container Veg

This is a great start for me.

I have a brown thumb. It's not something I'm proud of, just aware of. But I love fresh veggies because they taste so much different than the "cardboard" you buy at the store.

I also have a bad back and cannot do all the soil prep and weeding and bending, etc.

I was wondering if it might be possible to grow some veggies like lettuce, green beans, tom's, potatoes, and the like in containers. I could get one of those short wheely-sitting-kneeling-thingies and go at my pots. If one dies or gets buggy, out it can go, away from the others.

Whaddya think? (I know, extra watering.)

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Forum Moderator

Posts: 23359
Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 2:25 pm   

Hi there HGPgal. Very Happy

EJ may be along in a while to answer your questions. She's a dab hand at growing tomatoes and other salad crops and veggies and is sure to have plenty of good advice for you. If she misses this post then why not PM her as I know she'll be more than happy to help you out. Smile

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