Discover Container Gardening with Tomatoes

Discussion in 'Fruit and Veg Gardening' started by Frank, May 3, 2005.

  1. Frank

    Frank Happy Gardening Staff Member Administrator

    Jan 25, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Originally Galway, Ireland
    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".

    Comment on this article >>


  2. PeggySuetheStew

    PeggySuetheStew Seedling

    May 29, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Northern Virginia/ DC metro
    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!
  3. m2

    m2 New Seed

    Jul 20, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Winterpeg, Manitsfreezin, Canada
    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 :p
  4. dooley

    dooley Super Garden Turtle

    Jul 3, 2005
    Likes Received:
    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
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    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!!
  6. dooley

    dooley Super Garden Turtle

    Jul 3, 2005
    Likes Received:
    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!! :D Dooley
  7. HGPgal

    HGPgal New Seed

    Jun 16, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Central Illinois
    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.)
  8. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

    Feb 7, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Hi there HGPgal. :D

    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. :)