How to Grow Tomatoes In Pots A to Z Guide

How to Grow Tomatos In Pots A to Z GuideHappy house & Garden has created this How to Grow Tomatoes In Pots, so you have it all covered from A to Z

Marty Ware Apartment Gardening Video For Small Space Tomato Gardeners

How Many Tomato Plants Do I Really Need?

Growing Tomatoes in potsFor an average size family who wish to have enough Big Toms (e.g. Big Red) for sandwiches three plants would be sufficient.  I recommend that you have a Cherry Tomato plant for your salad mixes. If you like to make sauces, salsa, pastes and juices, etc, then you will need a few more plants to cover this need.

How long do Tomatoes take to produce fruit? 

Growing Tomatoes in pots can be great fun for you and all the family, but how long do they take in time before you get to taste those juicy succulent fruits? Well, depending on your climate, Tomatoes are generally ready to harvest at around ten to twelve weeks.  This loose time frame also depends both on conditions and the variety planted.  If you want some quickly as possible, then get a Cherry Tomato plant in there among your container garden.

Troubleshooting & Problems Solved

Fruit fly: Cover your fruit with cloth or a paper bag.  Set out baited lures for slugs and snails and remove infested fruits. Also remove any fruit that falls on the ground and starts to rot.   In sever circumstances, remove all fruit, and then wait for new fruit to appear.

Verticillium wilt: Pull out and burn infected plants. Remove and discard potting mix. Clean and disinfect containers.    Start again with fresh new seedlings or seed.

Caterpillars: Remove caterpillars by hand and give them to kids to play with (just kidding). Encourage birds and other wildlife to come to your container garden by introducing water and/or bird baths. Birds love to chomp on caterpillars.   Australian Blue-tongue lizards can eat a helluva lot of snails. Yes, birds will visit balconies, porches and patios to peck at those caterpillars if they don’t feel threatened.

Blossom end Rot: This is generally caused by a lack of calcium in the potting mix, and is exacerbated by drainage and water problems. Make sure your pot is draining well and the medium hasn’t become compacted. If the potting mix has become compacted, problems associated with the roots will occur.  The medium will become sour. Recommended:  Out with the old and in with the new fresh potting mix.

Growing Tomatoes in Pots and Where?

‘Growing tomatoes in pots and where?” Let’s assume you have a small place with full sun or a few hours of morning sun. For growing tomatoes this is fine. Two things tomatoes do dislike, though, are strong winds and a really hot afternoon sun. If you can’t avoid wind, try the Cherry Tomato variety: Tiny Tim. Tiny Tims are nearly invincible!

If you have a veranda that is prone to strong winds, you may need some form of protective barrier such as a half-greenhouse half-shade house. The roof and half the sides should be covered with a see-through plastic and the rest with high-level light shade cloth. If you do choose this option, I recommend inquiring at a nursery or shop that supplies greenhouses.

Full sun is always preferable. Morning sun is great, provided there’s enough of it. But you can successfully grow tomatoes in pots in a minimum of four hours sunlight. source:

What You Need (The Minimum)

All you need is a sunny, warm place and containers large enough for the plants you want to grow. Sunny decks, patios, and other areas are great for container gardening and do not require the difficult digging that starting a garden usually requires. Most vegetable plants will grow quite large so your containers must be large enough and not too crowded. Container gardening requires diligent watering and regular feeding, but it can be easy and fun for kids and adults. The main things you will need are:

  • Large Containers approximately 18″ or larger in diameter
  • Watering Can or Hose
  • Good Potting Soil (enough to fill your pots)
  • Plant fertilizer and good compost
  • A cage or some kind of support to hold the tomato upright


Companion plants

Tomatoes serve, or are served by, a large variety of companion plants.

Among the most famous pairings is the tomato plant and carrots; studies supporting this relationship have produced a popular book about companion planting,Carrots Love Tomatoes.[30]

Additionally, the devastating tomato hornworm has a major predator in various parasitic wasps, whose larvae devour the hornworm, but whose adult form drinks nectar from tiny-flowered plants like umbellifers. Several species of umbellifer are therefore often grown with tomato plants, including parsley, queen anne’s lace, and occasionally dill. These also attract predatory flies that attack various tomato pests.[31]

On the other hand, borage is thought to actually repel the tomato hornworm moth.[32]

Other plants with strong scents, like alliums (onions, chives, garlic) and mints (basil, oregano, spearmint) are simply thought to mask the scent of the tomato plant, making it harder for pests to locate it, or to provide an alternative landing point, reducing the odds of the pests from attacking the correct plant.[33] These plants may also subtly impact the flavor of tomato fruit.[34]

Ground cover plants, including mints, also stabilize moisture loss around tomato plants and other solaneae, which come from very humid climates, and therefore may prevent moisture-related problems like blossom end rot.

Finally, tap-root plants like dandelions break up dense soil and bring nutrients from down below a tomato plant’s reach, possibly benefiting their companion.

Tomato plants, on the other hand, protect asparagus from asparagus beetles, because they contain solanum that kills this pest, while asparagus plants (as well asmarigolds[34]) contain a chemical that repels root nematodes known to attack tomato plants.


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Happy Gardening from the Crew!

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