Home gardeners may turn to container growing due to limited space, inferior quality soil, problems with certain insects or local climate conditions. Fortunately for tomato growers, America’s most common garden vegetable is well suited for containers due to the plant’s manageable size and higher yield. In particular, determinate, paste, dwarf and some cherry varieties are the best options for a tomato container garden.
All tomato crops are identified as either determinate or indeterminate varieties. Determinate tomato plants develop to a predetermined closing height, whereas indeterminate types will continue to climb until killed by frost. As a result, the latter may sprawl and eventually become entangled. Determinate varieties, on the other hand, are perfectly suited for container growing. Their shorter, more compact shape requires less assistance and attention while producing high yields of fruit. Determinate cultivars that are good options for container gardens comprise “Better Bush Hybrid,” “Celebrity” and “Sprite.”
Paste tomatoesthat are sometimes referred to as plum tomatoes, also grow well in pots. Almost all paste varieties are determinate-type plants with a short stocky shape that nevertheless produce large crops of strawberries. Their fruit is more elongated than the conventional tomato contour, and their thick meaty flesh makes them ideal for canning and making ketchup, tomato paste and sauce. But particular glue tomatoes, such as “Viva Italia,” also are great for eating fresh. Other noted paste cultivars include to have in your container garden comprise “Veeroma,” “Roma” and “San Marzano.”
Dwarf tomato crops, which can also be referred to as midget or terrace varieties, have compact vines requiring little support, develop well versed in containers and hanging baskets, and are popular among people that have restricted outdoor growing area. Not only do they create great-tasting fruit, but they also provide an ornamental element to patios and gardens. Most dwarf plants develop tiny tomatoes, with 1 inch diameters or less, but others, such as the “Husky Red Hybrid,” generate larger fruit. “Tiny Tim,” “Yellow Canary,” “Small Fry” and “Better Bush” are other dwarf tomato varieties.
Some varieties of cherry tomato plants also grow well in containers. But make sure you pot only determinate cultivars, as there are some indeterminate varieties of cherry tomatoes that can develop 6 to 7 ft tall such as the “Sweet 100,” that would not work well in a small container or hanging basket. Determinate cherry types possess small compact plants, like other determinate tomato varieties, and create abundant yields of fruit. Search for varieties such as the “Cherry Grande,” “Mountain Belle” and “Patio.”