Gardeners are growing a lot more plants in containers these days because containers are often times more accessible, and not incidentally, they are space efficient. A favorite container plant is the tomato. And why not? Growing tomatoes in containers is easy and fun.
Even traditionally space-hogging varieties of tomatoes can be now grown in pots because hybridizers continue to roll out varieties that are bred just for container culture. For those who’ve always grown tomatoes the old-fashioned way (in-the-ground), it may be time to give container tomatoes a chance. With the right varieties, good culture and the proper container, the realm of tomatoes has expanded.
Breeders have created new tomato varieties for hanging pots. Photo by Jean Starr
What expert gardeners can tell us about growing tomatoes in containers
I grew my first container tomato five years ago after seeing it as part of a comparison trial of vegetables raised in large containers at Raker-Roberta’s Trial Grounds in Litchfield, MI. Raker-Roberta’s is the leading commercial wholesaler of custom-grown plugs and young plants in North America. Each summer, they test more than 3,000 plant varieties at the four-plus acre property, both in-ground and in-containers. The tomato I discovered there was growing in a huge pot. It was ‘Megabite’, which I successfully grew myself the following year.