If you want to know how to grow patio tomatoes, read on. If you don't have a garden or greenhouse, don't worry, because tomatoes can grow very well on the patio as long as you care for them correctly.
Patio Tomato Containers
First of all, choose a suitable container. You might want to go for something decorative if you want to spruce up your patio. Some patio tomatoes come in containers that can be placed inside decorative ones. As long as the tomato plant is not too snug, this also provides adequate drainage.
Choose a tomato plant from your local garden center that is clearly marked "patio tomato". Regular tomatoes don't grow so well in containers. Choose a potting soil designed for growing flowers and vegetables.
Fill the container with soil about halfway and place the tomato plant in the middle. Fill the rest of the container until the soil is 2 or 3 inches from the top. Make sure you add fertilizer as required and water your plant enough. Anyone who knows how to grow patio tomatoes will reaffirm that tomatoes love a lot of organic material in the soil. A couple of inches of compost on top and worked into the top couple of inches works wonders for them. There are healthy microorganisms in the compost which earthworms break down. This frees the minerals which will nourish , discourages pests and makes tomato diseases more unlikely. You can put a few inches of mulch on top too, such as leaf or straw, to combat wind and water erosion, conserve moisture and stop weed germination.
The tomato plants need to be moist rather than soaking. Uniform watering is the key to the best because it prevents end rot and leaf-end roll. It need to be moist 6 inches down. They need 1 inch of water weekly. It is best to water in the late afternoon or early evening with enough time for the plants to dry off before nightfall.
Planting Patio Tomatoes
Plants won't begin to bear fruit until the overnight temperature is at least 55ºC but you can plant them when it is 50ºF. Patio tomatoes do not usually need to be staked. If your pot does not have a drain hole, you should put some gravel in the bottom of the pot before you put the soil in.
The container needs to get a lot of sun if possible. You will also need to prune the plants frequently. This conserves the energy of the plant and directs it towards fruit production. You need to pinch off any side shoots. You should prune your patio tomato plants weekly.
Harvesting Patio Tomatoes
Patio tomatoes are ready to harvest in 60 or 70 days, when they are completely ripe and beginning to soften. Keep them in warm, dark conditions but do not refrigerate them because they will lose a lot of flavor. For the best results, use your tomatoes within 3 days of harvesting. Remember than cooked sauce with home grown they freezes well. It is easy to learn how to grow patio tomatoes and thanks to their ability to freeze well, you can have an endless supply as long as you follow the above tips.
Tracy Ballisager is a stay at home mum and provide info on gardening online. See her website for tips on tomato planting and more.
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