The Q&A Archives: Container Tomatos

Question: Every year I plant a couple of tomatoes in containers. We live on the Shrewsbury River (salt water), fairly windy, lots of sun. The tomatoes are small and the skin is tough. What's wrong? More or less water? heavier soil? (I use straight potting soil)

Answer: There are a number of variables that can affect tomato quality, ranging all the way from stress to the variety you have tried to grow. Plants grown in containers are especially subject to stresses so you do need to baby them for the best results. You might try some different varieties and perhaps some specifically suggested for containers, try a different soil such as soilless mix and then top dress with good compost, you might try a fertilizer specifically for tomatoes, you might adjust your container size and watering regime and maybe try some othe water holding polymers added to the soil to assure the plants are never stressed for lack of moisture. Another consideration might be a wind break.

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