The Q&A Archives: Urban Tomatoes

Question: I have five tomato plants growing on my fire escape in New York City. Do city tomato plants require any special care? Specifically, how big should my pots be, and how often should I water the plants?

Answer: What a great project! I hope you have a big fire escape because tomato plants can grow very large and heavy. They also need full sun to produce their best fruit. You need at least a five gallon size bucket for each plant along with some form of trellis. Your biggest challenge will be to provide them with a steady supply of moisture and nutrients. When the plants are small, watering every other day or so should be enough but as the plants grow and the weather turns hotter you will need to water more often. By the end of the season you may even need to water twice a day! If it is windy on your fire escape the plants will dry out extra fast, so you may need to create a windbreak of some sort. Apart from that, I can't think of any special care they will need. Enjoy the harvest!

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