Mt. Carmel, IL
|Please give me info on the care and pruning of the tomato plant as far as how tall and what to do.
|Answer from NGA
April 4, 2001
|Tomatoes may be grown in a large container such as a five gallon bucket or half barrel planter. The plant needs full sun all day long. Use a soilless mix and fertilize regularly with a water soluble fertilzier according to the fertilizer label instructions. You might also top dress occasionally with compost. Also make sure the soil stays evenly moist all season; this may mean watering twice a day in late summer when it is hot and the plant is large. You may allow the plant to sprawl or you may insert a sturdy support into the container when you plant the tomato plant. Tie the plant to the support as it grows, pieces of an old nylon stocking are excellent for this purpose. You might select a cherry tomato if you are a beginner, or you might try one of the many varieties offered by suppliers such as Burpee. Look for a variety with good disease resistance such as Big Beef or Supertasty. Pruning is done as a matter of personal preference to either control the size of the vine or open it up to more light and air. This would not be of concern until at least mid season.
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