tomatoes in containers - Knowledgebase Question

Nashville, Te
Avatar for Jimlizzie
Question by Jimlizzie
April 14, 2009
I want to grow large, beefsteak tomatoes in a container on my deck. 1 or 2 plants will probably be enough. How big does the container need to be? Must I build it myself and how? Soil, drainage and support for the plants? Any particular variety (needs to be large and have a sturdy shell that will hold up to being filled with soup and baked. Thanks for answering.

Answer from NGA
April 14, 2009
Tomatoes can be grown in containers but rather than using garden soil, select a quality soilless potting medium to allow for optimum root growth, soil moisture retention and nutrient availability. Containers should be a minimum of 5 gallons per plant although larger is better. You can use regular 5-gallon buckets that you purchase at hardware stores as long as you drill lots of drainage holes in the bottoms and lower sides of the container. I set mine up on bricks so the excess water can drain through the holels. Be ready to be more diligent with watering and fertilizing as a container grown plant has a very restricted root system. Brandywine is a large tomato with rigid walls so it might be good for your purpose. Mortgage Lifter is another heirloom type that you might like. Best wishes with your tomatoes!

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