Tomato containers can be most anything that is large enough and deep enough and allows for drainage. Clay pots are an old favorite for growing tomatoes, and very attractive, but maybe not the best choice for patio tomatoes. Clay pots tend to dry out rapidly.
Half barrels, plastic pots, and even garbage cans have been used successfully for tomato container gardening. If necessary, you can punch holes in the bottom to allow for drainage.
Good Patio Tomato Varieties
When choosing patio tomato varieties it is good to know the terms. Cherry tomato and grape tomato are often used inter-changeably so it\’s possible to get confused.
The Cherry tomato is an old standby, and are usually 1/2 to one inch in size and round.
Grape tomatoes have become popular in recent times and are usually smaller and more elongated, like a grape.
Know which patio tomato you have selected and what to expect. We usually expect tomatoes to be red when they reach the proper stage of ripeness, but many of these can surprise you. They range in color when ripe from green to golden orange to the usual red.
Tiny Tim and Red Robin are two very small tomato varieties. The plant usually grows only to about 15 inches.
Sweet 100, Sweet Million and Juliet are good varieties. Sweet Million and Juliet are both crack resistant.
Sungold is golden orange in color and sweet. Grape tomatoes are grape shaped, red, and crack resistant with traditional flavor.
There are many more varieties of patio tomatoes. Usually the darker the color, the more intense the flavor. Of the tomatos mentioned here most will grow to seven feet. One plant will produce enough for most families.
If you want to plant a couple of different varieties for variance in flavor and color you may have more than you can readily eat, but what a nice gift a basket of fresh home grown tomatoes would be to send home with visitors, or to give co-workers. Who would turn down fresh home grown tomatoes?
Growing Tomatoes Upside Down
And just for fun try growing tomatoes upside down. Select an adequate sized container (bucket style). Cut a two inch hole in bottom of bucket-planter. Feed plant stem and leaves through hole so the top of tomato plant hangs out the bottom. Hold roots so only two inches of tomato plant sticks through bottom. Use moss, newspaper or coffee filters to hold tomato plant in place until the roots have grown enough to hold their own.
Fill container to within two inches of top with soil. Water and hang. Adding an extra bale of twine is a good idea to support the weight. Be sure whatever you hang from is stable and can withstand the weight of the tomato plant and soil.
This will be a great conversation piece for backyard get-togethers and provide ready snacks for your guests!