How to Grow Tomatoes in a Pot
The tomato is one of the most consumed fruits worldwide, and although it is not an expensive product, in some countries one kilo can have a very high cost. Therefore, there are people who choose to grow their own tomatoes at home, a very good option that will not take long if we pay attention to some aspects.
Tomatoes, contrary to what many think, are fruits and they can be eaten both raw and fried, in juices, sauces or cooked, adding flavor and health benefits. Although a tomato crop is not a complicated task when we do it on a small scale, you should take into account a number of things that the process involves. Therefore, we explain on OneHowTo.com how to grow tomatoes in a pot step by step easily, so that you can consume your own tomatoes no matter how small your terrace or garden is.
First, you should know that there are two varieties of tomatoes:
- Determinate. This is a more compact and bushy plant that does not need pruning and that has limited growth, so it is ideal to grow tomatoes in a pot. This type of tomato is the one we'll use this time. They are perfect when you have little space and are known as cherry tomatoes, of a smaller size. These tomatoes will bear fruit at once, so we we need to harvest them all in one go.
- Indeterminate. These tomatoes are the most typical, they have a somewhat smaller size to that of a tennis ball, and their growth is unlimited, so it will require more space and more care. The plant will give you tomatoes throughout the season.
The proper pot. Before planting our tomatoes, we need to to get hold of the pot in which we'll deposit the seeds.
- This must have at least 30 cm diameter and be 30 cm deep although it is best to have a depth of about 45 cm. This also depends on the space you have available, but the bigger, the better.
- Avoid heavy material pots, since it will be hard to move, so it is best to opt for a lighter clay pot.
- It is advisable to place a plate below the pot so that the water we use during watering is then safely deposited.
- It is necessary that the pot makes drainage easy, since otherwise the plant can accumulate too much water. Therefore, the pot should have holes in the bottom.
Please note, that you should sow all the seeds in one pot the first time, but once germinated and once you have small plants, we should transplant them individually in different pots.
Get the seeds. You can choose to buy the seeds in a garden center, or if you prefer you can extract some from the tomatoes you have at home. If you choose the second option, make sure it is a determinate tomato, i.e. which has limited growth, since you're planting it in a pot. Follow these instructions:
- Open a ripe tomato and extract the seeds.
- Introduce them in a colander and add water by removing the remains of fruit that are attached.
- Once the seeds are free of any remaining tomatoes, we put them on paper towels to absorb water until they are completely dry.
When should I plant the seeds?
In the case of determinate tomatoes, the time when the seeds should be planted is early spring, since the temperatures do not drop below 11 degrees, and tomatoes do not support lower temperatures for growth. This is one of the conditions to learn how to plant tomatoes in a pot.
Planting the seeds. Once we already have the seeds that will give us our future tomatoes and the proper planting pot, we can proceed to plant our tomatoes.
- Fill the pot with earth-which should be bought at a gardening center- leaving about 5 cm free.
- Toil the ground by hand and spread the seeds on the surface leaving certain distance between them so they can grow properly.
- Press the seeds against the earth to partially sink them in and add about 5 cm of earth, pressing it down to make it compact.
- Water the earth abundantly, cover the pot to retain moisture with a transparent film and place it in a warm place where it can receive sunlight.
- Now we just wait until the first buds start to sprout, making sure that the plant always has adequate moisture -the earth must always be humid but avoid it getting waterlogged.
Transplantation. It is advisable to transplant the tomato plant when the buds reach 6-8 cm. Place each plant in a single pot to ensure they grow properly.
- Water the pot so it is then easier to extract the plants without any roots breaking.
- Prepare the different pots in which we'll sow the tomatoes, which are now small shoots.
- Take a tool to help remove each plant with one hand holding the stem and use the other to help the shovel from underneath, pressing slightly upward.
- Put the plant in its new pot ensuring that most of the stem is inside the pot and cover with soil.
- Abundantly water the pots.
Care when planting tomatoes in a pot.
- Prevent the soil from drying up. Note that the hotter it is, the more watering the tomato plant needs.
- Try to detect the presence of any nasty pests that may endanger the plant. In this article we give some home remedies for pest control.
- In winter, the plant will need a greater amount of sunshine, while in summer we must avoid prolonged exposure to the sun.
- Do not place the plant in a place where it could be battered and abused by the wind.
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