Already nervous about potted tomatoes this summer

MojaveLove(5 - IL)February 28, 2011

I know it's a bit early to be thinking about this but to be honest, I've been thinking about it for months lol

I am going to try to grow a tomato plant in a container this summer. I used to help my dad with vegetables and such when I was a kid but that was in-ground. I didn't realize how many variables there are with tomatoes in containers. I don't have the option of in-ground.

My main concern right now is finding the right tomato. I live in the most optimal place to find tomato seedlings (Midwest, lost of nurseries around, middle of nowhere) so variety isn't a concern. Last year my dad had an issue with the tomatoes cracking. I think it was because of drought or lots of heat. This concerns me because the place these plants would be gets about 12 hours of full, hot, scorching sun. Pretty much from sun-rise (530ish) until a few hours before sunset (630ish) the patio gets full, unobstructed sun. The plants I helped take care of when a kid had shade some parts of the day. Will this extreme sun be ok, or do I just need to hunt for extremely hardy types?

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Tomatoes love the sun, but you might want to take steps to try to keep soil temperatures down. I often use other containers or a piece of white FRP panel a little taller than the containers to shade the soil from south or west sun.

Knowledge is knowing that tomatoes are a fruit.

Wisdom is knowing enough not to put them in fruit salad.


Here is a link that might be useful: More about cracked fruit

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 5:50PM
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MojaveLove(5 - IL)

Thanks! That was another thing I was worrying about, cooked roots!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 9:11AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

My container tomatoes last year was not up to par due to not enough sunshine. I am moving them this year to what I hope will be as much sun as I can get. My tomatoes are in EarthTainers but it is still a concern about soil temperatures,which I will address. Al

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 9:36AM
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Could you rig up one of those large and lovely patio umbrellas to give your container and tomato some relief from the worst of the heat? Otherwise, you're welcome to some of my many trees. I struggle to find enough sunshine to grow my plants.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 2:17PM
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I grew some cherry tomatoes on my balcony last year, had a little bit of cracking, but not a lot, that mostly happened when we had a series of 90+ degree days here(Ohio). My balcony has sunshine a good part of the day(its l-shaped), but I have an overhang/roof so it keeps it from getting too hot.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 7:05PM
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What size are your containers? 5 gal., or larger? That would be essential in determining the variety to grow.

In 5 gal. containers, I would only grow the dwarf, determinate, possibly a semi-determinate if I had to. Indeterminates would definitely need a larger container, and some unruly determinates need a 20 gal.+ size container.

If you don't yet know what variety you want to grow, what type do you want to grow, e.g., slicing, cherry or grape, paste, saladette, etc.?


    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 9:30AM
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