Want to know How to Grow so Many Tomatoes in so Little Space? We have the best tricks to help you harvest the juiciest tomatoes more!
Here are the best tips on How to Grow so Many Tomatoes in so Little Space and enjoy a fresh harvest even if you don’t have a garden!
How to Grow so Many Tomatoes in so Little Space
1. Mind the Time
Don’t start the plants too early before the season unless you live in a warm climate. Otherwise, your tomato plants will be exposed to unexpected late frost and cold temperatures.
The best planting time is when the temperature starts to stay above 50 F (10 C). Also, provide the sunlight, as much sun as possible. The logic is simple–the more your tomato plant will soak the sunlight, the sooner it will establish and fruit.
2. Plant them Right
Unlike all other plants, tomatoes must be planted deeply. Deep planting encourages a healthy and strong root system.
At the time of planting, cover the bottom 2/3 part of your tomato seedling with potting soil. For example, if your plant is 10 inches high, leave only 3 or 4 inches of its height from the top. While doing this, don’t forget to remove the lower leaves.
3. Pick the Right Variety
Grow determinate varieties of tomatoes if you’re short of space or growing tomatoes in containers. Determinate tomatoes don’t grow too tall or wide (generally, 3 to 4 feet).
Both hybrid and heirloom cultivars are available in it!
Growing indeterminate tomatoes in a small space can be a mistake, most of the cultivars can easily grow above 5 to 6 feet tall and spread a lot, thus require strong support by caging or staking.
On the other hand, the determinate type of tomatoes requires slight support.
4. Provide Space
Space your tomato plants well, 14-18 inches apart. Ideally, you should leave the space of 24 inches if possible. Tomato plants grown too close are prone to fungal diseases and are less productive.
On a small balcony, you can even grow smaller varieties more closely. Consider cherry tomatoes. But remember, tomatoes growing too tightly require more attention: More fertilizer, water, and pruning.
5. To Prune or Not to Prune
Pruning is not necessary for determinate tomatoes unless plants are grown too close. Prune tangling branches that are blocking the airflow and penetration of the sun.
Also, remove suckers (emerging stems) up to 6-8 inches under each plant. This will improve the productivity of the plant. You can also propagate suckers to grow new plants!
6. Choose a Right Pot
Use large pots or grow bags to grow tomatoes. You can also house them in a 5 to 7-gallon pot that is 12 to 14 inches deep for a single plant of determinate variety.
For an indeterminate type, choose a bigger container. The container should be deep, a minimum of 14 inches is necessary, but a little more would be better.
7. Water the Plants in a Correct Manner
When growing tomatoes in a container, regular watering is essential. Watering must be done in the morning. Almost every day or two in summer. In the hot climate, you may even need to water twice a day.
Avoid overhead watering. Wetting the foliage is a bad practice as wet leaves and stems are more prone to diseases.
8. Feed the Plants
The deficiency of calcium promotes blossom end rot in tomatoes. It is an essential element in the uptake of nutrients. Calcium also saves the plant from heat stress and affects fruit quality.
At the time of planting, place 2-3 crushed chicken eggshells in the bottom. This will provide a constant supply of minerals and calcium to the plant.
Sprinkle some bonemeal at the time of planting, especially if your soil lacks calcium. Bonemeal will also provide a slow and steady supply of phosphorus to the plant. It is an organic product that consists of a higher amount of phosphorus and calcium.
9. Grow them Vertically
You can easily train the tomatoes to grow vertically, which is the best method to enjoy a fresh harvest in a limited space. For this, you’ll have to use a trellis or a support system.
Our editor found Sungold, Blondkopfchen, Black Cherry, and Gardeners Delight the best for vertical growing.
Similarly, you can also grow them in hanging baskets to save space. Grow Tiny Tim, Red Robin, Celano Hybrid, and Whippersnapper for plenty of harvest.
Some Quick Tips to Grow Best Tomatoes
- Caging needs more space, so instead of it, support tomatoes by stacking. If you are growing tomatoes on a balcony, consider tying them up to the railing.
- Don’t grow tomatoes upside down. It is a fancy idea but not a practical one. However, you can grow tomatoes (cherry tomatoes) in hanging baskets.
- Use soilless potting mix for a better result. You can buy it or make your own following the recipes here.
- Soil pH matters. The ideal pH for tomatoes is around 6 – 6.8. Slightly acidic to neutral!
- Add worm castings, well-rotted manure or vermicompost to the soil to enrich it. You can also put worms in the soil.
- Use Epsom salt for tomatoes. To know why and how–check out our article.
- Once a month, fertilize the plant with liquid seaweed, compost, or manure tea.
- Mulch your tomato plants; it is essential. For mulching, use organic matter, crushed eggshells, coffee grounds, or used tea leaves.