9 Tips for Growing Tasty Tomatoes in Pots on Your Patio

Your Patio Garden of fresh Tomatoes will thrive this spring.

You don’t need a big yard, a lot of time, or experience to enjoy freshly harvested tomatoes.  With the right container, custom blended soil that provides your tomatoes just what they need to grow, some sunshine, and water you can grow the most popular summer “fruit” right on your patio. Like all tomatoes, tomatoes grown on your patio need 5-6 hours of full sun every day, should have plenty of room for root development, and should be easily moved if inclement weather, like a late frost is in the forecast. 

Gardenuity has brought together advice from experts across the country to make this season your best season of growing tomatoes. Here are 8 essential tips for having a successful growing season.

1. Growbags are great containers for your patio tomatoes. All of the Gardenuity gardens are designed to grow in our double-stitched growbags with handles. Designed by Craig Harmer with the needs of the plants in mind as well as the realities of how we all live today. The benefit of growing tomatoes in grow bags are many- a few of these benefits include:

  • Grow Bags move around easily and are space-efficient.
  • Tomatoes need 6-8 hours of sunshine every day and Grow Bags can be moved around to follow the sun.
  • Weather challenges often arise and if the weather is going to be too cold or too hot you can easily move your Grow Bag garden inside. (Plus, growing with Gardenuity means we track the weather for you and will send you weather alerts as needed)
  • Grow Bags will naturally provide good drainage.
  • Grow Bags provide optimal airflow for the roots of your tomato plants and the healthier the roots are the more tomatoes you will have to harvest.
  • Plus, the Grow Bag is the ideal addition to your porch, patio, or balcony.  Pull up a chair and let the experience of watching your tomato garden thrive be good for your overall well-being.

2. Select the right tomato. There are two categories of tomatoes, determinate and indeterminate.

  • Determinate tomatoes will set their flowers and produce fruit all at once.  They are generally more compact plants. Indeterminate tomatoes are vining tomatoes that will produce fruit over the entire growing season. Both varieties grow well in containers and Grow Bags specifically.

3. Use the soil that is best suited for your tomato plants. Use a loose soil that easily allows the roots to freely grow and helps moisture and air penetrate down to them. 

Soil needs several specific nutrients and minerals to support healthy tomato growth. These include:

  • Nitrogen (N) – essential for foliage growth and overall plant development
  • Phosphorus (P) – important for root development, flower formation, and fruit production.
  • Potassium (K) – aids in overall plant health, disease resistance, and fruit quality
  • Calcium (Ca) – necessary for cell wall structure and preventing disorders like blossom end rot.
  • Magnesium (Mg) – important for chlorophyll production and overall plant energy
  • Sulfur (S) – essential for amino acid and protein production
  • Iron (Fe) – necessary for chlorophyll formation and overall plant health
  • Manganese (Mn) – plays a role in photosynthesis, enzyme activation, and nutrient uptake.
  • Zinc (Zn) – needed for several enzyme functions and overall plant health.
  • Copper (Cu) – important for several enzymatic reactions and overall plant growth

4. Plant your tomato plant deeply. When you are planting your tomato plant, any variety, remove the bottom sets of leaves, and dig a hole twice the depth of the nursery pot your tomato plant came in. You want to bury most of the plant because the tomato plant will produce roots along the buried part of its stem, this creates a strong, robust root system.

5. Hydrate your garden consistently. Water in the morning to provide hydrating to the plant all day and ensure the foliage dries out. Remember to water the soil, not the foliage of the plant. If temperatures in your area are over 90 degrees, you may need to water your garden twice a day. If your tomato plant is under hydrated it will wilt and the tomatoes could develop blossom end rot.

6. Keep your soil fed, the soil will feed your plants. Tomatoes are heavy feeders, so remember to keep your soil thriving. Weekly feedings will help with consistent growth as nutrients are readily available.

7. Harvest and enjoy. Most tomato plants will be ready for their first harvest in 60-90 days. You will get the best flavor when you allow your tomatoes to ripen on the vine. 

8. Support your tomatoes with stakes. Some tomatoes will benefit from added support. As the fruit gets heavier on the vine it is a good idea to tether them to stakes. We are big fans of twine.

9. If you have critters like squirrels who enjoy your tomatoes, try mixing together paprika and chili powder and sprinkling it on the topsoil.  

Growing tomatoes on your patio is not only good for producing delicious and nutritious fruit, but it is also beneficial for our overall well-being. There are several reasons why growing tomatoes can contribute to our physical and mental health.

Firstly, gardening in general has been proven to reduce stress and improve mental wellbeing. The act of nurturing and tending to plants can provide a sense of accomplishment and purpose, which can boost mood and reduce anxiety. Additionally, spending time outdoors and getting fresh air and sunlight while gardening can also improve mental health.

Tomatoes themselves are packed with essential nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants, which are important for supporting a healthy immune system and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Consuming homegrown tomatoes free from pesticides and other chemicals can also contribute to a healthier diet.

Growing tomatoes can have a positive impact on our physical and mental health. The act of gardening can reduce stress and improve mental well-being, while the nutritious fruits of the labor can contribute to a healthier diet and overall physical well-being.

Let this be your invitation to try growing the favorite fruit of the season, wherever you live, work, and play.