How to grow your own tomatoes and saving space – Smart ideas and tips for growing in pots and planters
Everyone likes to eat fresh, ripe tomatoes from their own garden. No wonder they are by far the most popular vegetable in the garden. But tomatoes can grow into large plants, and many gardeners with limited space may feel reluctant to grow them in their small garden or patio. Don’t worry! With the right choice of variety and some creative growing techniques, you can grow tomatoes almost anywhere to save space. Whether in the garden or in tubs, on the balcony or terrace – in this article you will find some really clever ideas and tips on where to plant tomatoes.
Growing tomatoes despite lack of space
Nothing beats a freshly picked tomato. Store-bought vegetables just can’t compete with those from the garden. But if you live in an apartment or just have a small garden, you might think that growing your own vegetables is pipe dream. Luckily, growing vegetables in a small space can change all that. Our garden ideas for small spaces will have you harvesting your own tomatoes this summer.
Tips for growing tomatoes on the terrace and balcony
If you want to harvest tomatoes from your own cultivation in summer, you should sow the plants in the spring and bring them forward. After the ice saints (mid-May), the tomato plants that have been brought forward are allowed outside. Depending on the space available, you can decide for yourself whether you want to place the plants in beds, in buckets or pots. So what should you pay attention to when growing tomatoes in a limited space?
Find the right location
In order to find a suitable spot in the small garden or on the balcony, you should consider the lighting conditions. Light is one of the most important factors when growing vegetables in a small space. Tomatoes need six to seven hours of sunlight a day to thrive. However, they do not like full sun. A south-facing balcony with sun protection provides your plants with both direct and indirect light and is ideal if you want to save space when growing tomatoes. A narrow bed or narrow planters on the southern wall of the house would also be suitable.
Choosing the right varieties
If you don’t have a garden but only have limited space for a pot or two, consider growing dwarf varieties. Older tomato varieties like ‘Patio Hybrid’ only grow to a height of one meter but only bear fruit for a short time. Luckily there are newer cultivars like ‘Miniboy’, ‘Lizzano’ and ‘Window Box’ that bear fruit all season long without becoming huge plants. This makes them perfect for buckets. If you are really short on space, you can try planting the tomatoes upside down. This works perfectly with dwarf strains.
Grow tomatoes vertically
While dwarf varieties don’t need supports to stay upright, all other tomato varieties do. If you grow the plants in tubs or in a raised bed, you will need stakes, trellis or special tomato columns. The tomato plants are attached to the supports with plant ties. This also saves space by keeping the plants wedged and keeping the fruit off the ground to prevent rot. If you are growing more than one strain, you can use different colored plant ties to keep track of the different strains.
Which planter to choose?
Choosing the right container is important when growing tomatoes in pots. The pots should not be too big – a capacity of 7 to 12 liters is sufficient. They should also have good drainage to avoid waterlogging and root rot.
Plastic pots and large plastic containers with the necessary drainage holes in the bottom work perfectly. The choice of container also depends on which varieties you want to plant.
For medium-sized tomatoes (height 40 – 100 cm), a container of 7 – 8 liters is sufficient.
Undetermined varieties with a growth height of 1.5 – 2 meters require pots with a larger volume – approx. 10 – 12 liters. You can plant low-growing tomatoes (height 20-40 cm) in wide plastic containers with a volume of 7-10 liters.
Hanging varieties require 4-7 liter hanging pots and baskets. However, it depends on the species. If the greens of the plant are large, then you need a fairly large container.
Growing mixed crops saves space
To save space in the raised bed, plant large tomato varieties a meter apart and plant fast-ripening vegetables like lettuce and radishes between the tomato plants instead of keeping them in their own bed or container. Lettuce and radishes will ripen in about 30 days, well before the tomatoes are big enough to shade the area. Also, you don’t have to weed the space between the tomatoes because that’s where you grow food too.
Clever ideas on where to plant tomatoes to save space
Want to try growing your own tomatoes in the city or in your small garden yourself this year? Then find a suitable place on the balcony or terrace and plant the popular vegetables in tubs, pots or in a small raised bed. Be inspired by the following ideas. Because tomatoes can be grown without any problems even in a small space.