Sunday, April 27, 2014

Compact tomatoes for small spaces and pots

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tomatoes are the favorite vegetable to grow in the US.  There is nothing like a fresh off the vine tomato!  If you do not have much space, but would still love to grow your own, there are compact tomatoes you can grow in small spaces or in a big pot.

Here are some compact types:
Balcony, Black Pearl, BushSteak, Bush Early Girl, Early Girl Hybrid, Italian Ice, Honeybunch, Sweetheart of the Patio, Patio Princess, Tumbling Tom, Cherry Punch, Cherry Cascade, Elfin, Micro-Tom, Patio-F, Red Robin, Sprite, Tiny Tim, Tumbling Tiger, Cordova, Nova, Lizzano, Better Boy Bush, Husky Red, Better Bush.

Look for descriptions like "bush", "compact", "patio", "container" in the description on the seed packet or tags of transplants.  There are new varieties that come out every year.  Burpee also has new last year a little picture on their seed packet of a clay pot with a checkmark in it to denote that this variety can be grown in a pot.

This year, we planted all bush types because they did so well last year in our small garden.  We got as many slicer tomatoes on the compact varieties as we had the full size heirlooms we have previously planted.  I am also trying two compact cherry tomato plants this season.

We are replanting Bush Early Girl (only 54 days till ripe tomatoes), Patio, Husky Red, while trying a heirloom Lizzano and Tumbling Tom.  Typically, you can expect to have your first ripe tomatoes around the 4th of July.

The time to plant is when all danger of frost has passed (I planted ours this week).  When you plant, plant deeply, be sure to add compost, a complete fertilizer and bone meal (combats blossom end rot).  You can use wall of water, a cloche or other covering to get a kick start on the growing season.

For more detailed information on growing tomatoes, see my previous blog:

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