Tomato Plant Varieties for Container Growing
Written by Chris Eirschele
Each year more and more varieties of tomato plants appear, enabling container gardeners to grow tomatoes in their own garden. This collection of tomatoes will inspire any gardener to consider one to grow.
Tomato plants are designated as determinate or indeterminate vines. Determinate vines stop at a certain height and tomato fruit ripens at one time. Indeterminate means that the vines keep growing and will continually bear fruit until a hard frost kills the plant.
Tomatoes for Hanging Baskets
Most tomato plants able to grow in hanging baskets bear the cherry sized fruit. These tomatoes are a convenient plant for very small balcony gardens and provide an abundance of tomatoes for snacking and salads.
‘Basket Boy’ is a yellow cherry sized able to be harvested in 65 days.
‘Tumbler’ is a determinate plant that has been around a long time. The fruit can be harvested in 49 days making it one of the earliest for adding fresh tomatoes to the dinner table.
‘Chocolate Cherry,’ although a small tomato, is from an indeterminate plant. The fruit is an unusual chocolate red color.
Plum Tomatoes for Patio Pots
Plum or roma shaped tomatoes are often meaty making them useful for cooking, in addition to eating fresh. A larger sized pot, instead of a 10-inch hanging basket, would be a good choice to grow these plants.
‘Patio Princess’ is a determinate tomato plant that grows approximately 24” tall. The red fruit are 2 ½” – 3” in diameter and can be harvested in 65 – 68 days.
‘Fresh Salsa’ is a red tomato that bears 2 ½” – 3 ½” diameter fruit in 65 – 75 days. This plant is determinate.
Full Sized Tomatoes for Large Tubs
There is nothing like a large sliced tomato to top a grilled burger. For decks or patios that can hold the weight, large tub or barrel containers can grow full sized tomatoes.
‘Celebrity’ grows 7-ounce tomatoes. The fruit is crack resistant and can be harvested in 70 days. The plant is determinate.
‘Northern Exposure’ is also a determinate plant producing full sized tomatoes. Specifically hybridized for short cool season gardens found in northern states, the plants can be harvested in 67 days.
‘Lola’ is an indeterminate plant that grows 6’ – 12’ tall and requires staking. The extra large red fruit can be harvested in 80 days.
No longer do container gardeners need to settle for buying tomatoes at the store. These tomato varieties offer gardeners the ability to grow their own.