Growing tomatoes in a hanging basket is both visually appealing and practical. Whether you have limited garden space or want to add to the aesthetics of your living space, a hanging garden is a simple task anyone can do.
Hang the Basket
Hanging the basket is the simplest part of the process. There are baskets made specifically for hanging plants, but you can also use any basket that looks suitable. The basket should be as deep as possible to allow the roots plenty of room to grow. To hang it, affix a hook in a sunny area using the appropriate amount of chain or wire that reaches the desired height. Along with the basket, remember to buy a liner to hold the potting mix.
Select a Tomato and Plant It
Selecting the right type of tomato is key because you want a determinate plant. A determinate tomato plant has shallow roots and is better suited for a basket. The Tomato Tumbler is bred with hanging baskets in mind. Other varieties include Window Box Roma and Micro Tom. Rather than directly planting seeds in the basket, consider buying pre-grown seedlings or begin growing the seeds indoors in early Spring. This prevents young plants from being scorched by the summer heat. Don't use garden soil in your basket. In a hanging basket, there is limited moisture, so the garden soil dries out quickly. Instead, find a potting mix, or produce your own. Plant the seedling deeply to encourage quick root growth.
Sun Your Tomato Plant
Hang the plant in the right environment. A tomato plant needs six to eight hours a day of sunlight. Rotate the plant periodically if it is partially shaded. If the Spring nights are still cool, bring the baskets inside until the next morning. Try to bring the plant in on rainy days, especially if it rains frequently or throughout the day. Frequent watering washes out important nutrients for your tomato plants.
Care for the Tomato Plant Daily
Check the moisture of the potting mix on a daily basis. A suspended plant can't draw moisture from surrounding soil, causing it to dry more easily. You should not need to water more than once a day, unless the days are particularly dry. In addition to watering, nourish the plant with tomato fertilizer.
Extend the Harvest
Although determinate tomato plants are ideal for growing in baskets, they stop growing once fruit develops. If you plan to plant more than one, or want to grow plants throughout Spring, stagger the planting. You can also plant indeterminate tomato plants, but their constant growth will eventually place stress on the hanging basket.