How to Grow Tomatoes (videos)

Container tomatoes - here are some important elements for growing container tomatoes:

Sun. Container tomatoes, like those in the garden, need at least 6-8 hours of sunshine a day to produce a worthwhile harvest. If you grow them indoors, put them where they'll get maximum sunshine, moving the container from window to window if you must.

The Best Varieties. Dwarf varieties are the best ones to grow in containers. If you're trying container growing for the first time, try a cherry patio type such as Tiny Tim or Pixie II. They need little support (or you can let them trail from a hanging container) and they'll produce very early.

Planting. For fall pot plantings, take six- to eight-inch suckers or "slips" from tomato plants in the garden (smaller varieties preferred), set them in a deep pot and water heavily for a day or two. They'll root in one to two weeks and start growing soon afterwards. When you bring these pots or baskets indoors and give them a sunny home, you can extend the tomato harvest for many weeks.

Fertilizer. Tomatoes need quite a big food supply over the season -- they're what we call "heavy feeders." Mix a small amount of soluble, balanced fertilizer into the plants' water every week or so. Tomatoes like regular feedings of small amounts of fertilizer rather than infrequent, large doses. Side-dress tomato plants initially when the first clusters of fruit have formed and every 2-3 weeks thereafter. Two cupfuls of 5-10-10 or its equivalent are generally adequate for 20 plants.

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