hanging basket tomatoes

jimfnc(7aNC)February 15, 2014

I've grown tomatoes in raised beds for many years. Have very limited sunny yard space and want to try a couple hanging container cherry/small toms. Lots of posts on various mixes for herbs/vegs. I'm looking for very specific info related to indeterminate tomatoes.
I do start all my own from seed.
Size of container?
soil mix?
self watering container versus drip
varieties? any larger roma or saladette size?
feeding schedule (mostly organic).
These will be hanging from roof eaves over raised beds or blueberry bushes with ability to lower the container.
Am going to try some other herb/vegs on containers on fence baskets. Thx.

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bcfromfl(z8a NW FL)

While it may be possible to keep a tomato plant "alive" in a hanging basket, especially if you don't allow it to dry out (which is a challenge during warmer months), the general consensus is that you just can't have a large enough container in that manner to be practical.

Some smaller, more compact varieties can be brought to limited production in 5-gallon containers, but larger indeterminates really require at least 15, preferably 20-gallon tubs. You can imagine the weight of a 5-gallon container, let alone trying to suspend from your eaves!


    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 2:52PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Start from seed? That will all depend on if you can find local transplants of the right varieties or not. Around here I don't find many but that could be totally different with whatever grower resources you might have.

Size of container - hanging baskets come in standard sizes - 10-12-14-16-18". The bigger the better and I's use the 16-18 and wouldn't go smaller than 14. Again, local resources will likely determine what is available to you unless you have access to a wholesale nursery supplier. But keep in mind that the bigger the container - and bigger will always be better - will mean weight that has to be suspended and it really becomes a matter of practicality.

That will also determine if you can get self-watering or not - most readily available ones are not. And truth be told most of the SWC hangers are excessively expensive don't hold enough water to make all that much difference anyway IMO. They still require at least daily watering and in your zone likely 2-3x a day just like here. So success in a container that small is problematic unless you stick with the very small plants.

Soil mix - same as for any container. A quality soil-less mix. No dirt, no potting 'soil'.

Feeding? At least weekly as the nutrients leach out every time you water. If using an organic then likely more often - some use a diluted organic liquid fert every time they water - as there will be no beneficial soil bacteria in the mix to digest and convert the organic nutrients to a form useable by the plants. Organic growing in a container is very different ballgame from organic growing in ground.

Varieties - any that are specifically bred for small container growing. But no, you won't be doing indeterminate varieties. Their name will often include things like dwarf or bush or container or tiny as part of the name. EX: Tiny Tim. Tumbling Tom, Totem, Baxter's Early Bush, Husky Red, Patio, New Big Dwarf, etc.

Some of the smaller determinate varieties will work with the bigger baskets - Halley, Sprite, Grape for example.

There are several discussions here about best varieties for containers and I'll see if I can pull some of them up for you but keep in mind that many of them are about much bigger containers than you are talking about.


This post was edited by digdirt on Sat, Feb 15, 14 at 15:14

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 3:09PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Ahh Bruce beat me to it I see. :)

Anyway here are links to just a few of the previous discussions about this issue.





Hope this helps. Don't mean to be discouraging, just realistic. Good luck.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 3:17PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

If I wanted to plant tomatoes in hanging basket, that had to be some small fruited cherry, with trusses of flowers/fruits, with ability to cascade/hang down. Indeterminants are better for this purpose. I can always trim the tips of new growth if needed. I did that once with a upside down basket. It could have been better with just a hanging basket.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 9:28PM
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I am hoping to try growing my red currant tomatoes in a hanging basket this year, just for fun. I found it kind of cumbersome in the garden with my big tomatoes last year but the foliage is so feathery and pretty, and with it hanging right by the door it will be easy to grab a handful and throw it on a salad. First hanging tomato attempt, so we will see how it goes.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 11:22AM
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