The name – patio tomatoes says it all. They are designed to grow easily on small containers and at placed perfectly on your home’s patio, balcony or even deck. They are dwarf in nature and grow only up to 2 feet tall with dense foliage. They come with a determinate nature as they deliver rich fruits in a close manner even though they are compact in nature. A perfect fit for any home, patio hybrid tomato plants yield relatively big fruits giving 3-4 ounces a tomato.
So, if you are planning to grow patio tomatoes, here are some of the things you should keep in mind.
The base of gardening method, make sure you take a loose soil that is rich in nutrients. Potting soil are the best but you can create your own soil if you want. You can use fine mulch combined with perlite or peat moss that will give a good drainage. The base soil must be dark and moist such as compost or humus. At the end of the day make sure it looks like a healthy potting soil.
An average time to grow patio tomatoes is around 65 – 70 days from the date of planting. If you are planning on a short growing season then make sure you have got the seeds from the nursery by May. If the place you live is warm enough then you can start planting the seeds from April. Note that they need a stable night temperature of 55oF so that you will see good results by July and can make the harvest by September.
Making the move:
When you are growing patio tomato plants, you need a good amount of natural sunlight and rainfall. Make sure your patio is well lit and has not much roof which will block the daylight or rain. Pick a container that is at least one foot wide. Dig a good amount of hole and soak the hole with water. Now put the soil that came with the seedling and cover it properly. Make sure the base is firm and include organic fertilizer by which plants can derive good benefits.
Just like any other plants growing on pots, you need to water the patio tomatoes frequently. The reason is unlike garden tomatoes, the plants absorb water that is limited to the pots. This can easily dry up during summer season. So make sure you water them frequently. If there is rain, you need not worry. Also make sure you place the patio tomato plants in proper level of sunlight. Adding nutrients such as lime will increase the growth of tomato plants.
The best time to pick the patio tomatoes are when they are absolutely firm to touch and deliver good red color. In hot weathers, make sure you keep an eye on your plants as they can go soft and ripe easily. If you are growing many patio tomato plants, you may have to harvest almost everyday. Of course, if you are getting yields more than expected, tomato sauce is always a best option so that you can enjoy it later on. If you see a winter season nearing, pluck all the mature green tomatoes too and bring them indoors. Wrap them neatly in a brown paper or newspaper and store it in a dark place where they are not exposed to any kind of light. By next month, you will find ripe tomatoes ready to be devoured.
Avoid diseases or rodents attack:
With proper caring, you can avoid any kind of diseases that attack your patio tomato plants. All you have to do is ensure they are fed properly with water, soil and nutrients not to mention they are drained correctly. If at all you find any pests, remove them and wash the plants. If at all, you notice any yellow color or spots, make sure you cut the diseased area immediately. A balanced fertilizer goes a long away. Many brands such as Humboldt Nutrients can really work on your plants and give effective results.