Many of my friends live in apartments and condos with little real estate to have a garden besides a patio or a sunny window sill. Just because you don’t have a large backyard doesn’t mean you can’t have your own fresh herbs or produce. Container gardening allows you to plants many of the items you would grow in the yard, such as tomatoes. It is easy, fun and gives you that feeling of accomplishment in knowing that you created this from the ground up (or in some cases, down). No matter how small the space the key ingredient is the sun.
When you pick a spot to have your tomato garden consider an area that gets sun at least half of the day. Once you have picked a winning area you need to decide what you want to plant. There are many different types of tomatoes that are used in varieties of dishes. Do you pick Plum tomatoes for the large size and thin skin? Cherry tomatoes that can be plucked of the vine and popped in your mouth or included in a delicious summer salad? Compari tomatoes for their delicious sweetness? There are also Heirloom tomatoes, the open-pollinated (non-hybrid) variety which are becoming more and more popular. For a list of Heirloom cultivars check out the plant’s wikipedia page.
Some things to keep in mind when planting:
– Avoid planting before you know there will be freezing/frosty temperatures
– The leaves of tomato plants can be poisonous if consumed in large quantities, keep this in mind when choosing an area to keep them if you have small children or curious pets.
– Tomatoes take about 70 days to grow
– Read the labeling on your plants/seeds as specific types of tomato require specific growing needs.
This website is quite informative when it comes to container gardening.
Tomatoes are a healthy, fresh and nutritious way to keep your heart healthy and pack in your daily anti-oxidant intake (along with a glass of your favorite vino!). If you didn’t have enough time or the inclination to get going on your indoor/outdoor gardening this year, the Royal City Farmers Market is a wonderful place to pick up a bunch of these ripe and red disease fighting fruits.