Tomato Plants with Flowers: 24/1/14

Tomato Plants with Flowers: 24/1/14

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Question by Bird N: how many tomato plants can i put in a big container?
i’ve sprouted some tomato plants. should i put one tomato plant in the middle or like 2 or three spread out. The container will be a relatively big container (several gallons). I’m also using determinate tomato plants.

Best answer:

Answer by pondlady
You can probably put two in, but even determinates get pretty big, so it depends on the size of your pot.

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  1. one per pot…. and the pot needs to be at least as big as a five gallon bucket or larger, like a half barrel…. the roots of a tomato can be seven ft long…. you can’t cram all that in too small of a pot and expect the plant to grow nicely……

  2. they should be about 40 cm (16 inches) apart.

  3. Your best to plant one per pot as they grow quite big like sunflowers do, and they draw a lot of water and nutrients from the soil medium. By experimenting with roma and gross lissie tomatoes I’ve found that they flower and fruit more as they cascade down a garden arch. This could be due to the sap running downhill to the plants tips. Hope you have a bumper harvest.

  4. If the several gallon container is five gallons or more you should put one plant per container. Standard determinate tomato plants require at least that size, preferably larger, to grow and produce well. You can get by with smaller pots only if you are growing patio types or some varieties of cherry tomatoes.

  5. There is long-running debate on this question. There was an experiment done to find out the minimum quantity of soil required to grow a quality crop of tomatoes in containers. In the experiment three quantities of standard soil mix — 4 cubic feet, 2 cubic feet, and 1/2 cubic foot — were tried. “Better Boy” tomatoes were planted in three different sized containers in the same soil mix and all were watered and fertilized in the same way. Only the soil volume varied.

    After 45 days the plants were compared. The major difference was in the height of the plants. The plants in the 1/2 cubic foot containers were definitely smaller. After 90 days the plants were measured again and the result clearly showed that the largest container had the tallest plant, 20% more tomatoes than the next largest container, and 500% more fruit than the smallest.

    All that is an indirect way to say that you should put one tomato plant in your container unless your container is unusually large.

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