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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Triumphant Container Tomato

See that monstrously large tomato sitting right in front of my dining room window?  That's one of my experiments for the year, and, if things keep up, it may change the way I grow tomatoes.

This year, I decided to grow several tomatoes in containers to see if I could have success without the actual garden soil.  Last year, I ran a similar test, but I didn't get my container tomatoes in until around the first of June, which is about two weeks past the traditional planting date.

This year, I started seeds around the first of March and got them out into containers around the first of May.  That giant in the middle is a Cuor di Bue from saved seed.  It is in the process of out-growing a 4.5 food tomato cage, and that is including the fact that at least six to eight inches of stem are buried under soil to allow for extra root growth.  To compare, the container on the left of the photo shows some other healthy tomatoes grown from seed that are also taller than anything found in the garden, coming in at about 2.5 feet tall.  Everything in the garden is currently standing at about two feet tall.

As far as early production, my giant Cuor di Bue is also out in front.  When I took this picture about a half an hour before I wrote this post, I counted eight tomatoes the size of dimes or larger, including one that is about the size of a golf ball.  There are also a couple of dozen blossoms.  Compare this to the other container tomatoes, which are just now starting to show the smallest tomatoes, and the ones in the garden, which are heavy with blossoms but have not yet set fruit.

At the rate I'm going, I'm not sure if I'll have a tomato on the Fourth of July, but I'll be close.  And, if this works as well as it has so far, I'm seriously tempted to fill the back patio with containers for tomatoes and dedicate the garden to beans and cucumbers, both of which love it there.

Anyone have 30 large containers they can spare next year?
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