Growing tomatoes on a balcony is rewarding. Besides their flavor and culinary benefits, tomatoes can also serve as decorative features.
Here’s everything about growing tomatoes on a balcony! You don’t need a huge garden; all you need is a little space, some pots, and a sprinkle of patience. You can watch as tiny green buds transform into delicious tomatoes right in your own home. Curious to know how to grow tomatoes on a balcony? Read on!
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What Type of Tomatoes are Suitable for Balconies?
The good news is that all the tomato varieties are suitable for container gardening, but there are limitations, like you can’t grow tomato varieties that spread and become too tall (indeterminate ones) on your balcony.
The best idea is to choose determinate varieties of tomatoes that are locally available and grown successfully. For one, cherry tomatoes are extremely easy to grow, low care, and produce lots of fruits in a growing season. Besides, there are many other varieties available.
You can find varieties like beefsteak, Roma, or grape tomatoes. These are simple to cultivate and give you lots of tasty tomatoes. Check them out at seed shops or your local nursery, or buy them online!
Growing Tomatoes on a Balcony
1. Choosing a Container
Tomatoes on the balcony should be planted in well-drained, stable pots. Keep in mind that a large amount of fruit and stems can cause the toppling of plastic or other lightweight pots in the wind, so invest in a good balcony tomato planter.
Although the container size depends on the tomato variety you’re growing. But it should be a minimum of 12 inches deep and wide in diameter.
2. Picking the Right Soil
Plant tomatoes in fertile soil to ensure favorable growth. You can buy a potting mix or make your own. Obtain compost or well-rotted manure, garden soil, and gravel or expanded clay for preparation.
While preparing the soil, remember it should have to be well-drained, permeable, slightly acidic (pH 6-6.8), and loamy. Tomatoes don’t thrive well in heavy soil.
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3. Planting the Tomatoes on Balcony
Either buy potted plants from the nursery or prepare your own seedlings. Sow tomato seeds when the risk of frost passes and spring arrives.
If you live in a warm frost-free sub-tropical or tropical climate, you can plant and grow tomatoes year-round!
Seeds will germinate quickly within 5-10 days. Transplant them in containers when two real leaves form. Tomato seedlings should be planted deeply to the level of the first leaf to generate deep and additional roots and increase the collection of nutrients by the plant.
4. Pick out the Correct Spot
To grow tomatoes successfully on your balcony, choose a spot with plenty of sunlight. Tomatoes need at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight every day. Place your container where it gets the most sun, facing south or west.
Make sure the spot is stable and won’t easily tip over. Proper sunlight helps tomatoes grow healthy and tasty. And that’s it! Keep caring for your balcony grown tomatoes and relish them however you want.
Tomato Plant Care
Tomatoes are heavy feeders; even if you’ve already applied slow-release fertilizer, you’ll still need to feed them later. The best time to fertilize tomatoes on the balcony is when you’ll see a lot of foliage growth but fewer fruits or flowers in comparison or the time when the plant looks leggy and leaves turn yellow. Pay attention to the following.
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- Fertilize in less amount, but more often, it is the secret of high yield of tomatoes.
- Fertilize once a week or two according to the needs of your plant.
- Apply liquid fertilizers according to the packet instructions. Morning time is best.
- Be sure to choose a fertilizer with a higher content of potassium and phosphorus.
For those who appreciate organic vegetables, use natural fertilizers like well-rotted manure, compost, or bio-humus.
Tomatoes on the balcony constantly need moist soil as balconies remain windier than regular gardens. Regular watering of tomato plants is essential, even twice on a dry, windy day in summer in a hot climate.
Water tomatoes in a way that does not soak their leaves. Wet leaves are the leading cause of blight and other fungal diseases.
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Tips for Growing Tomatoes on Balcony
Here are some more tips that you can use to grow amazing tomato plants with ease.
- Remove suckers from time to time during growth as they drain the nutrition of plants and prevent fruiting and flowering.
- If you’re growing tall varieties, you’ll need to support them: use a cage or trellis; you can also tie them to the railings of your balcony.
- The best temperature for growing tomatoes is when it ranges between 50°F and 95°F (10°C and 35°C). Temperature below or above this is not very suitable for growing tomatoes.
Common Tomato Problems and Solutions
With a sunny spot, the right container, and a little care, you can enjoy the satisfaction of watching your tomatoes flourish. Remember, a bit of patience and regular attention go a long way. Roll up your sleeves, grab those pots, and start your balcony tomato adventure. Happy gardening!