Growing Tomatoes in Hanging Baskets
Hanging Basket and Container Gardening For Beginners
This is a guide to growing fruit and vegetables in hanging baskets and containers for complete beginners. I had never properly grown fruit or vegetables before and my experience of using hanging baskets extended to flowers only but growing tomatos and strawberries in hanging baskets was so easy, I decided to share my experience.
This article is written to encourage the absolute beginner to get out in their garden and learn to grow stuff. Gardening can be an incredibly rewarding and relaxing experience and I highly recommend it!
I have learnt something valuable over the last three months about gardening and growing stuff - firstly, I really like it and secondly, for the most part, it's very easy to do.
I can't underestimate the role played by my dad (who has his own garden allotment) and best of all, the internet which is full of useful gardening advice.
Planting Cherry Tomatoes in a Hanging Basket
Cherry Tomato Seeds
Cherry tomatoes are an ideal plant for container and hanging basket gardening and there are several varieties which do well in containers and hanging baskets.
- Hundreds and Thousands - a prolific variety producing small, sweet red tomatoes, delicious straight off the plant. It needs very little coddling and looking after. Plant seeds in seed trays and germinate on a sunny windowsill or greenhouse. You won't get thousands but you have a good chance of getting a few hundred fruits if you feed once a week with something like Tomorite. They do well if planted with lobelia or marigolds, they keep the greenfly off!
- Tumbling Toms - this is the variety of tomato pictured in my video, very prolific again and also available in a yellow variety, sweet, small and juicy. Seeds do well in following years if you save them.
- Maskotka - not as prolific as some other varieties but has excellent flavour so well worth a try in a sunny spot.
- Garden Pearl - an unusual heart shaped tomato which is vigorous in growth and has lots of flavour. It is quite a fleshy tomato so quite nice as an accompaniment to cheese!
- Balconi Red -a tomato variety that probably does better in a long container than a hanging basket unless you can use something to support it but it has really good flavour and has prolific growth.
GET STUFF FOR FREE
In the UK we have a network of sites called 'Freecycle', maybe your part of the world have something similar.
Basically, its a place online where people recycle stuff for free; usually by OFFERING or TAKING items on the boards.
Freecycle can be a great place to pick up stuff for your gardening fun.
Seeds are often offered as are things you can use as containers.
It is well worth joining a freecycle site if there is one near you.
It might be possible to start gardening for more or less no outlay at all.
Container Gardening - What You Need
Well, I have learnt a lot of interesting stuff from my hopping around the internet and I didn't want to spend too much money on this new hobby.
In this article, I am going to show you how to plant cherry tomatoes in hanging baskets.
This is a good place to start if you want to have a go at growing fruit (or vegetable depending on your opinion!) which is pretty easy to grow from seed and is a prolific cropper - you will get lots of fruit from very little effort or cost.
I am using a hanging basket to grow my cherry tomatoes but there are lots of things you can use as containers.
One thing I discovered was that pretty much anything can be used as a container if you put your mind to it :-
- · Old tyres - either piled on top of one another and filled with compost or with the tyre split and folded out to make a rubbery container
- · Carrier Bags - really! The best ones are the ones you have to buy at M & S for 5p each.
- · Guttering - the cheap plastic stuff, fill a length of it with strawberry plants and hang on a wall.
- · Hanging baskets - more expensive but certainly more decorative.
- · Baskets - try your local greengrocer or look in your loft.
- · Pots/Buckets - I use plastic ones and buy the buckets from Morrisons from their flower stand where they sell them for 99p for 8 - bargain!
- · Empty soda bottles - check out the video below. Strawberries do very well in soda bottles.
- · Old bathtub - if someone is replacing theirs, ask for their old one, they make great planters.
- · Watering can - very pretty, especially the metal ones.
- · Empty tin cans - bigger the better and you can decorate them if you see fit.
- Shoe Rack - yup, those plastic ones that you buy to house your many pairs of shows and sneakers which hang on the back of a door - brilliant for growing seedlings or as a herb garden.
On the face of it, I could start my gardening adventure with very little outlay.
For my cherry tomatoes planting adventure, I splashed out on some really nifty hanging baskets with clip in insertion grids, I got them on ebay.co.uk and I can't praise ebay highly enough when it comes to gardening supplies; the hanging baskets were very cheap and I got some really cheap plants as well.
For Beginners - What Else Is Easy To Grow?
I have spent the sum total of £15 for compost and seeds, here is what I am growing this year:-
Onions - Red and Brown
Peppers (don't expect to get many in the UK, not hot enough but they are very tall already)
Chilli Peppers (as above).
I started all of the seeds off on my kitchen windowsill and moved them into bigger containers as more sets of leaves grew. Eventually, once the risk of frost has passed, everything can be moved outside
You can get free tomato seeds on Dolmio's Website at the moment!
So what's stopping you? It's fun and it can cost very little with a little bit of imagination.
Thanks for reading!
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