Hanging Tomato Plants - Pros and Cons of Hanging Tomatoes
Many people want to be a gardener but live in a place where they can't have a garden. Hanging tomato plants are a popular way for many people to have a tomato garden even in an apartment on a patio, or in a townhouse. Here's a look at the pros and cons of hanging tomato plants.
One of the biggest advantages of hanging tomatoes is the small amount of space needed. There's no real floor space taken up, so a balcony or patio works fine for these. But there are even advantages from the tomatoes point of view as well. Most of these advantages apply to both upside down tomatoes and traditional hanging tomato planters or even a freestanding planter like the upsidedown tomato garden.
Upside Down Tomato Planters
Pros of Hanging Tomato Plants
Early Tomatoes - Because the soil system is open on the sides on a hanging planter, it can warm much quicker than tomatoes planted in the ground. Depending on the area of the country, you can get tomatoes 2-4 weeks earlier than those put in the soil.
Very Few Weeds - Since the tomato's soil is in a hanger, the surface area is easy to weed and mulch. In fact, more than likely, by using a potting soil or a soilless mix there will be few native weed seeds to suppress.
Soil Borne Diseases - Once again, because of the soil choices, you can significantly cut down on the incidence of soil borne diseases on your plants. In addition, one way these infect the tomatoes is by the soil splashing up on the plants when they are watered. This is less likely with the plant hanging below the soil in the planter. Finally, the plants don't sprawl on the ground, but are hanging in the air, so there is better air circulation around the tomatoes as well.
No Tomato Cages or Stakes - Goes without saying, the plants simply hang down, and you don't have to wrestle with the whole support system of a cage or staking and tying.
Cons of Hanging Tomato Plants
Heavy to Hang - There is a lot of dirt in one of these planters. And after you add water they can get too heavy to carry or put up on a hanger. The best advice is to put just some of the soil in the bottom, hang the planter, and then add the remaining soil and then water thoroughly. If that's still too much weight, a great alternative is the upside down tomato garden, which is free standing and sits on the ground but still lets the tomatoes hang in the air, it's just not as high.
Watering - The size of the container has to be relatively small in order to be light enough to carry and hang. This means the root system is going to be smaller than a tomato plant that is in the ground. Add in the fact that the root system is exposed to evaporation on several sides, and the end result that in the warmer summer months there are times you may need to water daily to keep a hanging tomato plant going. A watering wand makes this process much easier.
Size of plants - One of the most common complaints is that the hanging tomatoes won't make it through the summer. The reality is that the smaller root system won't support a sprawling large tomato plant when it's really warm. In my experience, the best solution is to choose smaller determinant varieties that won't grow to be huge or that are made for hanging tomato planters. When you are trying to grow tomatoes on a balcony or patio, that's probably what you need anyhow.
Overall, we think that many gardeners will find that hanging tomato planters make a great addition to the tools they have to producing the best tomato crop they've had in years.
More Hubs on Tomato Gardening
- Upside Down Tomato Planters - Does Growing Upside Down Tomatoes Work?
Over the last few years it has become more and more common to try growing your tomatoes upside down. Here we take a look at advantages of growing tomatoes upside down, and a few of the more common approaches.
- Tomato Cages, Stakes or Trellises - Which Do You Prefer?
When planting tomatoes you should think ahead on how you will support the plant as it grows. It will have to support a good bunch of succulent fruits so you will need a support system.
- How to Grow Tomatoes on a Balcony
For many people the only way to grow outdoor tomatoes is the balcony. We look at the different ways to best use the limited space to grow tomatoes on a balcony
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