ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Grow Tomatoes on a Balcony

Updated on July 20, 2022
johnr54 profile image

Gardening of all types appeals to me. It soothes my soul and helps me forget about anything else but my connection to the earth.


Balcony Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables to grow in any type of garden. After you grow and consume a home grown tomato, it will be difficult for you to purchase tomatoes at the grocery store since they don't come anywhere close to the taste and texture of your own home grown product.

For many people today the idea of an in-ground garden is not feasible. For those living in an apartment, condominium, or a townhouse, there is no place to put a garden. In most cases the only real outdoor space available is the balcony. Often apartment dwellers will try to add a touch of a garden by adding something like a hanging bird bath, but why not a bit of a garden as well? So what does it take to grow tomatoes on a balcony?

Self Watering Planters

First, be sure you will get adequate sunlight. Tomatoes like to get at least six hours a day of direct sunlight and prefer eight hours. A great way to start growing balcony tomatoes is to simply use a planter resting on the floor of your balcony. With a container on the ground, you can grow a large variety of tomatoes. The biggest problem with growing tomatoes in a container or planter on the ground is the need to stake or otherwise support the tomato plants as they grow and eventually have the fruit hanging on them. You cannot get away with staking them in a container so consider some type of trellis or guide.

This can be mitigated by selecting determinate tomato varieties. Some very small tomatoes include Patio, which need very little support. Another favorite is Celebrity tomatoes, which will grow to a larger size, but because it is a determinate variety will be limited in its growth, and the tomatoes will tend to mature over a shorter period of time.

The Bush Goliath variety is ideal for planter grown tomatoes and we have one growing in an Earthbox this season. As with any container grown plants, you have to monitor watering and be diligent in this process.

The EarthBox is a self watering planter, which solves one of the big problems with container grown vegetables. These planters have a water reservoir in the bottom, so watering can be done at much less frequent intervals. They are not actually "self-watering" but have a reserve so you don't have to water every day. This is very handy if you travel or just cannot pay attention to your balcony garden each and every day.

Another advantage of the Earthbox is that you can buy a staking system that sits over the planter and allows you to grow larger types of plants, without the fear that the wind will blow the planter over.

The Earthbox will provide adequate drainage so if you use pots, make sure they have a drainage hole to keep moisture levels even.

Bush Goliath variety in an EarthBox
Bush Goliath variety in an EarthBox

Hanging Tomato Planters

If you still want to grow some of the indeterminate types of tomatoes like cherry tomatoes, another alternative is to use a hanging basket or planter of some sort.

The most famous and probably the most productive of these planters is the Topsy Turvy planter. One big advantage to growing upside down plants is the fact that the vines don't have to hang over the edge of the planter and so aren't as likely to be damaged at that point.

You can grow some of the larger varieties that would be sprawling all over if they were on the ground, and if they get too large simply prune them back.

These can go several days without watering, but you can make that stretch a little more if you add some of the water retention crystals to the soil when preparing the planters.

The big drawback to these is that a hanging tomato planter filled with soil and water can weigh a lot, and finding a suitable place to hang one can be difficult. But the tomatoes love growing this way, and the fruit is clean and more disease free because it doesn't lay on the soil. We have also found that the birds have nothing to grip on so they don't bother (ruin!) the tomatoes as they ripen.

Finally, these will usually only support one plant at a time. While that's plenty for many folks, some people like to plant more than one variety in order to stretch out the season for harvesting the fruits of your labors.

Topsy Turvy hanging planter
Topsy Turvy hanging planter | Source

Self Supporting Planters

As we said, the hanging planters are the most flexible in terms of the types of tomatoes that can be grown. They can handle the indeterminate varieties easily, and produce some of the cleanest fruit because there is no contact with the soil. They will retain water easily, but the big drawback is the need to find someplace that will handle the weight of the planter, especially as the plant continues to grow and you ensure that you keep it watered well.

The middle ground between the planters on the ground and the hanging tomato planters are the self supporting hanging planters. There are a couple of popular choices for these.

The same people that brought out the Upside Down Tomato planter (Felknor Ventures) have introduced the Tomato Tree. This has up to 3 tomato plants (or other plants like peppers) that hang out of holes in the side of the planter bag in a fashion similar to the hanging planter. But it has its own stand, so that you don't have to worry about finding a structure to hang the planter from.

Another planter is the Upside Down Tomato Garden. This comes with a stand and room to plant up to 4 tomatoes or peppers, etc. in the planter. As an added bonus, you can use the top of the planter as well, and add flowers or herbs in that space as well. So, in effect, in a small footprint you can create a miniature garden.

Hopefully these ideas can get you started on growing your own tomatoes on your balcony or patio.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Joanie Ruppel


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)