If you only have a small space for growing but still want to grow heirloom varieties. Here are some of the best heirloom tomatoes for containers.
Growing a garden is one of the most fun and rewarding things you can do. There really is something special about growing and harvesting your own food.
Knowing exactly where your food came from and knowing that you grew it all on your own is such a great experience.
So no matter what amount of space you have, there are plants that you can grow.
Of course it’s always nice to have some land or a large back yard where you can have a few raised beds. But even if you don’t, it shouldn’t stop you from at least growing tomatoes in pots.
There are so many different vegetables that you can have right on your patio so no matter what the circumstance, you can always enjoy home grown vegetables.
So in this article I want to go over some of the best heirloom tomatoes for containers.
There are so many different varieties of tomatoes that grow well in containers but heirlooms hold a special spot in the community of gardeners.
What Are Heirloom Tomatoes?
Heirloom Tomatoes – Are the delicious, old-fashioned tomato varieties passed down throughout many generations. They don’t hold up as well or have the longest shelf life, but they’re the best tasting for growing in your garden.
Learning about heirloom tomatoes and what the term “heirloom” actually means is pretty interesting and so if you’d like to find out more, the site Tomato Fest has a great article on What is an Heirloom Tomato.
The other types of tomatoes that you’re likely more familiar with are Hybrid Tomatoes which are a cross of two different tomato varieties. They are typically bred for creating a variety that will be disease resistant, bear high quality fruit and or have specific growing habits.
Hybrid varieties started becoming popular after WWII, as mass transportation was needed. The hybrid varieties hold up best, which is why they are most popular and most widely used. Unfortunately their flavor is not as good and their seeds are not true to the plant variety.
Indeterminate Tomato Plants Versus Determinate Plants?
The next thing to know about tomato plants before you plant is whether it is an indeterminate variety or a determinate variety.
And if we’re being honest I never have paid much attention to this because I have a huge garden area. But if you’re growing in containers or in a small area it’s important.
So here’s the differences.
Determinate Tomatoes – These tomato plants are smaller, “bush” varieties that grow around 3-4′ tall. They bloom and produce their fruit all at once. Then after the first harvest the plant will stop producing and start to decline.
This type of tomato plant is great for container gardening.
Indeterminate Tomatoes – These tomato plants grow and produce fruits throughout the entire growing season until the plants are killed by a frost. They will most likely need tomato cages or some sort of support because they have the potential to grow huge.
5 Best Heirloom Tomatoes for Containers
1.) Rutgers Tomato – This has been a popular variety know for its great flavor, slicing, and cooking.
This plant can be found as both an indeterminate and determinate variety. So when you’re searching for the seeds or transplants be sure you’re getting the determinate variety.
At Bonnie Plants that is the variety they sell. The plants will grow 4-5 feet tall with fruits around 7 oz, maturing in 73 days.
2.) Peron Tomato – This variety is a compact, semi-determinate variety and is also fairly disease resistant which is important for plants grown in containers because they are more prone to disease.
The Peron tomato is great for both canning and slicing, has dense and meaty flesh, and thick, tough skin.
3.) Micro Tom Tomato – This is the world’s shortest tomato plant that only gets 6-8 inches tall. It is a dwarf, determinate variety that is perfect for pots or hanging baskets. Even though they are small, they are very productive plants and produce small 1 oz. fruits.
4.) Rebekah Allen Tomato – The vines are known for having some disease resistance which makes them more suitable for containers. The tomatoes have great flavor but this variety does not do well in really hot climates.
5.) Chadwick Cherry Tomato – These vines grow large with huge yields of sweet 1 oz. tomatoes. They are a disease resistant variety which makes them a good choice for container growing.
Those are my two favorite spots to get my vegetable seeds from and I have always had great success.
Then you can grow your tomato plants from seed.
I always enjoy starting as many plants from seed as I can because first, it’s less expensive, and second, it’s so fun to watch the seeds sprout and grow into healthy productive plants.
Something about starting the seeds yourself brings so much more satisfaction.
Enjoy Container Gardening
There is just something so special about growing a garden. And as much as I wish everybody could have a little farm with all the space they needed, I know it’s not possible. And maybe not even something everybody would want.
It can be a lot of work at times.
But just having a few plants growing in containers takes a minimal amount of time and you’ll have delicious tasting vegetables that you grew all on your own!