The biggest advantage of this method compared to the conventional one is that you will be able to control all the conditions.
And because tomatoes naturally fall over the basket, that makes it an aesthetically pleasing addition to your terrace.
As experienced gardening enthusiasts, we will go over the best tomato varieties, how-to steps as well as the frequently asked questions that you should focus on.
Let’s get started!
- Quick Answer: Best Hanging Basket Tomatoes Varieties
- Advantages of Growing Tomatoes in a Hanging Basket?
- Best Tomato varieties To Grow in a Small Basket
- Best Tomatoes Varieties To Grow in a Medium/Large Basket
- The Essentials for Growing Tomatoes in a Hanging Basket
- How to Grow Tomatoes in a Hanging Basket - Step by Step Guide
- What Else to Know About Growing Tomatoes in a Hanging Basket
- What Best Complements Hanging Basket Tomatoes?
Advantages of Growing Tomatoes in a Hanging Basket?
First and foremost, you don’t need a large garden space to grow delicious tomatoes.
It is great to know that you will be able to make a homemade passata or a fresh tomato space without the yielding plants accounting for most of your yard.
The fact that these grow in a vine makes them the perfect fruit (yes, it isn’t a vegetable) for growing in a basket.
Another huge advantage is that the yield isn’t directly affected by weather conditions.
Unlike conventional gardening, growing tomatoes in a hanging basket will allow you to move them indoors and place them under controlled conditions to ensure you get fresh and ripe fruit throughout the year.
Last but certainly not least is that it is newbie-friendly and you don’t need too much gardening experience to get started.
More so, harvesting tomatoes grown in a basket is much easier than if you would have to go throughout your garden, checking every vine for ripe fruit.
Best Tomato varieties To Grow in a Small Basket
First, we want to discuss the varieties that are perfect if you have a small terrace but don’t want to miss out on fresh, delicious tomatoes.
The main reason why the Tumbling Tom is our number one choice is due to the 18-20 inch cascades that would fit almost any basket.
The tomato color is orangish and comes in the form of a 1-inch (in diameter) cherry. How long does it need to grow? Anywhere from 60 to 80 days, depending on the conditions that you provide.
Early Resilience Hybrid
If you are a newbie and don’t know a lot about tomatoes (though we will do our best to inform you on everything), then this hybrid sort is your best bet.
Resistant to most pest-related diseases, this plant will yield beautiful cherry tomatoes that are anywhere from 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter and have a fruitful taste.
The fact that tomato is a fruit comes as no surprise because there are extra sweet sorts.
Red Robin is another great choice for newbies, as the plant takes anywhere between 50 and 60 days to reach its full growth yielding produce that is up to 1 ¼ inches in diameter.
Last but certainly not least is a sort that is perfect if you are limited on space and can’t afford baskets bigger than 6 inches in diameter.
The plant itself is around 18 inches in height and needs around 50 days to grow and yield fruit.
In terms of the size of the cherry tomato, you are looking at around ¾ inches in diameter and a mild sweet flavor.
Best Tomatoes Varieties To Grow in a Medium/Large Basket
If your terrace is larger and you are looking to invest in pots over 10/12 inches in size, we have a few ideal varieties.
Hundreds and Thousands
For anyone who isn’t satisfied with 20/30 cherry tomatoes on a single plant, the Hundreds and Thousands, sort is a nice solution.
What you are looking at is a cascading plant that grows up to 2.5 feet in height and produces sweet tomatoes that are the size of an average bite.
A tomato plant that can exceed over 48 inches in height is the Whippersnapper, which is most popular for the colorful cherry tomatoes that it yields.
In our personal experience, the fruit ranges from mild yellow to extreme red, and it is a delicacy.
Another very tasty sort that yields cherry tomatoes of ¾ inches in diameter is the Celano.
What you should keep in mind is that it requires a hanging basket that is between 16 and 20 inches in diameter to support successful growth. Height? Ranging between 36 and 44 inches!
In the end, comes our favorite, which is a tomato plant ranging anywhere between 5 and 7 feet in height.
While it does ask for large baskets, the results are impressive as you will get purplish cherry tomatoes that have an extremely sweet flavor and are perfectly paired with a nice glass of red wine.
The Essentials for Growing Tomatoes in a Hanging Basket
One of the main reasons why hanging basket tomatoes are so easy to grow is because you don’t need to invest a lot of money or acquire a garden estate.
The first and most important element is to buy a seedling or a seed of a tomato sort that can be grown in these conditions (check sections above).
Once you have done that, it all comes down to getting a few hanging baskets (with a liner), some slow-releasing fertilizer, and high-quality compost (pre-made or arranged by you).
- Tomato seed/seedling that can be grown in a hanging basket
- Well-drained medium
- Slow-releasing fertilizer
- Water retaining gel
- Fresh water
- A hanging basket (or a few)
- Mini trowel
- Tool 3 - A watering can
- Investing in the Right Basket - The first and maybe the most important step is to buy a proper basket. You should decide on a smaller (up to 10-inch) or a larger anything above 12-inch depending on the terrace area as well as your budget.
Keep in mind that to grow larger sorts, such as the Midnight Snack and Hundreds and Thousands, you will need to get a semi-spherical basket that is over 15-inches in diameter.
- Lining and Draining - While some baskets come pre-set with liners and drainage, you will need to do a bit of DIY work with most of them. The first step is to set a nice lining of coconut fiber or compost onto the metal frame.
The second step is to drill a couple of drainage holes at the bottom of the basket so that you ensure that your tomato plant isn’t overly hydrated.
- Hanging the Basket - Before you can start planting, it is necessary to determine which part of your terrace you will hang the baskets. Once you have done that and drilled a couple of holes for hooks, you can get started with the seeds.
- Get the Best Soil - Like growing tomatoes in your garden, you should make sure that there is enough potting soil. Judging by our experience, you will need a 35 lb soil bag to fill four 15-inch baskets.
Keep in mind that you should focus on a couple of tricks, such as adding a water-retaining gel or a bit of leaf mold (preferably rotted) that will keep your plants well-hydrated.
- Composting and Fertilizer - Gardening experts suggest that it is best to add a slow-releasing fertilizer to ensure that your tomato plant is well-nourished.
To prepare the basket for planting, you should add a couple of inches of compost before transferring the seedling or planting the seed and then covering it with more soil (make sure that the surface is even).
- Don’t Cramp the Tomato Plants - If you decide to go with the seedling (up to two per 15-inch basket), try to secure the roots by pressing roots around it but ensuring that you don’t squash the plant.
Keep in mind that there should be at least 2-3 inches of separation between the two seedlings to ensure optimal growth.
- Water Immediately - As mentioned above, there is a wide variety of products for keeping your plants well-hydrated.
Make sure that once planted, you pour a solid amount of water as your tomatoes require it to successfully adapt to the new soil and start the growth process.
- Don’t Forget About the Tomato Feed - Once you’ve planted the tomatoes, it all comes down to hanging the baskets and monitoring the growth on a daily basis.
The moment that the flowers appear, you should add a bit of tomato feed and continue doing so once a week. Depending on the plant, it should take anywhere between 40 and 70 days before you see the first ripe tomatoes.
- Harvest and Enjoy - The best thing about growing in a hanging basket is that you can pick and enjoy sweet, succulent tomatoes as you are on the go.
What Else to Know About Growing Tomatoes in a Hanging Basket
Apart from the adequate tomato sorts and the steps necessary to be successful, there are a couple of tips that you should consider.
A Plant per Pot
While you can always have two tomato plants in a single basket, our recommendation is to stick with one as it ensures that the roots don’t get all tangled and that your tomato can experience an optimal growth rate.
Invest in Mulch
If the water-retaining gel is something that you aren’t a fan of, then you should go ahead and cover the top of the soil with a bit of mulch.
It should offer similar results of preventing evaporation and keeping your tomato plants hydrated longer.
Avoid Windy Spots
In addition to that, you should invest extra time into finding the best spot for hanging your baskets.
What we’ve concluded is that too much wind hinders growth and may also contribute to certain pest diseases.
Also, ensure that the hook on which the basket will be hung is installed on a stable structure.
Last but certainly not least is to check on your plants on a daily basis and don’t forget to water.
Windy and dry conditions are common culprits for split-ups, and it is something that you don’t want to find at your tomato plant.
What Best Complements Hanging Basket Tomatoes?
A common question is if you can grow another plant/flower along with the tomatoes.
The answer is absolutely! Our personal favorite is to go with green herbs such as chives, mint, and basil (making a great base for a homemade pasta/pizza sauce).
In addition to that, you may plant flowers that will attract butterflies and bees, such as
- and Nasturtium!
You should find a wind-free spot that is easy to access and that offers stable support for your basket and the plants in it.
It is a common fact that tomatoes can be planted 3-4 inches deep into the soil. A pro tip is that you loosen the root ball then plant the stems in a central hole.
It all depends on the outside weather conditions. Still, the fact that tomatoes grow pretty high and that they are prone to drying out means that you should check on them regularly and water them once or twice daily. In our opinion, you will drive with an automatic watering system.
Absolutely. Seek to do it every week after the plant starts blooming.
It is safe to say that growing tomatoes in a hanging basket is a discovery that we are pretty thankful for.
The process is affordable, simple, and most importantly, you can grow out a wide variety of sweet and succulent cherry tomatoes!