Tomatoes are a very popular fruit that is used in everything from salads to sandwiches to hearty dishes and so much more. If you want to grow your own tomatoes but you’re unsure of how to grow them on your balcony, never fear: the following is a handy guide that will help you learn how to grow tomatoes right on your balcony.
Before Getting Started
Here is some key information you need to know about growing tomatoes on your balcony.
- Climate: Tomatoes require warm, consistent temperatures in order to thrive. The ideal temperature for tomatoes is between 55 and 75 degrees. If you live somewhere where the temperature routinely stays about 80 degrees at night or gets above 95 degrees during the day, then you should look for a different plant entirely.
- Sunlight: Tomatoes need at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, but eight or more is ideal if you want as many tomato fruits as possible.
- Planter: You need a big container to grow tomatoes. The ideal container size for tomatoes is in a container which is at least 18 inches in diameter; if you’re using a pot-style planter, look for one that is at 5 gallons or larger. The planter MUST have drainage holes.
- Indoors or Outdoors? Tomatoes will likely not thrive indoors, unless you happen to have a greenhouse inside. They are best grown outdoors. If you don’t have enough balcony space for a larger tomato planter, then you should consider a different plant.
What You’ll Need
The following are the basic supplies that you’ll need to grow tomatoes on your balcony.
- Tomato seeds
- Large planter (container or pot)
- Frost blanket and warmth cover (straw or burlap)
Step by Step Instructions
The following step by step instructions will help you start growing tomatoes on your balcony.
1. Prepare your pot for planting
Fill your pot with high quality soil. Then, mark where you will be placing your tomato seed(s) and place a garden stake in each area.
2. Plant your seed
Plant one seed per 18-inch pot, or space them 18 inches apart in extra large containers. Plant the seed about 1/8 of an inch deep. Place mulch on top of soil to protect it.
Water your tomato plant as needed, when the top inch of soil is dry. Make sure to water your plant regularly.
Please keep these growing notes in mind while growing your tomatoes. Cover your plant with a frost blanket at night if it gets colder than 65 degrees.
- Water: Tomatoes need to be kept consistently moist. Check the soil every day; if the top inch is dry, then the plant needs to be watered. During the warmer seasons, your plant may need to be watered at least once a day, if not twice a day, depending on how quickly the plant absorbs moisture.
- Growth: Tomato plants can take anywhere from 60 to 100 days to produce harvest-ready fruit.
- Maintenance: Always check your tomato plants for issues every day so that they can be tackled early on. Tomatoes are susceptible to blossom end rot, root rot, and scorching. Make sure to fertilize your plants throughout the growing season. If your plant grows lots of small branches, remove them so that the stronger branches get more resources.