One of the the best ways to grow tomato plants, if you have little space or time, is in a container. With new sef-watering containers, better soil mixes and dwarf varieties on the market, container tomato growing is not only easier, it’s more rewarding.

But you’ll need to stay on top of your tomato plant growth so follow these tips on tomato container culture.

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Tomatoes grow fast in the summer heat and need regular watering. If you are inconsistent with your watering, blossom end rot (the blossom end of the fruit rots) appears ruining your fruits. Simply pick and compost those fruits and be better about watering regularly.

2. Fertilize

Because your plants are in small containers with little soil, they need more fertilizer than in-ground plants. Fertilizer every few weeks with a liquid fertilizer or organic granular fertilizer.

3. Go Vertical

Keeping your tomatoes standing tall not only encourages better production, it saves space and you’ll have less damage from branches breaking in the wind. Attach your tomatoes to a cage, trellis or stake with VELCRO® Brand Garden Ties. Get creative using different colored ties for different varieties or to match the trellis.

4. Watch the Critters

While growing in containers usually means less problems with insects and diseases, other more mobile critters such as squirrels, may take a liking to you fruits, especially if the weather is dry. Prevent damage by picking early (see below) or erecting a wire cage around the plant. Move bird feeders to another location to tempt the squirrels to go elsewhere.

5. Keep Harvesting

The more you pick, the more tomatoes you’ll get, so keep up with the harvest. Remember tomatoes can ripen indoors too. Just wait until they show some color, pick, and place them in a warm room out of direct sunlight to ripen.

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