GROW YOUR BEST TOMATO TOWER
Tired of the bland tasting tomatoes from the grocery? Want to grow your own but you don’t have much space? THEN IT’S TIME TO GROW THE BEST TASTING TOMATOES IN A TOMATO TOWER!
Vertical Tower Gardens offer SPECIAL ADVANTAGES over regular garden planters or containers when growing tomatoes:
NO NEED FOR TOMATO STAKES, CAGES OR TRELLISES! Choose a vertical garden with good side posts. Then, when your tomato plants need some help standing up, simply tie them to the posts.
WATERING THE WAY TOMATOES LIKE IT! Tomatoes like consistent, evenly moist soil. The moisture in regular plant containers/pots can often fluctuate. Too much rain or watering and the soil and roots become water-logged. Too hot and sunny and pots can heat quickly, drying out soil and roots. Many vertical gardens provide better drainage to prevent over-watering and they don’t overheat. Vertical gardens with interior watering systems make it easier for gardeners to keep the soil evenly moist. Furthermore, interior watering keeps water off the leaves and stems, thus reducing your plants’ chances of getting disease.
TOMATO TOWER TIPS:
A) Be a bit picky when it comes to POTTING MIX. Tomatoes grow best in a mix that’s clean, moist, aerated, and provides plenty of nutrients throughout the summer growing season.
Use PEAT MOSS or COCONUT COIR as your base. These mediums are light (won’t compact) and retain moisture. Then add your other elements.
Here’s a mix I used that the tomatoes seem to be thriving in. I started with a 16 Gallon Rubbermaid bin and mixed the following:
1) 7 shovel loads of ORGANIC PEAT MOSS
2) 1/4 cup of DOLOMITE LIME (to adjust the PH of the peat + release extra calcium tomatoes love)
3) 7 shovel loads of NATURE’S CARE ORGANIC POTTING MIX (it also includes peat, coir and organic matter + I appreciate the organic yucca used for water retention).
4) 2 shovel loads of WORM CASTINGS (because what plant doesn’t love moisture-holding, nutrient-rich worm poo?!)
5) 1 shovel load of ORGANIC COMPOST (to enliven your mix even more)
6) 7 shovel loads of VERMICULITE (to “keep it light”)
7) ORGANIC TOMATO FERTILIZER (a lot of the big box stores and nurseries carry Organic MATER MAGIC; however it’s full of blood, bone and feather meal. If you want to keep it “veganic” choose VEGANMATOR
Mix it all together and MOISTEN WELL before filling your tower. An Earth Tower will take about 4 batches of this mixture. Plant your tomato starter plants as you fill [see picture below and visit How To Plant at earthtowergarden.com.
B) Choose “CONTAINER-FRIENDLY” or DWARF varieties.
If you don’t mind an unruly mountain of tomatoes that looks like some mangled monster on your patio, then, by all means, plant whatever tomatoes you want. Otherwise, “container-friendly” or dwarf varieties can help keep your tomato tower a little better behaved.
Here are some resources for quality organic tomato plants that stay more contained:
1) If you want to buy ready-to-plant tomato starts, try The Tasteful Garden (they sell out fast so order early in the season!)
2) Tatiana Tomato Base provides an incredible database of tomatoes from around the world with amazing information and pictures. Below is an abundant list of varieties and how to find them for:
C) Water frequently.
Make sure your potting mix stays uniformly moist. In an EarthTower, add 1 gallon of water to the interior reservoir every 1-2 days during the hot summer months.
D) Savor the sweet and aromatic flavors of fresh ripe tomatoes picked from your patio and get ready for your best Pico de Gallo!
On the left is a picture of a newly planted Tomato Tower. Watch Me Grow!