Growing happy, healthy tomatoes is possible, even without an outdoor plot of land. Balcony gardeners, apartment dwellers, and those with small spaces, rejoice! There are plenty of ways that you can learn how to grow tomatoes without a garden and one of these five methods is sure to suit your individual space and needs.
In my many gardening years, I’ve seen and tried a variety of creative ways for growing tomatoes in different containers. You don’t even need a garden! You can grow them right in a bag of potting soil and plop it in the sunniest spot you have.
If you have always wanted to grow tomatoes, keep reading to find the way that works the best for you!
5 Creative Ways To Grow Tomatoes Without A Garden
Garden-fresh tomatoes are so juicy and flavorful that they will ruin grocery-store tomatoes for you forever. The good news is that you can grow your own delicious garden tomatoes without a garden at all. These methods all take up very little space and will yield a huge harvest of tomatoes. No garden bed needed. Hooray!
1. Grow Tomatoes In A Hanging Basket
The first option you can consider if you don’t have a garden is to grow tomatoes in a hanging basket.
Plant a small cascading tomato variety in a hanging basket to encourage them to tumble over the edge as they grow.
Most tomato varieties will naturally grow tall, strong stalks up towards the sun to keep the tomatoes growing off the ground. In a hanging basket, these varieties will grow up, and the flop over with the weight of the fruit, breaking the stems and hurting your harvest.
Thankfully, there are some great varieties that are meant to hang over and can support the weight of the fruit.
These specific varieties are bred for hanging baskets:
Hang the basket somewhere that gets 6 hours of full sun per day and be sure to keep it well watered. In the summer months, it could use watering twice a day!
2. Grow Tomatoes In A Container Or A Pot
Another way to grow an abundance of this delicious vegetable without a garden is by growing them in pots. This is a smart option if you need to grow tomatoes on a patio, balcony, or otherwise trying to garden in a small space. Again, make sure to use the correct type of tomato to be successful.
Choose determinate (bush-variety) tomatoes that are small, such as cherry or dwarf slicers, for growing in a container.
Tomato plants grow tall and the fruit is heavy, so you’ll need to provide a support system for them such as a tomato cage. You can even make your own DIY tomato cage or other support when you plant the tomatoes. Just make sure to do it when you plant—if you wait to add the support later, it might disrupt the plant’s growth.
Remember that any vegetable growing in a container is going to dry out quicker than in the garden, so monitor the soil and water regularly.
Planting tomatoes in self-watering pots will ensure that your plants don’t dry out!
3. Grow Tomatoes In A Bag
Have you ever thought of planting tomatoes in a grow bag? Heat-loving plants like tomatoes do great in grow bags like these because you can easily move the bags around by the handles. This helps to make sure your tomatoes are in the sunniest areas every day.
The bags also fit a lot more soil than other containers of the same size because of the shape and thin material of the burlap, which means you can grow more in a small space!
Plant tomatoes deep into a grow bag only half-filled with soil. As the plant grows, top the bag up with more soil to bury the lower stems and create a stronger root system. Keep topping up the soil throughout the season.
4. Grow Tomatoes In An Upside-Down Planter
Another really popular way to grow tomatoes without a garden is by planting them in upside-down containers. This is a fantastic way to grow tomatoes without having use supports and it helps them stay watered better too!
Again, choose small varieties bred especially for containers as large varieties will be too heavy for this growing method. Choose a location that gets plenty of full sunlight—upside-down tomatoes will do best with 8-12 hours of sun each day.
Gently position your tomato plant in the upside-down planter so that the stem and leaves stick out through the bottom hole and add moistened soil into the container so that it covers the tomato plant’s root ball. Use a soil mix specifically for container gardens.
Tomatoes in upside-down planters will try to curve and grow upwards, which will result in stems breaking from the weight of the fruit or a strong gust of wind.
To prevent this, position a stake so that it pokes out of the bottom hole where the tomato is growing and train the plant along with the stake as it grows.
Get more details on growing tomatoes upside down.
5. In a Bag of Potting Soil
- Shake the bag around first to decompress the soil inside.
- Use scissors to cut 3 squares in a row in the front of the bag.
- Keep your tomato plants in their nursery pots, but cut the bottoms of the pots off with scissors to expose the roots, then plant the whole thing in each of the square openings in the soil bag.
- Add strings or stakes to support tomatoes as they get bigger.
How To Grow Tomatoes: Final Thoughts
As you can see, there are some really creative ways to grow tomatoes. If you ever wanted to grow some but didn’t know how I hope these ideas help you out. It really is as easy as finding a container, planting the correct type of tomatoes for that container, and taking proper care of them!
When you choose which tomatoes to plant, learn about that variety and give it the right amount of sunlight, water, and support. Even beginning gardeners can grow lots of tomatoes right on their porch or patio.
More Tomato-Growing Resources
Here are some more resources that will help you learn about growing tomatoes no matter where you live. Click around and learn some tricks and tips for growing the juiciest and best tomatoes.