The Ultimate Guide to Growing Tomatoes in Hanging Baskets

The Ultimate Guide to Growing Tomatoes in Hanging Baskets

Tomatoes are so versatile and healthy. Quite frankly, we just simply can’t get enough of this plump juicy red fruit!

What if we tell you that you can have unlimited access to a supply of tomatoes – and all you need are hanging baskets? Yes, you read that right! 

Read on as we guide you on how to grow fresh tomatoes in hanging baskets in the comfort of your home. 

Factors That Affect the Growth of Hanging Basket Tomatoes

Factors That Affect the Growth of Hanging Basket Tomatoes
Image: GrowVeg

Growing tomatoes in a hanging basket is a great space-saving gardening hack. They’re great for small edible gardens, balconies, patios, or simply for anyone with limited gardening space.

Whether you’re a plant veteran or a newbie, you should first consider choosing a strong and sturdy basket, a sunny location, and a suitable variety before planting tomatoes in hanging baskets. 

To help you prepare, we’ll discuss each factor affecting tomatoes’ growth in hanging baskets. 

1. Basket Strength

Basket Strength
Image: Get Busy Gardening

A strong, sturdy, breathable basket is the best-hanging basket for a tomato plant.

We recommend investing in a wire metal or heavy plastic basket that’s 12 to 24 inches in diameter. These materials provide sturdy and robust support to the tomato plant and its cascading stems. 

Tomatoes also grow an extensive root system, and because of this, they’ll need at least 5 gallons of soil to anchor themselves in the pot. So, make sure the basket can also handle that amount of soil. 

Planter’s Tip: Choose a light-colored plant bucket. This way, the plant’s roots won’t get too hot during summer. 

Basket Strength
Image: Tomato Bible

Another important aspect you should secure is the lining of the basket. This allows for better air and water circulation in the soil. 

We want to keep the moisture in the soil without drowning the plant. For this, we recommend using a coconut mat liner or a landscape fabric for your hanging basket. 

Finally, the basket should have holes at the bottom, so the plant’s roots will not drown or waterlog. 

2. Location

Location
Image: Garden Therapy

Tomato plants love warm locations. This ensures that they produce the most coveted plump and juicy tomatoes. 

So, you should place your hanging basket plant where it gets at least 6 hours of full sunlight.

Tomato plants are also less prone to pests and weeds because of their sun location.

On the other hand, placing the hanging basket indoors to protect the plant from the cold weather can also extend its growing season. 

Location
Image: Southeast AgNet Radio Network

A mature hanging basket tomato plant can weigh at least 50 pounds. That’s why you’ll also need a sturdy support structure for this plant. 

Make sure that the plant is protected from strong winds, as they can cause its stems to snap or tumble on the structure supporting the hanging basket. 

It’s also better to hang them at eye level so you won’t strain your neck looking up when watering, harvesting, or replanting. 

3. Tomato Variety

Tomato Variety
Image: Healthline

The best tomato plants for vertical gardening are its cherry and grape varieties. Here’s a quick overview of the 12 best tomatoes from these categorie!. 

1. Tumbling Tom Tomatoes

Tumbling Tom Tomatoes
Image: Bonnie Plants

Tumbling Toms are a great tomato variety for hanging basket plants. Within 70 days from planting, they grow beautiful 18-inch long cascading stems where 1-inch-sized yellow cherry tomatoes sprout. 

2. Midnight Snack Hybrid Tomatoes

Midnight Snack Hybrid Tomatoes
Image: Super Seeds

It’s not a grape. It’s an indigo-colored cherry tomato! 

At first, the Midnight Snack produces sweet red cherry tomatoes. Still, when exposed to sunlight, it produces a unique glossy purple shade. 

In 75 days, you can already harvest indeterminate purple cherry tomatoes on its cascading vines. 

3. Tumbler Hybrid Tomatoes

Tumbler Hybrid Tomatoes
Image: Mckenzie Seeds

Tumbler Hybrids are a favorite choice for bright red cherry tomatoes. They make great hanging container plants and can produce as many as 6 pounds of tomatoes in 1 season. 

4. Napa Grape Hybrid Tomatoes

Napa Grape Hybrid Tomatoes
Image: Pahl’s Market

The Napa Grape Hybrid produces sweet cherry tomatoes with high sugar content. Its fruits are 1 inch long and bloom vigorously along its ropey vines. 

5. Tiny Tim Tomatoes

Tiny Tim Tomatoes
Image: Minneton Orchards

Tiny Tim tomatoes grow up to 18 inches tall and are disease-resistant. Within 60 days of planting, Tiny Tims produces ¾-inch-wide bright red cherry tomatoes.

6. Hundreds & Thousands Tomatoes

Hundreds & Thousands Tomatoes
Image: Pretty Wild Seeds

We should warn you that the name Hundreds & Thousands does not literally guarantee the yield you’ll get from this plant!

The Hundreds & Thousands plant grows bite-sized and sweet tomatoes. They vigorously grow cascading branches perfect for hanging baskets, giving your home a fresh, natural vibe. 

7. Garden Pearl Tomatoes

Garden Pearl Tomatoes
Image: The Seeds Master

Garden Pearls are a cascading tomato variety perfect for hanging baskets, where their bright green leaves and fruits trail over to the sides of the basket. They’re easy-to-grow compact plants that bear masses of small, pink, or red cherry tomatoes. 

8. Maskotka Tomatoes

Maskotka Tomatoes
Image: Mr. Fothergills

Maskotkas is another juicy cherry tomato variety, especially for vertical gardeners. They are known for their large yield of deep red tomatoes that grow on the side of the basket. 

9. Red Robin Tomatoes

Red Robin Tomatoes
Image: Park Seed

Red Robin tomatoes are compact plants cultivated especially for containers. Within 55 days of planting, this plant produces sweet 1 ¼ inch tomatoes that grow on cascading branches that reach 8 to 12 inches tall. 

10. Early Resilience Tomatoes

Early Resilience Tomatoes
Image: All America Selections

You can already guess that this tomato hybrid is especially disease resistant from its name. This plant produces Roma-style tomatoes that are 2 inches in size, giving any dish a perfectly-balanced tomato flavor. 

11. Celano Hybrid Tomatoes

 Celano Hybrid Tomatoes
Image: All America Selections

You should try Celano Hybrid Tomatoes if you’re looking for larger tomato yields. This variant produces ¾ ounce of cherry tomatoes, larger than its counterparts. 

Place them in at least 18-inch baskets to support their branches that can trail as long as 40 inches. 

12. Whippersnapper Tomatoes

Whippersnapper Tomatoes
Image: Gaia Organics

The Whippersnapper is a tumbling tomato plant that grows large pink cherry tomatoes on cascading stems. Its thin-skinned tomatoes give anyone a fresh sweet taste in every bite. 

How to Grow Hanging Basket Tomatoes

How to Grow Hanging Basket Tomatoes
Image: Plant Instructions

There’s nothing more satisfying than growing your own food. You’re sure it’s fresh, natural, and healthier than the ones we find in the markets.

Now that we’re done securing the basket, location and tomato variety, it’s time to set up our tomatoes in hanging baskets! 

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Sow the tomato seeds in a tray. 

Sow the tomato seeds in a tray
DifficultyEasy ●○○○○
Duration1 to 2 hours for planting7 to 10 days for germination
Things You Need

• Seedling tray
• Potting soil
• Tomato seed
• Plastic sheet
• Water
• Propagator
How To Do:

1. Fill the tray with potting soil within ¼ from its rim.
2. Pour 1 inch deep of water at the bottom of the drip tray to set the soil. 
3. Poke ½-inch-deep furrows that are 3 inches apart. 
4. Sow the tomato seeds in the furrows and cover the seeds with ¼ inch of soil.
5. Pour water over the soil to moisten it. 
6. Cover the tray with a plastic sheet.
7. Place the seedling tray in a location with at least 70°F (21°C) and 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. 
8. Remove the plastic sheet once the seed sprouts within 7 to 10 days. 
9. As it sprouts, remove the weak ones and keep the strongest seedlings.
10. Use a propagator with LED lighting so the tomato plant will get a lot of light and humidity from its growing environment. 
11. Water the seedlings when the soil begins to dry.

2. Prepare the hanging basket. 

Prepare the hanging basket
DifficultyEasy ●○○○○
Duration30 minutes to 1 hour
Things You Need

• Hanging basket
• Coconut coir or landscape fabric
• Small drill
How To Do:

1. Use a basket 12 to 24 inches in diameter so the plant will have ample space to grow. 
2. Line your basket with a coconut coir or fiber. 
3. Drill small holes for proper drainage.

3. Prepare the potting soil. 

Prepare the potting soil
DifficultyEasy ●○○○○
Duration30 minutes to 1 hour
Things You Need
• Potting soil
• Slow-release fertilizer
• Water-retaining gel
How To Do:

1. Use potting soil mix rich in organic matter. For good water retention, the mixture should have peat moss, coconut fiber, or other materials.
2. Fill only ¾ of the basket with soil. 
3. Add a slow-release fertilizer so the tomato plant will have a steady source of nutrients as it grows. Those fertilizers for food crops are a great option. 
4. You can also add a water-retaining gel that will allow that water to be released slowly, ensuring that your plant will stay hydrated for a longer time.

4. Transplant the tomato seedlings. 

Transplant the tomato seedlings
DifficultyEasy ●○○○○
Duration30 minutes to 1 hour
Things You Need

• Tomato seedling
• Basket Potting soil
• Water
How To Do:

1. Gently remove the tomato seedling from the tray, along with the soil and roots. Transplant the tomato seedlings once their third set of leaves grows. 
2. Create a hollow area between the basket and place the tomato seedling inside.
3. Loosen or tickle the root ball before pressing it into the soil. This will prevent cramping and promote healthier root growth. 
4. Firm the soil around the roots. You can add more soil to keep the tomato plant in place. 
5. Water the roots to adjust to their new growing environment. 
6. Hang the basket using a chain or a hook in a sturdy location. 
7. Tomatoes need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight, so place them where they can access full sun. 
8. Make sure there’s enough protection from strong winds so your hanging tomato plant will not get blown away. 

Tips on Taking Care of a Tomato Plant

Now that you successfully planted a tomato in a hanging basket, make sure to water, feed and prune them regularly. 

1. Keep your tomato plant hydrated. 

Keep your tomato plant hydrated
Image: All About Gardening

Since tomatoes are high up in the air with direct access to sunlight, they’re susceptible to drying out. 

You should have a regular watering schedule for your tomato plant, preferably twice daily during the summer season. The plant requires 1 to 2 inches of water per week.  

If tomatoes grow in a dry environment, they tend to split up, so make sure to keep them hydrated. 

2. Feed your tomato plant. 

Feed your tomato plant
Image: Tomato Bible

Tomato plants love soil packed with nutrients. Once you see yellow tomato flowers, begin feeding your tomato plant. 

You can feed your tomato plant once a week with a liquid spray fertilizer or compost tea. Use a potassium-rich fertilizer for optimum tomato plant growth. 

You can add a liquid natural root and bloom fertilizer at least twice a month to ensure the plant will flower and develop delicious ripe tomatoes.

3. Prune the tomato plant regularly.

Prune the tomato plant regularly
Image: Gardening Know How

Little pruning is needed if your chosen tomato variety is indeterminate, which produces tomatoes on stems all season. You’ll just have to keep 3 to 5 main stems. 

If your tomato plant is determinate, which grows an exact number of stems, you should keep as many branches, stems, and shoots as you can to maximize your tomato yield. Just make sure to remove any damaged leaves from time to time.

FAQs on Growing Tomatoes in Hanging Baskets

What are good companion plants for tomatoes?


Flowering plants and herbs are good companion plants for tomatoes. In the basket, you can interplant French marigolds, calendulas, basil, chive, or mint. 

What is the best soil for hanging basket tomatoes?


A potting soil mix rich in organic matter is recommended for hanging basket tomatoes. They should have peat moss, coconut fiber, or other materials with good water retention capacities. 

How many tomato plants can you put in a hanging basket?


You can place up to 2 tomato plants in a 35-centimeter hanging basket. This gives enough space for the plants to grow and anchor their roots in the soil. 

Can tomatoes be grown in hanging baskets?


The cherry and grape varieties of tomatoes are well-suited to grow in hanging baskets. These cultivars produce small fruits along their long ropey vines over the sides of the small containers.

How often do you water tomatoes?


Tomato plants require daily watering, with 1 to 2 inches of water per week. During summer season, it’s recommended that you water the tomato plant twice a day to prevent dehydration. 

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