8 Best Hanging Basket Tomatoes Varieties & how to grow them

Imagine stepping out onto your patio or balcony, and being greeted by a cascading array of lush, green tomato plants, bursting with vibrant red, yellow, or orange fruits. Sounds like a gardener’s dream, doesn’t it? Well, with hanging basket tomatoes, that dream can become a delightful reality! These compact, trailing tomato varieties are perfect for small spaces, adding a touch of edible beauty to any outdoor living area.

Not only are hanging basket tomatoes a joy to grow, but they also offer a delicious and convenient way to enjoy fresh, homegrown tomatoes all season long. Plus, you can easily move your hanging baskets around to chase the sun or protect them from sudden frosts. Trust me, once you’ve experienced the sheer joy of harvesting your own hanging basket tomatoes, you’ll never look back!

The Magic of Hanging Basket Tomatoes

Tomatoes are the ultimate hanging basket darlings. Unlike their upright garden cousins, these beauties are meant to spill over the edges, tumbling their branches, flowers, and gorgeous tomatoes in a captivating cascade of edible delight. But the benefits don’t stop there! Hanging baskets offer a unique opportunity to:

  • Extend the Growing Season: Move your baskets to protected areas or indoors when the weather turns chilly, giving your tomatoes a cozy sanctuary to thrive.
  • Effortless Harvesting: With the plants dangling at eye level, no more bending over or straining your back to reach those precious fruits!
  • Space-Saving Genius: Transform even the tiniest balcony or patio into a productive tomato oasis without sacrificing your garden real estate.

Now, let’s dive into the star performers of the hanging basket tomato world and learn how to cultivate a bountiful, mouth-watering crop right at your doorstep!

8 Best Tomato Varieties for Hanging Baskets

When it comes to selecting the perfect tomato varieties for hanging baskets, size matters. But don’t worry; we’ve got options for both compact and sprawling baskets!

For Small Baskets:

If you’re working with limited space, these petite powerhouses will steal your heart (and your tastebuds)!

  1. Tiny Tim Tomatoes: Barely reaching 18 inches tall, these miniature marvels can thrive in a 6-inch pot, producing ¾ inch, bright red cherry tomatoes in just 60 days. Talk about efficiency!
  2. Tumbling Tom Tomatoes: Aptly named for their 18-inch-long cascading habit, these beauties will spill over your baskets with clusters of delectable, 1-inch cherry tomatoes in about 70 days.
  3. Red Robin Tomato: Bred specifically for container growing, Red Robin is a dwarf determinate delight. At only 8 to 12 inches tall, these compact plants produce an abundance of 1 ¼ inch, extra-sweet fruits in just 55 days!
  4. Early Resilience Hybrid Tomato: Disease resistance? Check. Compact growth? Check. Exceptional flavor? Double-check! These robust little plants yield up to 2-inch roma-style tomatoes with a perfectly balanced taste that will have you coming back for more.

For Larger Baskets:

If you’re feeling ambitious and have enough space (and arm strength!) for bigger baskets, these varieties will make your hanging garden the envy of the neighborhood.

  1. Celano Hybrid Tomato: A semi-determinate stunner reaching 40 inches tall, Celano produces a heavy yield of super-sweet, ¾ ounce fruits in containers as small as 18 inches wide.
  2. Hundreds and Thousands: True to its name, this vigorous, cascading variety will smother you with masses of bite-sized, deliciously sweet tomatoes. Easy to grow and perfect for hanging baskets!
  3. Whippersnapper: Imagine a gorgeous, prolific grower that spans the entire tomato rainbow, from light pink to deep red, all spilling over your baskets in a vibrant, edible display.
  4. Midnight Snack: Craving something a little more exotic? Indulge in the rich, sweet flavor of these striking purple cherry tomatoes, borne in high yields on indeterminate vines in about 75 days.

For the truly daring and experienced tomato aficionados, why not push the boundaries with wild, vining, indeterminate varieties? With proper support and dedication, you could have tomato plants cascading from ceiling to floor! Just be prepared for a heavy, thirsty, and hungry plant that will require frequent watering, feeding, and a sturdy hanging system (think professional basketball hoop sturdy).

Setting Up Your Hanging Basket Tomato Garden

Now that you’ve chosen your tomato varieties, it’s time to create the perfect hanging basket oasis. Here’s what you’ll need:

The Perfect Basket

Flimsy, cheaply made baskets won’t cut it for our prolific tomato plants. Invest in reusable wire or sturdy plastic hanging baskets with robust hanging chains and hooks. Strength is the name of the game here, my friends!

But wait, there’s more! Proper drainage is crucial for healthy, happy tomatoes. If your basket doesn’t have drainage holes, don’t fret – grab a drill and make some! We don’t want our precious plants drowning in a soggy, murky mess.

Preparing the Basket

Depending on your basket style, you’ll want to line it with a coconut mat, landscape fabric, or a custom plastic disk or mesh. This will help with soil aeration and water drainage while keeping your precious growing medium in place.

The Best Soil for Hanging Basket Tomatoes

Since we’re not just growing ornamentals here, we need to provide our tomatoes with the best possible soil for optimal growth and flavor. Start with a high-quality potting mix, and enrich it with organic matter, compost, and a natural or organic root and bloom fertilizer right from the beginning.

Look for a soil mix that retains moisture well, like those containing peat moss or coconut fiber. This Mother Earth Potting Soil is an ideal medium to get your hanging basket tomatoes off to a strong start.

Where to Place Your Hanging Baskets

Tomatoes are sun-worshippers, so find a spot that gets plenty of direct sunlight and protection from strong winds. Heat is their friend, and they’ll reward you with juicy, flavorful fruits in warm locations.

But don’t forget about accessibility! Sure, hauling water across the yard twice a day seems doable in May, but come August, when the heat is scorching and your to-do list is a mile long, you’ll be grateful you placed those baskets within easy reach.

Planting Up the Baskets

Once the danger of frost has passed, it’s time to get those tomato plants settled into their new hanging homes. For most varieties, one plant per basket is sufficient.

Create a central hole in the soil and gently loosen the root ball before planting. Unlike many other plants, tomatoes love to be planted deeply, so bury them up to their first set of true leaves. Give your new transplants a good, deep watering, and watch them thrive!

Tomato Companion Plants for Hanging Baskets

Tomatoes have a lot of great garden friends that can enhance their growth and flavor. Consider interplanting your baskets with flowering companions like French marigolds or calendulas to attract pollinators and add a pop of color.

And let’s not forget basil – the perfect culinary companion for tomatoes! Not only do they complement each other beautifully in countless dishes, but they also grow exceptionally well together.

Caring for Your Hanging Basket Tomatoes

Now that your hanging basket tomato garden is set up, it’s time to shower your plants with love and attention. Here’s how:

Watering

Remember, your hanging baskets are entirely dependent on you for hydration. Tomatoes love consistency, so an automatic watering system is highly recommended to keep both you and your plants stress-free.

Hanging up in the air, these plants are susceptible to drying out quickly, especially on hot, windy days. A regular watering schedule of twice a day is not overdoing it – trust me, your tomatoes will thank you!

Feeding

In addition to the nutrient-rich soil you’ve provided, give your tomatoes a weekly boost with a liquid spray fertilizer or compost tea. And don’t forget to treat them to a liquid natural root and bloom fertilizer a couple of times a month to encourage those beautiful blooms to transform into delicious, ripe tomatoes.

Pruning

Unless you’ve braved the wild world of indeterminate, vining tomato plants (in which case, keep it to 3-5 main stems), most hanging basket tomatoes will be smaller, determinate varieties that require minimal pruning.

Simply remove any damaged leaves, and let your plants focus their energy on producing as many branches, stems, and shoots as possible to maximize your tomato yield.

For those determinate varieties, resist the urge to heavily prune or remove too much foliage. These plants have a predetermined, finite amount of growth, so you’ll want to keep as many branches, stems, and shoots as the plant will give you. More growth means more potential for a bountiful harvest!

Battling Pests and Diseases

Like any garden crop, your hanging basket tomatoes may face the occasional pest or disease challenge. Keep a watchful eye out for common tomato foes like aphids, hornworms, or early blight.

Fortunately, many tomato varieties nowadays are bred for improved disease resistance, giving your plants a fighting chance against these nuisances. But if you do notice any issues, don’t panic! There are plenty of organic and natural solutions available to help your tomatoes thrive.

From insecticidal soaps and neem oil to copper fungicides and good old-fashioned vigilance, you have an arsenal of eco-friendly weapons to protect your precious crop.

Harvesting and Enjoying Your Hanging Basket Tomatoes

As your tomato plants begin to produce fruit, you’ll be rewarded with a bountiful harvest of fresh, flavorful tomatoes right at your fingertips. Here are a few tips for harvesting and enjoying your hanging basket tomatoes:

  • Pick tomatoes when they’re fully ripe and have reached their desired color. Gently twist or cut the fruit from the plant, being careful not to damage the stem or nearby fruits.
  • For the best flavor, try to harvest your tomatoes in the morning hours when the temperatures are cooler.
  • Don’t let those ripe tomatoes go to waste! Enjoy them fresh in salads, sandwiches, or simply as a snack. You can also preserve your harvest by canning, freezing, or making delicious sauces and salsas.

Final Thoughts

Growing tomatoes in hanging baskets is more than just a gardening pursuit – it’s a delightful adventure that will awaken your senses, ignite your creativity, and fill your kitchen with the irresistible aromas of homegrown goodness.

So, what are you waiting for? Gather your supplies, choose your favorite varieties, and let the hanging basket tomato journey begin! Trust me, once you’ve experienced the sheer joy of harvesting your own fresh, dangling tomatoes, you’ll never look at gardening the same way again.


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Mohsin
By Mohsin

Hi, I’m Mohsin, creator of Tomato about website. I have over a two decade of gardening experience and I love helping others growing healthy tomatoes!


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