15 Tomatoes to Grow in Small Spaces


growing tomatoes in small spaces

by Jennifer Poindexter

Have you decided to start a garden, though you don’t have a ton of space? Good for you! 

Small spaces should be viewed as a different way to garden but never used as an excuse or deterrent to avoid gardening all together. 

You can grow gorgeous tomatoes in small spaces including patios, decks, or in containers.

Which tomatoes are best? I’m glad you want to know! I’ve prepared a list for you to consider when growing tomatoes in smaller spaces.

These tomatoes are known for doing exceptionally well when grown in containers. I’ll fill you in on the size of the fruit, the size of the plant, and a few other details you might want to know before picking the tomatoes which work best for your situation.

Here are the tomatoes which grow best in small spaces:

tomato growing on deck

Growing Conditions for Tomatoes In Small Spaces

Before we dive into tomato varieties that work well in small spaces, it’s important you understand what they need from you.

All plants must be supplied with the appropriate growing conditions. Tomatoes are no different and have a few basic needs you should meet.

They must be grown where they’ll receive at least six hours of direct sunlight and planted in soil that’s high in nutrients. The soil should be well-draining, too.

When growing tomatoes in containers, ensure the planters are at least two-gallons deep and a foot wide. I like to grow my tomatoes in five-gallon buckets as this seems to supply them with ample room.

You should also ensure the planter drains adequately. 

Finally, be sure to water your tomatoes properly and fertilize them as well. Tomatoes should be watered every time the top three inches of soil are dry. Test this with your finger. When the soil is dry to your first knuckle, it’s time to water the plants deeply again.

You should fertilize your tomato plants with an all-purpose fertilizer one time per month. By supplying what your tomato plants need, you’re giving them every reason to produce well at harvest time. 

Determinate vs. Indeterminate Tomatoes for Small Spaces

As we go through this list of tomato varieties which are best for small spaces, you’re going to hear the terms determinate and indeterminate.

What does this mean? Determinate tomatoes have a determined height. Once this height is reached, the plants won’t grow anymore and will produce all the fruit they’re going to within the next four to eight weeks.

This type of tomato is great for the home gardener who is also a home canner. They get all the fruits they’ll need in a determined amount of time.

Then there’s the indeterminate varieties. Indeterminate means the plants will grow and produce fruit throughout the entire growing season. Frost is typically what ends their run. These fruits are great for those who want a continuous supply of tomatoes during the growing season.

Now that you understand what these terms mean, let’s discuss which tomatoes work best in a smaller growing area. 

tomatoes growing in pots

Tomatoes for Small Spaces

1. Tiny Tim

Tiny Tim is a miniature tomato plant option that only grows to be about a foot and a half tall. This makes it a great candidate for small spaces and container gardening.

This plant produces cherry tomatoes and only takes approximately 60 days to reach harvest. Tiny Tim is a determinate variety of tomato plant.

2. Tasmanian Chocolate

Tasmanian chocolate is a fun variety of plant to grow. It produces tomatoes that share the same coloration as milk chocolate.

This plant will reach three feet in height and produces six ounce fruits. Tasmanian chocolate tomato plants are determinate and are ready for harvest in approximately 85 days.

3. Better Bush

The better bush variety of tomato is an indeterminate plant that produces eight ounce fruits. This plant grows as tall as four feet and might need support as it matures.

This plant should be ready to harvest in around 68 days. If you’d like to grow a sandwich tomato in a small space, this could be a good variety to choose.

4. Sungold

I grew sungold tomatoes on my deck last year in a container. They turned out great and tasted delicious! This plant produces yellow, cherry tomatoes. 

It’s an indeterminate variety that can grow as tall as eight feet. It will need some support as it matures. This plant will produce a harvest in 65 days.

5. Clear Pink Early

Do you like growing colorful tomatoes? I do because I know the more colors I eat, the more nutrients I absorb. This plant could help you add more color to your diet.

Clear pink early tomatoes are pink (as the name describes). It’s a compact plant that produces a harvest in 58 days. It’s also determinate, so the fruit should come in a timely manner.

6. Red Rocket

Red rocket is another compact bush plant that would work well in a container or growing in a smaller area.

This plant produces eight ounce fruit and takes around 60 days to reach harvest. The red rocket is a determinate variety of tomato plant. 

7. Tidy Treats

I’m a huge fan of growing cherry tomatoes in small spaces. They seem to be happy growing in containers and produce quite a harvest that tastes great, too!

If you’re in search of a cherry tomato for your small space, tidy treats could work for you. This plant is indeterminate but begins producing a harvest in 55 days. The plant should reach four feet in height, so it may need additional support.

8. Bush Beefsteak

Do you love beefsteak tomatoes? You must try this bush variety. It’s meant to grow in compact spaces but still produce the same flavor you love from traditional beefsteak tomatoes.

This plant should produce eight ounce fruits and takes around 68 days to reach harvest. However, it should only grow to be four feet tall. This is an indeterminate variety, so the plant should produce tomatoes throughout the growing season.

9. Glacier Early

I love early varieties of tomatoes because they provide the flavors we love in less time. Glacier early is one of these varieties. This plant produces small to medium sized fruits and only grows to be around four feet tall.

This plant takes 55 days to reach harvest and is an indeterminate variety. Therefore, you should have plenty of tomatoes to enjoy during the growing season.

10. New Big Dwarf

New big dwarf is an heirloom variety that was developed in 1909 when S. M. Isbell & Co. crossed a ponderosa variety of tomato with a dwarf champion. Now, this new variety supplies larger tomatoes on a compact plant.

The new big dwarf will only grow to be two feet tall but produces eight ounce fruits. It takes around 60 days to reach harvest and is a determinate variety. 

11. Tumbling Tom

Tumbling Tom is what many gardeners use when growing tomatoes in a hanging basket as this variety of plant trails. 

This plant produces cherry tomatoes and takes around 70 days to provide a harvest. The tumbling Tom is a determinate variety of plant.

12. Heartbreaker

Heartbreaker tomato plants are lush and provide beauty along with delicious tomatoes. They only grow to be approximately one foot tall. 

This plant produces heart-shaped clusters of tomatoes and usually only grows around 50 tomatoes per plant. It’s determinate and should produce a harvest in approximately 55 days. 

13. Bush Early Girl

Bush early girl tomatoes are another favorite of mine that I grow on my deck in a container almost every year. This variety produces six ounce fruits on a compact plant.

The fruit will come in close together as it’s a determinate variety. However, you should receive a harvest in only 54 days.

14. 506 Bush Tomato

The 506 bush tomato is a determinate variety of tomato that’s also durable as it can handle drought.

However, this plant is very compact as it only grows to be a foot and a half tall. It also produces brightly colored fruit in approximately 62 days. 

15. Early Wonder

Our final small tomato variety, which should work well for containers and other small growing spaces, is the early wonder. This plant produces six ounce, dark pink fruit.

It’s a determinate variety of plant and should produce a harvest in around 55 days. If you’d like a beautiful harvest in less time that requires less space, this variety could be for you.

These are a few small tomato varieties which should work well when grown in smaller growing spaces. This includes growing them in containers, on a patio, a deck, or in a greenhouse.

Be sure to provide appropriate growing conditions and care to give your tomatoes the best opportunity to thrive. Then enjoy the delicious fruits of your labor. 

More About Tomatoes for Small Spaces

https://extension.psu.edu/dwarf-tomatoes-save-space-and-taste-great

https://njaes.rutgers.edu/tomato-varieties/

https://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/2020/03/what-are-the-best-tomato-varieties/

The post 15 Tomatoes to Grow in Small Spaces appeared first on Gardening Channel.

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