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Apr 13, 2013

Growing Tomatoes in Containers, growing tomatoes from seeds

Nothing like watching your hard worked plants bearing fruits. I stay in an apartment and the only place to garden is my balcony with a set of containers. but gradually as I experience more I can vouch that most of the vegetables can be grown in containers varying shape and size according to their root growth system. I started with these tomatoes in November by simply burying the seeds (which I bought from a nearby gardening store ) in a pot filled with soil and cow dung manure mixture. It gave a good germination rate of around 98% within 5days of sowing.

These pics are taken around 20 days after germination.

I transplanted them in to 10" containers (5) and 2 grow bags after a month.One plant each container in a mix of soil, cow dung manure and my kitchen waste compost. 

Around one & half month old

I nurtured them with daily watering, airing once in a week and feeding around 50 gm of my home made compost in every 20 days. I have heard that tomato plants are prone to pests like mealy bugs and aphids hence I kept on checking the leave to ensure I can treat them as soon as I encounter any pest problem. They are parched on the balcony wall where they get around 6-7 hours of direct sunlight. They started flowing in around 60 days  from germination. 

Around two & half months old

I couldn't find time to buy trellis for may plants and poked these sticks around the to give them support and It actually worked. ;) The plants may drop the initial bloom which is considered  as "plants intelligence" which means plant tend to drop initial blooms until they are strong enough to bear fruits. However drops can also happen due to non pollination. if you don't have bees or butterflies or ants in your balcony pollination becomes a challenge. 

you can hand pollinate your tomato flowers by shaking the plant or may be the entire pot gently and the vibration  will help in pollination. you can also use a vibrator but use it very gently as the flowers are real delicate. Going by my personal experience I noticed that all pollinated flowers tend to strengthen the stem they are hanging with, so that the stem can bear the weight as the fruit grows whereas unpollinated flowers remain on the branches with the same look and feel for 3-5 days get pale and eventually drop.

Once flowers pollinate they start forming fruits and you can easily see tiny tomatoes hanging from the branches. Usually it takes 2 months for the first set of pollinated  flowers to reach at the stage of  Red ripen tomatoes followed by other bunches. I advise to pick them at semi ripen stage and let them mature indoor. This helps new blooms to come and other fruits to be set. Have a look at the current stage of my plants. 

And almost after 3 months from pollination its time to pick the fresh organic fruits. Absolutely Pesticides freeeeeee. I have already had 4  harvests and still may fruits are turning red..

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  5. All very good but placing these pots on the balcony wall could potentially kill or severely hurt someone if they fall and there's chances of that happening on normal days and especially during windy, stormy, rainy weather. So please spare a thought for those below and place them on the balcony, not the balcony wall ledge as you have.

  6. Hi Anonymous, Thanks for your comment and the suggestion. There is a fencing (Grid) fixed outside below the wall which holds everything drops down including cloths. So need not to worry its already taken care of. :)

    Thanks for posting..

  7. Hi! found your blog through geekgardener and I am loving all your posts. I was surprised to learn that u are living in Dwarka, as I am also at Dwarka Sec-6. I have recently developed an interest in gardening (a result of having left my job and looking after small kids) and have been searching the net for information. Tried talking to the malis that wander the area, but they all come across as cheats... Your post on composting is very inspiring and I am going to start one today only.

    The tomatoes look great and I would love to start growing this veg.... please help me in deciding what kind of soil to use for this. Does regular soil found in gardens etc with with some khaad (sourced from a nursery in sec -1, behind the petrol pump) suffice. I have been reading about potting soil, cocopeat, perilite etc....and first not sure where to buy them from and secondly which plants need them and which dont.
    Please give me some information regarding this if you can!!

  8. Hi Kaivi, this is such an informative and inspirational blog. Can you please share information on what all we need to get a balcony vegetable garden started. Thanks a lot. Keep Posting!!

  9. The pics are so appealing.. Will go through this post again!


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