Growing Patio Tomato Plants – Your Ultimate Resource for 2022

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Patio tomatoes are some of the easiest vegetables to grow. So much so that you can have a plentiful harvest of this homegrown vegetable every season with just a few preparations before planting and with continuous care. 

The patio tomato grows well in the subtropical zone. They only need a daytime temperature of about 55°F and above 45°F at night to thrive. Furthermore, the patio tomato doesn’t require much space. It can grow in containers on your porch, patio, or deck.

However, you need the best and most flavorful varieties for small space growing, saving larger tomatoes for your garden planting.

What is a Patio Tomato? 

The term “patio” refers to a specific cultivar cultivated in pots and spends all of its time growing in containers. Unlike other tomato varieties, the patio tomato plant is small and can only reach a height of 2 feet at most. It is a very bushy variety. Hence, it doesn’t need any staking.  

However, this tomato plant variety can get floppy when covered with fruits. In addition, patio tomatoes are more resistant to disease. The stems of patio tomatoes can also keep producing more tomatoes in the future. To make the most of each plant, you should prune your plant to have four to five branches that will bear fruit. 

Patio Tomato Varieties 

patio tomato plants
A patio tomato growing in a pot

Below are a few of the best compact and dwarf tomato varieties, which are well suited to growing in pots. 

Little Napoli 

This is one of the few paste-type tomato varieties suitable for growing in pots. This Roma tomato can grow to a maximum height of 18 inches. In addition, its fruits ripen simultaneously, and you can preserve the harvest by canning. 

Super Bush 

This patio tomato variety grows to a maximum of 4 feet and is an upright plant with solid stems. The Super Bush variety offers an early harvest, and the fruits are often very fleshy. They can reach up to 3 or 4 inches, depending on the growth conditions, among other factors.  

Carmello 

This hybrid tomato is known to produce fruits with a sweet, rich flavor, especially during the coldest season. Furthermore, this plant variety offers reliable growth despite the changing weather. 

Patio F Tomato 

This tomato variety is also the best choice for growing in a container. These fruit varieties are just wider compared to cherries. Farming two to three tomato plants in one large container improves productivity since it offers an average yield. Above all, this plant variety needs no support when growing. 

Sweet and Neat Yellow 

patio choice yellow tomato
Yellow tomatoes are a great choice for patios

With this patio tomato variety, you will have an extended harvest, unlike other types. Plus, its tomatoes are yellow. This plant usually grows to be about 1 foot tall. Hence, it’s small enough for indoor gardens. 

Tumbling Tom Red 

The Tumbling Tom Red stem can grow to a length of 24″. Its fruits are slightly oval and grow up to 2″. This tomato variety can produce several fruits that are very sweet. 

San Marzano 

This tomato is best for fresh eating or producing sauces, salsas, etc., since it’s a small seed core with meaty flesh. The San Marzano variety can grow comfortably on a patio since it’s compact and upright. 

Micro-Tom 

This tomato variety is red, and it grows to about an inch. It’s a minor tomato plant variety, but it measures just below 8 inches tall when fully developed. This plant can grow well in a pot and is very productive. 

Elfin 

This red fruit grows to a maximum length of 1.5,” and the fruits are delicious and crisp. A mature Elfin tomato plant is relatively small and tear-shaped. 

Bush Early Girl 

This is a classic slicing-variety flavorful tomato that produces average yields. The red tomato fruit from this plant measures 3″ to 4″, and the plant grows up to 3 feet tall. The fruits of this tomato variety ripen quickly, making it the best choice for those who can’t wait for the summer harvest. 

Tiny Tim 

This tomato fruit variety is round and red and grows to about 0.75″. Tiny Tim tomatoes will produce well in either small pots or window sill gardens. A mature Tiny Tim plant measures approximately 1.5 feet tall. 

Sun Gold 

This tomato variety has a sweet taste and an orange color. Furthermore, the size of this tomato plant is relatively large. As such, it requires big containers that offer support. The plant takes about 55 to 65 days to mature. 

Sprite Tomato 

This is the best alternative to grape tomatoes for people that don’t have enough space to grow tall plants. The plant is short with a compact size, and it’s known to yield prolific tomatoes that have thin and crisp skins. The fruits have a rich, sweet flavor that’s utterly enjoyable to fussy eaters. In addition, this tomato variety requires less care; it’s less juicy and does well in warm temperatures. 

Tigerella Tomato 

This tomato plant variety produces some stunning fruit with orange and red stripes, which are very delicious. Moreover, an earlier maturing plant can yield 2″ round fruits within 60 – 70 days. This tomato variety is suitable for big yields and doesn’t need any support. 

Beaverlodge 6806 Plum 

This plum tomato variety is tasty and yields huge, plump, round-shaped tomatoes loaded with flavor. This quick maturing tomato offers a good harvest early in the season. 

How to Care for Patio Tomatoes

patio tomato growing
A Tigerella tomato is suitable for growing on your patio

Get The Appropriate Sized Pots Before Growing Your Plant 

After purchasing a suitable tomato variety, you must get tomato planters for patio use. Your pot should be larger than 15″ in diameter to hold one plant, although you can repot the plant into a bigger pot immediately after it becomes big. Hanging baskets are also suitable for growing tomatoes, although they require frequent watering. This part is important because if your pot is too small, you could hurt the plant’s growth as it wouldn’t get as much space and resources to thrive. 

Get the Best Quality Potting Soil 

Fill your patio tomato planter with the best quality soil containing sufficient nutrients. It’s important to note that ordinary garden soil is too heavy for pots and compacts with time, and the soil should be about 1″ below the pot rim. Furthermore, make sure that your pot has good drainage. 

Add Support 

You can add support to have your container tomatoes centered and grow vertically. You can do this by tying the plant to the stick using twine or wire. 

Put It In A Sunny Area 

Patio tomato plants do well in warm temperatures and sunny locations. The plant requires sunlight for about 6 to 8 hours. Remember that sunlight isn’t suitable for seedlings, which may dry up. 

Water The Plant (But not too much) 

Water the plant using a watering can. Usually, the soil inside pots dries out very fast. You can water the soil every morning to prevent this from becoming a problem. If the temperatures are high and the weather is windy, you can water the plant twice a day. However, you shouldn’t overwater patio tomato plants since soggy soil can lead to root rot. 

Apply Fertilizer Consistently 

Always feed your plant with tomato-specific fertilizer every two weeks, giving it all the essential nutrients it needs to grow, including nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. You should also check if the soil you use already has these nutrients so you do not over-fertilize an already thriving soil. Epsom salts is wonderful for patio tomatoes. For more information, read my full article on the benefits of Epsom Salts for tomatoes.

Patio Tomato Spacing 

It’s not feasible to grow more than one plant in one pot unless it’s big. Growing tomatoes close to each other makes it difficult for them to develop and produce fruits since there will be competition for water and other nutrients. That said, to care for your plants properly, the correct spacing should be about 80 cm. 

Keep the Fruit Production Cycle in Mind 

Depending on the patio tomato variety, it will take about 25 to 60 days to bear fruit after flowering. Moreover, other smaller types can take 3 to 4 weeks to produce fruits. 

Be Wary of Patio Tomatoes Pests and Diseases 

Like every other plant, patio tomatoes are also prone to diseases and pests. The most common tomato leaf diseases occur when soil and water splash onto the leaves. You can minimize these diseases by watering the patio tomato plants at their base and avoiding leaf splashes as much as possible. 

Alongside that, proper air circulation helps prevent disease because the moving air will dry the wet foliage very fast. The leaves of your tomatoes should also not be touching other plants or walls. Like every other tomato variety, patio tomatoes are also sensitive to frost.

Frequently Asked Questions 

patio tomato varieties
Patio Tomato Varieties

What is the best patio tomato? 

There are several patio tomato seed varieties on the market. Each has its own growth requirements and unique taste. The best for you is entirely dependent on how much effort you can commit to the plant’s growth and what taste you’re looking for. 

How big do patio tomato plants get? 

How tall a patio tomato plant will grow depends on its variety. A Patio F Hybrid will grow up to 2 feet tall when mature, while Red Robin can have a max height of one foot, and a matured Micro-Tom tomato plant variety can grow up to 8 inches tall. 

Are patio tomatoes indeterminate or determinate? 

Patio tomatoes are determinate varieties since most of them will grow within the 2 to 4-foot range. Moreover, like Little Napoli, its fruits mature at almost the same time, making them suitable for canning. 

What is the average size of a patio tomato fruit? 

Different patio tomato varieties have fruits of various sizes. For instance, a Micro-Tom variety bears fruits with a maximum diameter of one inch, Tumbling Tom Hybrid fruits measure up to 2 inches, and Elfin fruits measure approximately 1.5 inches in length. Moreover, the average size of patio tomato fruits is between 50mm – 70mm in diameter. 

Can one grow patio tomatoes from seeds? 

Yes, it is possible to grow patio tomatoes from seeds. You only need to make sure that you’re providing the right growth conditions. These include a proper pot, frequent watering and fertilizing, sunlight, etc. 

Patio Tomato vs Cherry Tomato – What is the Difference? 

There are cherry tomatoes suitable for growing in a pot, but the fruit is considerably smaller in size compared to patio tomatoes. That is, the diameter of cherry tomatoes can be as low as 1 inch. 

patio cherry tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes can be grown on a patio

Enjoy Tomatoes Fresh from Your Patio Garden

Tomatoes are among the most common plants in gardens and are simple to grow, even with limited space. With the best patio tomato variety, you can grow it in a container and manage it properly to have a successful harvest. Make sure the patio tomato planter is just right and the weather conditions are favorable. Also, pay attention to the type of fertilizer and soil you use, how often you water them, and the spacing. 

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