The tomato plant is a versatile garden plant that grows in the ground or in containers placed on a patio or deck. Tomatoes in a container allow you to have fresh fruit in areas where space is limited. Choose a small or dwarf variety with a short growing season to maximize the space and fruit production. Good container varieties include tiny tim, patio hybrid, red robin and celebrity. Provide adequate water to container-grown tomatoes to prevent a decrease in blossom and fruit production.
Prepare a planting container that is at least 12 inches in diameter and height with bottom drainage holes. Place wire mesh over the drainage holes to allow water flow through without leaching out soil.
Create a potting medium by mixing even quantities of a good quality potting soil, peat moss and perlite. Mix in a slow release tomato fertilizer and fill the container with soil.
Dig a hole that is 2 to 3 inches deeper than the root ball of the tomato seedling. Set the tomato into the hole and cover the root ball and stem with soil. Setting the plant deeper will force additional root growth to strengthen the plant.
Apply water to the container to moisten the soil throughout. Make sure excess water is draining through the bottom holes. Water the container regularly through the growing season to keep the soil moist. Plants growing in a container dry out quicker than those growing in a garden.
Place the container in a location that receives at least eight hours of direct sunlight during the day.
Provide support for the tomato plants by placing several stakes or a cage in the container. Train the fruiting branches around the support to prevent them from breaking from the weight of the fruit.