Hanging a tomato planter provides visual appeal in the garden and also protects the plant from nematodes, fungus and other soil-borne diseases. You can choose from plastic or wooden planters or wire baskets. Although wire baskets lined with coconut fiber are attractive, plastic is inexpensive, easy to plant and is slower to dry out, the Clemson Cooperative Extension notes, making it a solid choice for thirsty tomato plants. Wooden planters pose an attractive option for those with bigger budgets.
Drill drainage holes in the hanging planter if necessary.
Fill the hanging planter two-thirds full with the lightweight growing medium. Add 1 tbsp. of slow-release fertilizer and 2 tbsp. of water-retaining granules. Mix thoroughly.
Transplant one or two tomato plants into the planter. Use grape, cherry or pear types, recommends Indiana University. The University of Florida Extension recommends Tiny Tim, Micro-Tom, Sweet 100 or Florida Basket tomatoes for hanging baskets.
Place the root ball toward the bottom of the planter and cover the stem up to the first true leaves. Add more growing medium around the plants and firm the surface. Water immediately.
Fasten the chain to the planter. Place the tomato plant outdoors in an area that gets six hours or more daily of sunshine after the last chance of frost has passed. Insert a J-hook in a solid joist, not in plywood, under an eave. Hang the planter from an S-hook if necessary to lower it and permit easier watering.
Water once or twice daily, especially in hot conditions when moisture in the hanging basket will evaporate rapidly.