Tomatoes are a classic warm-season crop. Garden tomatoes may require a lot of space and care to produce a healthy return. However, if your backyard is on the small side, you don't have to go without. Hanging baskets can produce fine harvests of plump little tomatoes. Avoid the vining cordon, or indeterminate, tomato types. Instead, opt for dwarf bush or determinate tomatoes, such as Cherry Gold, Tiny Tim, Red Robin, Yellow Canary and Small Fry, according to the University of Illinois.
Sow tomato seeds in seedling trays filled with starter mix in early April or a few weeks before your region's last frost date. Place a seed in each tray cup and lightly cover with mix. Water and place on a plate or tray in a light, warm spot.
Line a 13-inch hanging basket with a strong polyethylene sheet. Poke several holes in the bottom using a screwdriver to allow water drainage.
Mix equal parts peat moss and shredded bark. Add 25 percent garden sand and 25 percent perlite, according to Texas A&M University. Alternatively, buy a soil-free potting mix from a garden store. Work in a dose of slow-release fertilizer as recommended on the fertilizer package. Fill the basket with the mix, leaving an inch gap before the rim.
Transplant the tomato seedlings from the tray when the last frost date has passed. Check dates for your location using a Farmer's Almanac (see Resources below), but general frost safe dates fall around mid- to late-May.
Dig a hole in the basket mix large enough to fit the tomato plant roots. Fit the plant into the hole and push potting mix around the base of the stem to firm it in place.
Fix your basket to a wall bracket in a bright, warm location. Avoid shaded spots under eaves or balconies. Water the basket well until water is running from the bottom holes.
Water daily to keep the mix moist, but don't water if already damp. Avoid sudden floods of water after a period of dryness, because this can split your fruit.