When you don't have the space or time for a garden, growing vegetables in containers is an effective way to bring the flavor of fresh vegetables to your kitchen. Tomatoes are easy to grow in containers, indoors or out, and offer flavor and nutrients that store-bought varieties just can't beat. No matter what size container you use, there is a wide variety of tomato hybrids and heirlooms perfectly suited for your needs.
Grape and Cherry Tomatoes
Many grape and cherry varieties grow well in hanging baskets that allow the vines to spread and hang freely. These snack-size varieties come in shades of red, gold and even green, with round, oblong and pear-shaped forms. There are also many bush-type cherry and grape tomato hybrids suited for both small and large containers. Varieties to try include: Tiny Tim, Black Cherry, Green Grape, Golden Pearl, Sweet Million, Rosalita and Sprite.
Paste tomatoes, which grow from 3 to 6 inches in length, are ideal for making sauces, soups and salsa. An array of hybrid and heirloom varieties offer meaty flavor, vibrant color and shapes from oblong to pointy. Dwarf varieties are well-suited to small spaces, while normal hybrids can be grown in large containers and may require staking or other support. Among the best for container planting are Italian Red Pear, Opalka, Bellstar, San Marzano and Sausage.
Slicing tomatoes, including the gigantic beefsteak varieties, are the perfect topper for burgers and also solo, as a side dish. Packed with sweet, juicy flavor, slicing tomatoes leave store-bought varieties in the dust. Some of the larger beefsteak varieties may be too large for container gardening; however, there are several hybrid and heirloom plants that are well-suited for containers. Try growing some Kimberly, Superbush, Better Boy or Bush Big Boy tomatoes in 15-gallon or larger containers.