Looking for the best tomato varieties for your patio?
If you only have room to grow a few plants in containers, it is important to choose those plants wisely. Tomatoes are a great choice for patio gardens. We list our favorite patio tomato varieties here, highlighting ones that are easy to grow, disease-resistant and that will produce a delicious bounty of fruit.
Of course, growing anything in a container comes with a few challenges and tomatoes are no different. Luckily there are ways to work around the difficulties that you may encounter as you prepare your tomato patio garden.
- Not Enough Sun – Tomatoes need direct sun for at least 8 hours a day. If your patio doesn’t have a spot that meets these conditions, you may need to place your containers on a wheeled cart so that you can move them daily to keep them in the sun.
- Poor Soil Conditions – Tomatoes use a lot of the nutrients found in soil, so it is important to use a good soil, such as a mixture of potting soil and compost. It is also a good idea to use a tomato fertilizer regularly.
- Planting the Wrong Varieties – If you are planting in a container, it is important to choose a plant variety that is specifically bred for this purpose.
- Blossom End Rot – Uneven watering will lead to blossom end rot. This common tomato problem will cause your fruit to be flat, black or leathery. To avoid this problem, follow a regular watering schedule and use mulch to help keep the soil evenly moist between each watering.
- Not Enough Time to Grow – Planting on time is especially important in cooler climates where the growing season is shorter. Plant your seedlings in the early spring once the risk of frost has passed. Temperatures between 70 and 75 degree Fahrenheit are ideal.
Great Tomato Varieties for Patio and Container Planting
- Tiny Tim (45 Days) – Round red fruits approximately ¾ inch. The Tiny Tim will produce beautiful cherry tomatoes either in a window sill garden or in small pots. The mature plant measures about a foot and a half in height.
- Yellow Canary (55 Days) – Yellow fruits about 1 inch in diameter. The Yellow Canary is a dwarf variety that can be grown in pots as small as 7 inches. It can also tolerate lower levels of light, so this is a great choice if your patio doesn’t get as much sun as you would like.
- Red Robin (55 Days) – Red fruits approximately 1¼ inches. The mature plant measures about 1 foot in height and produces mild-tasting fruit. This plant only needs an 8-inch pot and will produce a bounty of fruit.
- Elfin (60 Days) – Red fruits approximately 1½ inches in length. The Elfin tomato is crisp and delicious. One great reason that this is a wonderful choice for container growing is the relatively low height of the mature plant.
- Sprite (60 Days) – Red oval-shaped fruits approximately 1 inch in length. The Sprite tomato produces beautiful fruit that are deliciously sweet and great to eat on their own. Many gardeners enjoy that this tomato has a very thin skin. It produces a high yield that starts producing at maturation and keeps going until the first frost.
- Patio F Hybrid (70 Days) – Red fruits approximately 3-4 ounces in weight. This small tomato plant works great in containers at least 12 inches across. The fully mature plant will measure about 2 feet tall and will be green, lush and covered in flavorful tomatoes.
- Totem (70 Days) – Small red round fruits. Totem tomatoes will produce an abundant harvest on a small plant.
- Tumbling Tom Hybrid (70 Days) – Red or yellow fruits approximately 1½ to 2 inches. Tumbling Tom is a great choice for hanging baskets and containers. The plants can be grown closely together so you will be able to fit several in a single 12-inch pot.
- Window Box Roma (70 Days) – Two-inch red fruits. This variety will produce long-lasting fruits. Once harvested they have a shelf life that is much longer than other tomato varieties. They are also disease-resistant.
- Micro Tom (75-85 Days) – Red fruits approximately 1 inch or smaller in width. The Micro Tom is the smallest tomato plant in the world and will generally measure less than 8 inches tall when fully mature. It can grow in a 4-to-6-inch pot on a window sill. It is very productive for its small size. Each mature plant will generally yield a couple dozen fruit about the size of cherry tomatoes.