Though it’s a relative newcomer on supermarket create shelves, grape tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) have been in existence for quite a while, with several heirloom varieties available. The oval fruits can be red, yellow or green. They resemble a big grape and have thick skins, sweet flavor and good keeping qualities. Grape tomato crops vary in size, depending on the cultivar. Choose the smaller or medium-sized varieties to grow in containers. Use a container at least 12 inches tall and broad, with larger size pots for larger varieties.
Shorter compact varieties of grape tomato are especially well suited for container gardening. These smaller plants incorporate determinate and semi-determinate varieties, for which plant growth stops or slows when fruit production starts. “Sprite” is categorized as a determinate ancient producer. This variety reaches a height of 4 feet and bears sweet red fruits with thin skins. “Green Grape” has 1-inch yellow-green, soft and fleshy sweet-flavored fruits which develop in clusters, resembling Muscat grapes. This determinate, 24- to 36-inch wide heirloom variety matures in 75 days. “Hy-Brix” is a hybrid semi-determinate variety that grows to 4 feet tall with crimson, early-maturing fruit which ranges from 1/4 to 1/2 oz in size.
“Jolly Elf” has red, firm tomatoes with great flavor on a determinate vine. Medium-sized “Smarty” displays compact growth on an indeterminate vine and has red fruits with a high brix degree, which indicates sweet taste. Grow medium-sized grape tomatoes in no less than a 5-gallon container, moving to a 7- year to 10-gallon dimensions, if room permits. Larger container sizes allow better root development, more insulation from summertime heat for those better and roots soil moisture retention.
Indeterminate varieties, which don’t stop growing until they’re killed by frost, are big plants which may reach over 8 feet tall. It is hard to develop them in containers, but you may like to try growing tall grape tomatoes at a 15-gallon dimensions or larger container and also training the vine on a trellis. “Sweet Hearts” has high brix, superb taste and brilliant crimson fruits. “Five Star” reaches 7 feet tall, has good disease resistance, red fruits with few seeds, excellent taste and sweetness. “Solid Gold” provides a yellowish grape tomato with excellent taste and high return on vigorous indeterminate vines.
Tips for Container Growing
Use a plastic or glazed container with good drainage holes. Clay pots dry out too quickly. Be prepared to water plants thoroughly on a daily basis in hot summer weather. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. For brief and medium-growing plants, then select a deep enough grass so you can still soften the underside two-thirds of the tomato seedling’s stem when you transplant it into the pot. New roots will form over the stem. Place containers where plants will obtain at least six hours of sunlight daily, and use a fantastic quality potting mix. Even compact plants will benefit from caging or staking to keep the stems erect.