One reason why tomatoes are so popular with home gardeners is that a single plant produces surprisingly high yields, and grows in almost any location that gets at least six hours of direct sun every day.

You have dozens of succulent varieties to choose from, too. All do well in planters. Start tomatoes from seeds and set them out three to four weeks later. Or buy well-developed seedlings and transplant them to the chosen planters.

Once plants take hold control vines by pinching off only the bottom three or four suckers that sprout from the main stem. Tomatoes are ready for harvesting when they pull readily from the vine; if you have to pull or tug. a tomato isn't ready yet.

How to support your tomato plant
Even small-fruit tomato plants soon grow tall and heavy. Provide them with a three-foot-long dowel and tie stems as the, plant matures. lift seems tippy, brace the planter with bricks or blocks, or place the planter near a stronger support to which the dowel can be secured.

Larger tomatoes need more support. To keep them from rambling, surround each planter with a wire cage, made from woven wire fashioned into a cylinder. You can buy special woven wire for supporting tomatoes at most nurseries. Or make your own from concrete reinforcing Wire. Openings in wire should be large enough so you can insert your hand and remove ripe tomatoes without difficulty.

To keep the cage from toppling, secure it with bricks or cement blocks to weight the cage's base.

Or use guy wires run from the dowel support to stakes driven into the ground.

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