Thursday, July 5, 2018

Cherry Brandy & There's A Snake In The House!

   It's been a whirlwind around here lately. I have been stocking up on my winter supplies, making salves, cherry brandy & chasing snakes out of the house.
   Tuesday started out as a usual shopping day. I went off to town to get more winter supplies. I stocked up on essential oils, tp/tissues/foil/baggies. Every time I go shopping I add to my pantry. Next time will probably be coffee/tea/gatoraid/juice.By fall we will have all of our supplies without feeling like I broke the bank by buying all at one time. I have done that in the past  it's much easier for me this way.
   When I got home I was getting the stuff out of the truck & into the basement & damn near stepped on a big old garter snake that was laying stretched out along the bottom of the door. I jumped, yelled SNAKE to my Husband & it moved along the back wall & went to the edge of the garage door where the rubber didn't quite go to the edge & slithered through the opening. OH GREAT, now we have a snake in the house. Our basement is open with areas I would not show the public. Order is not anywhere in the basement. Part storage, part living space. Chick even has a 3 person tent set up in the garage area, which by the way has not had room to have a car in it since 2011. Stuff galore! So here we are, trying to find the snake & figure out how to get it gone. Jim spotted it, we got the door up a bit & he swept it out, the fixed the spot it came in. Good Lord, I shiver to think what would of happened if it would have gotten in the tent.
   Crisis fixed, now it was time to start the cherry brandy. I took 4# cherry's, 1 1/2 large bottles of brandy, & 2 cups sugar & put them in a 1 gal glass jar with an air lock. I covered it & it's now sitting beside the 5gal. black cherry wine that I will bottle in a month or so. I let it steep for a month & strain. I'm sure I can find a use for the cherry's. There's nothing better than a small glass of this after being outside on a cold winter day to warm up.
   Chick & I have her school shopping done except for shoes. Summer is flying by & school will start again soon. We have been going to movies & flea markets & hanging out together. She's growing so fast & as long as she thinks it's cool to still hang out with Mom I will do all I can for us to spend time together.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

We Are Finally Getting Rain

  Just like most of the country we had no spring, just late cold then very hot. It had become terribly dry already here. The last few days we've had some rain & cooler temps. The windows are open & the house is airing out. Today is the first day in a week that we have no appts or anywhere we need to be so I am going to do some baking & work in the garden.
   My herbs are loving the hot weather & I have them hanging & drying all over the kitchen.I hung an extra long rod across my kitchen window & it's  great place to dry them. Chick & I have been making salves & she is going to make peppermint & orange lip balm next week to give as gifts. We have been going through our essential oils to see what we need for this winter.
   She & I found yarn for a crazy low price at Hobby Lobby & we bought all they had. I have a large knitting board that I am going to make myself a shawl on so finding the yarn so cheap made me do my happy dance! Chick got art supplies (like she really needed anymore).
   The garden is doing so-so. Too much heat so early has messed things up. I am planning on putting in a fall garden this year. Hopefully we won't have hot weather right up till Christmas.
   The summer plan to get away from cable tv is now in it's 4th week. No more home phone, no more cable. Streaming only. We got Leaf Antennas & Roku's for all the tvs & started out with Hulu, Netflix & Sling, but one week in got rid of Netflix & Sling & went with Hulu Live. The only thing that I hate is that there is a cap on how much we can stream each month. We could go unlimited but it's an extra $30 a month. We'll see how that goes.
   Extreme heat is going to start tomorrow so it's going to be difficult to keep enough water on the raised beds & buckets. It's going to be a long summer.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Beauty On 6-15-18

Many years ago I got this beauty for a Mother's Day gift. Today on the Birthday of my Son who gave it to me I got a picture of just how unique & beautiful it is.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Pee Wee Herman

I needed a good smile today & I surely got it. A box came for me & inside was a book from Grandma & Poppi for Gardenchick & this was for me. I bought this for my Dad many years ago when Pee Wee was so popular. Today I got him back. He will always have a place of honor to sit. Thanks for the smile Dad.
Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Dandelion / Olive Oil Salve & 5 Gallons Black Cherry Wine

   Schools almost out for the summer so I am trying to get a few things done before next week. This morning I got my dandelion salve in containers. I gathered the flowers 2 weeks ago, let them dry out for a few days, covered them with olive oil, let it set in a dark cabinet, strained this morning  into a glass canning jar sitting in a pan of hot water, mixed in pure beeswax,  let it all melt together & poured in the containers.
   The black cherry wine I started on May 1st. is bubbling along nicely. I get a wiff of it's yeasty smell every time I go into the kitchen. It's going to given as Christmas gifts this year.
   I actually did my first Pop Up Flea market this last weekend as Blue Moon Farmstead Biz. I didn't do too bad & I came home with much less than I took. I'm still working on the web site for the business. Busy life has gotten in the way.
   The garden is doing well. Most things are planted in buckets or some kind of container this year & it really seems to be working well. Weeding the garden has become an issue so I needed a way to get as much yield as possible, but not have to do so much work. This old body has some major issues so I have to adapt.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Victory Gardens -

Victory Gardens: Growing Food for the Common Good

victory gardens
Like so many things that cycle in popularity, food gardening is again in vogue. For most Americans, the vegetables and fruits they harvest from their backyard gardens supplement the food they purchase at the supermarket. Gardeners take great pride in their homegrown bounty, but few need to rely on it for basic sustenance.
That wasn't always the case. During World Wars I and II, food gardening wasn't merely an enjoyable pastime, it was necessary for survival. And the gardens weren't limited to family backyards. Businesses and schools dedicated space for growing food, and public parks were cultivated to create hundreds of garden plots. Communities came together to grow, tend, and harvest, and the bounty of these "Victory Gardens," as they came to be known, was shared by all.

Garden to Give: Inspiring Gardeners to Help Feed the Hungry

That same spirit of community has inspired the "Garden to Give" movement. Spearheaded by Gardener's Supply Company, Garden to Give encourages gardeners to donate their extra produce to their local food pantries to help feed the hungry in their communities. By one estimate, gardeners could feed 28 million hungry Americans just by donating the extra produce they already grow. Some individuals, community groups and schools are taking it a step further and planting special "giving gardens" so they'll have even more fresh produce to donate! Some are even referring to these gardens as Victory Gardens. Scroll down to "Start Your Own Victory Garden" for tips on planning a school Victory Garden, including consulting with your local food pantry for their recommendations on what to grow and the best times to drop off donations.

The Story of Victory Gardens

The values inherent in the wartime Victory Garden movement are making a comeback, including thriftiness, self-reliance, an awareness of where one's food originates, and the potential for gardening to bring communities together. The evolution of the Victory Garden concept is a fascinating story and yields important lessons about the impact individuals and groups can have in ensuring all of us have access to the fresh fruits and vegetables that support good health. The story is also a wake-up call that the skills of food growing, the conservation of land suitable for cultivation, and the willingness of communities to work together for the common good are all vital to practice, and to pass on from generation to generation.

The Migration from Rural to Urban

Until the early 1900s, a majority of Americans lived in the countryside and were relatively self-sufficient. Most households had large food gardens, and the vegetables, fruits, and herbs grown in them supplied much of each family’s dietary needs.
The early 1900s brought rapid advancements in technology that led to a shift in manufacturing from small, home-based “cottage industries” to mass production at large factories. Many Americans migrated from rural areas to cities, lured by the notion that year-round manufacturing jobs would bring better wages than seasonal farm labor. Long work hours and crowded urban dwellings left little time or space for food gardens. By 1920, only fifty percent of Americans lived in rural areas. For the most part, growing food was left to farmers.

The Outbreak of War

victory gardensIn early 1917, prior to the U.S. entering what was then called The Great War ("the war to end all wars," later known as World War I), multi-millionaire Charles Lathrop Pack launched the "War Garden" campaign. The conflict was causing devastating food shortages in Europe, and Pack realized that American farm-produced food was desperately needed overseas to feed both Allied troops and starving civilians. In response, Pack sought to support the war effort and stave off food shortages at home by encouraging all Americans — not just farmers — to start growing food. This would free up commercially grown food to be shipped overseas. The National War Garden Commission was established in March 1917. Just a month later, the U.S. entered the war.
The War Garden Commission launched an all-out public relations campaign to promote food gardening at private residences and public lands — every patch of soil was a potential garden site. They distributed a wealth of colorful posters exalting citizens to “Sow the Seeds of Victory” and created educational materials for new gardeners. Local governments and community groups rallied in support of the cause. Growing a War Garden became a sign of patriotism, and it boosted morale by giving civilians a tangible way to contribute to the war effort.
Food gardens sprouted up everywhere — backyards, municipal parks, empty lots, city rooftops. Private companies set aside land for employee gardens. Urban dwellers sowed seeds in planters and window boxes.
victory gardensThe federal Bureau of Education launched the United States School Garden Army (USSGA) to enlist schoolchildren in the cause, dubbing them “soil soldiers” in the “home garden army.”
School grounds were tilled, planted, tended, and harvested by students and their teachers. The USSGA motto — "A garden for every child, every child in a garden" — drove home the point that every American, of every age, could make an important contribution to the country's wellbeing.
More than five million War Gardens were cultivated in 1918, producing vegetables and fruits worth over a half-billion dollars. With further encouragement and how-to advice from the government, much of that food was canned, pickled, or dried for future use.
Even after the 1918 Armistice that signaled the end of the war, the government still encouraged citizens to cultivate food gardens. Farm-grown food could be shipped overseas to help feed the millions of people there who faced starvation due to the loss of so many farmers-turned-soldiers, as well as the devastation of farmland that was ravaged by the violent battles fought there. These post-War gardens became known as "Victory Gardens." Eventually, the fervor of the War Garden campaign waned, and America’s enthusiasm for home food gardening waned as well.

The Second World War

victory gardensIn 1941, just 24 years after the signing of the Armistice, the U.S. was drawn back into war. Once again there was a strain on domestic food supplies as the country was faced with shipping large quantities of food overseas to feed troops. Based on the success of the earlier War Garden campaign, the U.S. government began a similar but even more fervent propaganda campaign, dubbing it "Food for Victory."
The new public relations campaign was overt in its message: Growing food was a patriotic duty. The more food that was grown in Victory Gardens, the closer America would be to winning the war. Eleanor Roosevelt set an example by planting a Victory Garden on the White House grounds. And when food rationing began in 1942, Americans had even more incentive to start growing their own vegetables and fruits.
Once again the government produced posters and other materials exhorting all citizens to do their duty in support of the war effort. Local governments gave workshops and distributed how-to information to new gardeners. Detailed guidelines showed gardeners how to plan for the maximum harvest — which crops had the highest yields, had the most nutrients, and were the easiest to grow. Among the recommended crops were kohlrabi and Swiss chard — both of which were unfamiliar to most American gardeners at the time. Succession planting was recommended so that gardens could be productive from spring into late fall.
Americans rallied. Front lawns were tilled; flower gardens replanted with vegetables. Urban parks, including Golden Gate Park and Boston Commons, became home to hundreds of food garden plots tended by both individuals and local groups. New gardening tools were hard to come by because steel was being diverted to munitions manufacturers, so families and neighbors shared shovels and hoes. Gardening in public spaces brought communities together for a common cause.
By 1944, there were more than 20 million Victory Gardens that produced more than a third of all the fresh vegetables grown in the U.S. Homegrown food not only provided much-needed sustenance during food rationing, it also meant that less food had to be trucked long distances from farms to markets, reducing fuel consumption and conserving the rubber needed for tires — both important commodities in the war effort.

Victory Gardens in the Post-War Years

Once again, after the war ended the fervor and support of government and community groups declined, and for many Americans, so did the passion for growing food. Inexpensive, easy-to-make packaged foods became attractive alternatives to time spent toiling in the garden and preparing meals from scratch.  That said, gardening continually ranks high in the list of most popular hobbies. And the value we place on fresh, homegrown and locally produced food is continuing to rise. Community gardens have long waiting lists for plots. Farmer's markets sprout on urban and suburban street corners.

Start your Own Victory Garden

By cultivating home, school, and community gardens, parents and educators are helping kids understand where fruits and vegetables come from — before supermarkets wrap them in plastic or package them onto Styrofoam trays. Kids get to experience the satisfying crunch of a freshly pulled carrot and the excitement of picking the first vine-ripened tomato. These experiences can have lasting effects by inspiring youth to understand and pursue healthy eating habits. For some youth, a lifelong hobby of food gardening will take root in these early experiences!
Before you begin expanding your garden to grow more than you need, first locate a local food shelf or food pantry that can help you find a good home for any extra fruits and vegetables. is a good place to begin your search.  There are a wide variety of community organizations that provide food assistance, but sometimes it takes a little big of digging to find an organization able to distribute perishable food items like fruits and vegetables. 
Once you locate an organization to work with, ask them for a wish list of fruits and vegetables, and also what days are best for them to accept donations.  Some facilities may have limitations in storage (especially cold or cool storage). They also may only distribute food on certain days of the week and so you will want to harvest your produce as close to those dates as possible.  Ask them what fruits and vegetables they think their clients are most likely to use and enjoy.  Unusual fruits and vegetables may be fun to grow, but they may also be intimidating to those not use to cooking with them. Ask if there any other food handling guidelines you should follow when harvesting.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Spring Stock Up & Garden Planting

   Just when I think I have everything under control & caught up I realize that nothing could be further from the truth. Along with spring comes the task of getting the garden in. I have planted almost everything in buckets & have downsized from 10+ tomato plants to 3. We don't even like tomatoes except for salsa so why do I grow so many? The potatoes are in one half of a  55gal. plastic water barrel, grapes in the other half. Cukes & peas are up enough to start climbing. So far the cut worms are leaving the cabbage alone. The strawberries are full of blooms & the raspberries & blueberries seemed to have made it thru a few cold snaps where I had to keep them covered for several days. Herbs are growing like crazy.
  I also started 5 gal of black cherry wine this week. It smells very yeasty & earthy in my kitchen. This is the first big batch I have made in a couple of years. I usually do 1 gal at a time, but I figured this way I'd get it done all at once.
 One of the most important things I have been doing is getting my medical kit restocked. I got raw honey for wounds, raspberry leaves & peppermint drops for stomach problems, turmeric for anti-inflammatory & oil of oregano for anti-fungal. A turmeric & honey mixture is good for arthritis as well as working to help digestion. I am in the process of making a dandelion salve for Gardenchicks dry skin.
  She & I played hooky last week & went to the bi-yearly Friend of The Library book sale so we are ready for summer homeschooling We also went with my BFF "Thelma" to Junk-a pa-looza so I have new projects in the making. Life is never dull, that's for sure.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Best Veggies To Grow In 5 Gal. Buckets

Tomatoes: Grow one plant per bucket, and use a stake or cage to support the plant.
These guys can really grow wild, if you let them. Maintain regular moisture levels in the soil throughout the season to prevent diseases that destroy fruit. Basil grows well at the base of a tomato plant.
Bell Pepper Plant
Peppers: You can fit two peppers into each 5-gallon bucket. In my experiences peppers want to be supported by a stake.
Peppers are great for water conservation; many types want to dry out between waterings, which means you expend less resources growing them.
Cucumber: One plant per bucket. Cucumbers will grow and creep and do well with some sort of support.
The plants will grow over the container and spread around, so keep an eye on the fruit and ensure it isn’t being devoured by pests.
Onion Plants
Onions: You can fit about four onions inside of a container. Onions are easy to grow but can be anxiety-inducing because you can’t see what’s going on beneath the soil.
Keep your eye on the green leaves climbing skyward to assess the condition of the plant, and don’t keep the soil too wet.
Lettuce plant
Lettuce: Ideal for growing in a container.
You can fit up to four plants per container, but be prepared to water regularly.
Consider other leafy-green options like sorrel to add a lemony tang to your greens.
Rosemary Plant
Herbs: You can fit a half-dozen herbs inside of a single 5-gallon bucket, or more. Thyme, rosemary, basil, cilantro, and chives grow well with each other.
Frequently harvesting leaves and stems keeps plants in check and ensures that they don’t overgrow one another. The flavor they add to your diet is worth it after a few weeks of bland, tasteless food.
Carrot Plant
Carrots: You could fit up to ten carrots in a single bucket.
If growing carrots ensure the soil is loose and sandy for proper root development; they don’t like when their growing medium is compact and rocky.

Tips and Tricks

  • Utilize rain barrels at home and in the field for a low or no-cost supply of water for your vegetables
  • Companion plants may seem superfluous but are beneficial and have “built-in” pest deterrents: adding marigolds to your containers can keep nasty bugs away while inviting beneficial ones such as ladybugs and praying mantis, for example
  • Give your containers a quarter-twist every week to ensure they aren’t growing too lopsided
  • Simple insecticidal soaps can be made by combining four-five tablespoons of concentrated dish soap to one-gallon of water. Mix and apply with a spray bottle to deter insects from your containerized plants
  • You can re-use your potting mix indefinitely, as long as it’s amended and replaced with fresh ingredients once a year: remove dead plants and shake loose the soil from their roots. Fill it right back into the container and get it back to growing.

Food for Thought

Vegetables grown in a 5-gallon container can be useful to everybody reading this right now who is limited on space and growing options in their home. It’s inexpensive and provides fresh produce  for the picking.
In a situation where you have no other option but to grow your own food, containers offer a safe and reliable source of food production.
It takes up little space and they are even portable. The resources used to provide a growing media for each container can be recycled year to year, providing a long-lasting source of growing media.
Get some practice and grow some tomatoes on your patio or deck this year, or experiment with your own potting mix recipes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Wal Mart Should Be Ashamed!

After being home for several days with a sick Daughter I took advantage of a half way warm day to run some errands. One of my stops was to the neighborhood Wal Mart grocery store on E. Sunshine in Springfield, get dog food before I got out of town. Outside the front door there were what had been healthy garden plants & herbs that had all been left outside during a hard freeze we had last night & they were all dead. How hard would it have been for a couple of employees to drag the shelf into the front area where the shopping carts are? How many people could have benefited from these plants? If I'd known they were going to let them freeze to death I'd asked to take them & give them to someone who could use the food. What a waste! Big business at it's worst!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Mountain Maid of the Ozarks

Known to many in Southern Missouri as the "Mountain Maid", Jean Wallace left quite a legacy after her tragic death by fire in 1940. But it wasn't crazed witch hunters who burned her.
Jean was born on a New York City pier at the foot of Canal Street in 1851. She was a lovely fair haired, blue eyed girl who, in early childhood, began showing signs of having inherited her great grandfather's sixth sense - clairvoyance. [Her great-great-? grandfather was William Wallace, the 13th century patriot who led a resistance against the English occuption of Scotland as portrayed in the film "Braveheart."]
Despite her beauty, it was obvious to Miss Wallace that she would never marry; as she noted on numerous occasions, "What husband would want a wife who knows his every secret and thoughts?"
After a brief time of working as a nurse in New York, Jean made her way to Roaring River, near Cassville, Missouri in 1892 and homesteaded on 160 acres of wilderness perched high on a mountain top. Here, a three mile walk to receive mail and five miles for supplies, Jean had a small cabin where she raised chickens and pigs, cultivated a peach orchard, and kept company with several black cats. Word of her unusual talent soon spread and folks began lining up to visit with the 'fortune teller' (although Miss Wallace really didn't like that label). Over time, thousands sought her help in finding lost items and learning about their future. Remembering what her father told her as a child, Jean used her abilities carefully and only for good.
The Mountain Maid was loved and admired by all who knew her. At a nearby CCC camp, the workers had regular visits with Jean and were considered her closest companions. Although she would not accept charity, these men would routinely cut wood to heat the maid's cabin and visiting girls would "accidentally" pack too much food in their picnic baskets and offer it to Miss Wallace. Much charity in disguise was bestowed upon the 'old witch' out of gratitude for the kindness she had shown others. Her services were considered invaluable but she rarely charged for a reading and of the times she received cash payment, her savings was only just enough to cover funeral expenses after her death.
Many skeptics tried to pull the wool over Jean's all-seeing eye, but she didn't waste time with non-believers. In one instance, two sons of a friend visited Jean one day to inquire about their missing saddles, which they had removed and hidden in the woods. Right away she shook her finger and snapped, "Yes, you young rascals, you stole them yourselves. Get back as fast as you can to where you hid them because wild pigs are chewing them up." The boys obeyed, but already the pigs had done so much damage that they had to tell their fathers how it happened.
In another case, a man joined several friends to visit the Mountain Maid and have their fortunes told. Her first words to him were, "You don't believe in me, do you?" He replied that no, he had never believed in people having any special power such as hers and so she stated that no information would he get. But as Mr. Woods turned to leave, she said, "One thing I will tell you, you will have an automobile accident when you are fifty years old." Yes, the prediction came true - Woods suffered a bad car accident later in life.
Many people were so impressed with her ability and inquired why she did not seek employment assisting the government. "There are two reasons," she would reply. "In the first place nobody would listen to an old witch. But, if by any chance they did start to follow guidance, I am sure my powers would be taken from me because otherwise they would be almost certain to interfere with the course of destiny. It is all very well for me to tell people where to find lost pocketbooks and strayed cows, even to warn a businessman against a bad investment or tell a woman how to escape a love entanglement. Such little things in no way affect the great predestined tide of human events, but if the world knew the big events that are to come and tried to forestall disasters, such as the rise of Hitler and Stalin, it would confuse destiny, and that, of course, will never be permitted."
Yes, this sweet prophetic woman predicted, almost to the day, when Hitler would invade Poland.
Wallace's health and eyesight began to fade with time, but her sixth sense remained as strong as ever. Visitors noticed this physical decline as her once tidy home became disorderly and full of filth. Some would clean up while there by stripping the bedclothes and giving them a long overdue washing, and others would drop off groceries when she could no longer make the five mile journey. Many could see, without Jean's special sight, that the poor woman's life was dwindling.
After 48 years of living a quiet life in the rolling Missouri hills, Jean's life ended when her small cabin in the woods caught fire. Her body was cremated by the intense heat and only small bits of bone remained. The community who had loved and sought her guidance for so long, now mourned the tremendous loss. No longer does horse and wagon follow a path to her door, but the legacy of the Mountain Maid lives forever.
Jean Wallace, quoted in Roaring River Heritage by Irene Horner, Litho Printers, 1978 --
"I belong to a race of people that can see... My great-grandfather, a Wallace, was the greatest seer in Scotland. He could describe exactly how a man was dressed, even if he was as far off as India. The gift was handed down to me. All my family was dark, but he was fair. And when I was born they said it was as if it were him born all over again. It is a sixth sense."
Show m

Quiet Sunday & I Hate Clover

   It's a chilly day here. I am listening to my 8 yr old Daughter & her girlfriend giggle their guts out. They are in the basement painting spring pictures. I set up the easels, got the paints out & made popcorn & pizza. She & I worked so hard planting berries yesterday we figured we needed a day of rest. The garden is a MESS! Clover has taken over & the more I pull the more there seems to be. I have never had this happen before.(Insert sad face) Trying to get it ready for planting is really going to be a chore this year. There is a week's worth of rain coming so it will be awhile until I can get out & work on it again. Bucket growing will probably be what I start doing in the future. I am still working on making life easier as we get older. Baby steps.....

5 Tips To Grow Delicious Tomatoes In Containers

5 Tips To Grow Delicious Tomatoes In Containers

grow tomatoes in containers with these 5 tips
Craving garden fresh tomatoes, but don’t have the space for a garden? Consider growing your tomatoes in containers!
You may have heard that getting a good crop off your container grown tomatoes can be difficult. Sometimes the plants won’t produce many tomatoes, and the ones you do get can be watery and lack flavor.
If you’ve ever experienced these problems, then you are not alone! Tomatoes can be one of the more challenging plants to grow in containers, but here are a few tips that will increase your yield and allow you to enjoy your own delicious homegrown tomatoes this year.
Before we dive in, I want to mention two very important things.
First, whether you grow tomatoes in containers or in the garden, make sure you pick a good location where they will get at least 6 hours of sun per day. Tomatoes placed in too much shade will not produce well.
Second, don’t plant your tomatoes too early. If it’s too cold when you put them out in the garden, they’ll really struggle to get going and will be slower to produce tomatoes. Get your timing right with this customized planting guide.
Okay, on to the tips!


A container that is too small will cause stunted root growth and lead to fewer tomatoes. Be aware that many of the popular tomatoes sold at gardener centers are indeterminate plants.
Indeterminate tomatoes will continue to grow larger and longer until they don’t have adequate growing conditions. In an ideal location, they can be 6 to 8 or more feet tall. So this type of tomato plant needs plenty of space for root growth.
Keep your indeterminate tomatoes happy with at least a 20 gallon pot. But smaller varieties, like determinate and dwarf tomato plants, will be okay in smaller pots.
The type of tomato plant is not always listed on the plant label, so do your research about tomato varieties before you go shopping.
Pick your variety wisely with your space in mind. You’ll have more options if you grow your own tomatoes from seed, but you can grow any purchased tomato plant in containers with these tips.


Make sure you give your tomato plants a healthy start by providing them with good soil. Both potting soil and compost are available for purchase at gardening centers and home improvement stores.
Whatever you do, don’t use soil from your yard or garden area in containers.
Garden soil is full of debris and material that you don’t want to put in your container garden. Soil from your yard will probably not have adequate drainage for use in containers. And there’s a very high risk of bringing disease pathogens, weed seeds, and even caterpillar pupae into your container.
Since the container is by definition limited in space, you don’t want your tomato to have any competition for space or nutrients. Tomatoes can be plagued by all sorts of pests and disease, so don’t make things harder on yourself by inviting them in from the get go.
give your tomato plant support in a container


Most tomatoes, sometimes even dwarfs, will require some support as they grow. Since the plant grows very much like a vine, the stem is not nearly strong enough to hold it upright. Without support, your tomato will flop over the edge of your container and end up growing on the ground.
Always try to keep you tomato off the ground to minimize hiding spaces for pests, increase air flow, and allow you to see and access your delicious tomatoes.
Something as simple as a wooden or metal stake and loosely bound twist ties is sufficient to support your tomato plant. Tomato cages are fine, but can make it harder to access and prune your tomato plant.


how to prune tomato plant suckers
To make the most out of your container tomato, make sure you’re pruning off suckers.
Suckers are the little sprouts that come out from the stem at the leaf nodes. These are the beginnings of additional growing stems.
If left intact, they’ll grow to be their own little tomato plant sucking the life out of your main stem. It may seem like you’d want to let them grow for more tomatoes, but you’ll actually get more and better tasting tomatoes if you remove them.
Left alone, the plant will try to do too much. Allow your tomato to dedicate all its energy to making delicious tomatoes on one main stem.
Also make sure to prune of dead leaves from the bottom up. It’s natural for the earliest leaves to start to turn brown. Don’t leave them on to invite disease or pests. Use clean, sharp pruners to cut them off. This will keep your plant healthy and facilitate good airflow.


Whether you plant your tomatoes in the ground or in a container, make sure you provide adequate fertilizer. Tomatoes require lots of nutrients to make flavorful fruit.
Fertilize at least once monthly with a liquid organic fertilizer for the best results. If you see your plant’s leaves are looking pale or yellow, that’s a good sign that they need more nutrients. Hungry plants will also display stunted growth, drop flowers, and produce fewer fruit.
If you choose organic fertilizer, you are less likely to over fertilize and burn your plants. If you’re using inorganic fertilizer, use a bit more caution so you don’t over do it. Always read the directions on your fertilizer label.
Learn more about fertilizer and how to choose the right fertilizer for your veggie garden.


For the healthiest plants, monitor them every day. Observe your plant for pest issues, signs of nutrient deficiency, and watering requirements. Depending on the weather, they might need to be watered daily or only every other day.
When you do water them, try to avoid the leaves and fruit by providing water directly at the base of the plant.
Water that is retained on the leaves and fruit will encourage mold and fungal disease. The plants don’t need to take up water from their leaves or fruit. Watering the base supplies water directly to the roots where they need it.
Tomatoes are really interesting plants! If you want to know more about them, read these 10 things about tomatoes every gardener needs to know.


  1. Growing your tomatoes in containers can be very rewarding! Planning ahead and understanding what your tomatoes need is the key to getting delicious tomatoes from container grown plants.
  2. Choose an appropriately sized tomato and container. Place it where it can get at least 6 hours of sun every day.
  3. Use quality garden soil and/or compost. For the best results, don’t use dirt from your yard.
    Provide growing support for your tomato. Don’t allow it to grow along the ground.
  4. Prune off the suckers and dead leaves to increase your yield. Healthy tomatoes have good airflow between their leaves and stems.
  5. Apply liquid organic fertilizer every 2 to 4 weeks. Tomatoes are heavy feeders and need lots of nutrients to make the best tasting tomatoes.
Bonus tip: Water at the base and avoid wetting the leaves and fruit to minimize mold and fungal disease.
This article was written by Laura Seabolt from Laura is the author Seed Starting For Beginners and The Ultimate Garden Planning Spreadsheets. She and her family grow thousands of tomatoes every year on their farm in Northeast Georgia. They also breed tomatoes and have a micro-dwarf variety they grew in containers through the winter!