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Tomatoes and Herbs in Containers

Tomatoes and Herbs in Containers

By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs
Photographs by Pamela Crawford

This is one of my all-time favorite container combinations. It’s simple, beautiful, and produced large harvests. Both the ‘Patio’ tomato and basil grew quite large because of the large pots. Both also produced bountiful harvests, much larger than they would have produced in smaller containers.

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The Plants

‘Patio’ tomato: 1 plant from a 4” pot

Basil: 1 plant from a 4” pot

Curly parsley: 1 plant from a 4” pot

Celosia: 8 plants from a multipack

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Cultural Information

Light: Light shade to full sun.

Season: Spring through fall for most warmer areas. This plant combination takes temperatures from about 55 - 60 degrees F to the low 100s and is equally happy in either extreme.

Lifespan: The ‘Patio’ tomato is determinate, meaning it produces all its fruit at once by the time it’s two or three months old. Replace it with another tomato at that time because the rest of the plants should keep going until the first frost of fall.

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Care: Fertilize on planting day with a slow-release mix. Repeat if the leaves look yellowish or washed-out, although the fertilizer should last from 6-9 months. Trim the basil to keep it looking tight.

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Water: Water thoroughly if the plants show signs of wilt, or the soil feels dry when you push your fingertip into the potting mix. I watered this one every day in midsummer (after it was about a month old) and every other day in cooler weather.

Troubleshooting: No problems at all.

Planting Plan: Easy. Plant the tomato, parsley, and celosia in the center of the pot. Plant the basil along the back of the pot and tuck some flowers in front. Be sure to plant in good quality potting mix, not garden soil, topsoil, or potting soil, which can kill your plants.

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Container: The largest pot is huge, about 26 inches across. The smaller pots are from Pacific Home and Garden, with the largest measuring 18 inches across.

If you can’t find these exact containers, check out local garden centers to see the latest glazes. They are getting more diverse each year!

This is an excerpt from Pamela Crawford’s new book, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs: Gorgeous, Edible Container Gardens, available through Amazon and other online booksellers.

Pamela Crawford, author of 12 gardening books, is considered one of the most accomplished container gardening experts in the country. In addition to designing gardens for over 1500 residences, her work has been featured on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens publications as well as in Southern Living, HGTV Magazine, Fine Gardening, Country Gardens, and in over 300 newspapers. As an expert in her field, she has appeared on the Fine Living Network, GardenSMART, and numerous local tv shows.

Pamela has an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Florida International University, where she received the prestigious "Torch Award” as an outstanding alumnus from the school of architecture.

All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

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