Garden Lifestyle

Growing Tomatoes in Containers: Dangerously Delicious

Tomatoes are so delicious and so easy to work into just about every meal.

One tomato, almost ready
Photo/Illustration: B.Spade

I love tomatoes. Well, I love them NOW. When I was a child, you couldn’t get me to eat a raw tomato if my life depended on it. If it didn’t come as sauce, or green and fried, it wasn’t getting near my mouth. But oh, how the tide has turned. I’m growing five different varieties of heirloom tomatoes on my little apartment balcony. Most of them are the grape or cherry size, perfect for making bruschetta.

The problem I’m having involves the fact that sometimes my excitement causes me to go overboard (Seed Savers Exchange does wonders to fulfill my veggie shopping needs). I have up to five tomato plants in each pot, which is obviously way too many for providing them with adequate room and plenty of food and water. Plus, I have pretty much no room left to stake them, so that they won’t fall over from the weight of their fruit. But – and this is a big but – I feel like there is a good lesson to take from all of this. Anyone, and I do mean ANYONE, can grow veggies. Whenever. Wherever. However. Even with five squeezed into a pot, the tomatoes are super yummy and great in all of my favorite dishes. I have tossed a little extra organic fertilizer into the pots over the past few months, but to be completely honest I think this just made them taller.

So, the moral of this story? Grow some veggies! It can’t hurt. You don’t need much space and with containers you can put them right outside of your kitchen. The only downside to this is that you’ll most likely be plucking tomatoes off of the vine well before they’re fully ripe. But they still taste great!

My Favorite Quick Bruschetta Recipe

1 tbsp pesto
2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (you can make the recipe equal parts oil and vinegar if you like a little extra kick)
1 to 2 cups of tomatoes cut into small cubes

Let the mix sit for about ten minutes and then spoon over toasted semolina bread. Add grated asiago cheese to taste.

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