Third generation flower grower and sustainable gardener Yolanda Vanveen of Kalama, Washington imparts bunches of confidence, standing as she does in her kitchen with jars of beautiful flowers behind her. In this compact video (2:39) she gives a potted lesson in planting tomatoes in the garden or in containers.
There are a number of tricks to planting tomatoes, says Yolanda. The first is to plant them in full, hot sun as they need lots and lots of heat. Another trick is to use good seed. She likes Sweetie and Roma, which are small varieties that are great in salads.
Start the seeds indoors in spring. Plant them in seed trays, with 2 or 3 seeds per container. Use a seed starter mix with plenty of vermiculite. Keep them warm and indoors.
When the little seedlings start to emerge, select the dominant plant in each container. You can plant that in a bigger pot if you like. (Throw the others in the compost bin.)
You can plant your little tomato plant outside after the last freeze, when the weather has been 70 degrees plus for at least a week. That’s important. Plant them in a flower bed or up against the house with a black plastic bag around them to generate heat.
Or you can plant them in a container, even a garbage can, or even in a hanging basket. That’s the way to get lovely tomatoes produced outdoors or indoors.