How to Grow Tomatoes in a Hanging Basket

by KathleenDuffy

Tomatoes grown in hanging baskets are prolific and full of flavour. Here is some advice on how to choose varieties, then plant and position tomatoes in a hanging basket.

The beauty of growing tomatoes in a hanging basket is that they take up very little space. Grown on a balcony, patio or outside the kitchen door, they will provide a convenient and prolific crop throughout the summer months.

And there’s no need to wait for the tomatoes to turn red. Those little green gems make marvellous pickles.

Best Tomatoes for Hanging Baskets

Before getting down to the practicalities, here's a few suggestions for tomatoes that do well in hanging baskets.

Hundreds and Thousands: This popular tomato is vigorous and easy to grow, with plants cascading in abundance.

Tumbling Tom Orange and red fruit, with excellent flavour. Try planting this variety with Tumbling Tom Yellow.

Tumbling Tom Yellow :  Sweet, yellow, bite-sized fruit which goes well with Tumbling Tom.

Chiquita : A bush variety with medium-sized fruit. Can look a bit straggly.

Garden Pearl: Trailing variety which has large fruit. It is quite fleshy, so very good for cooking.

Maskotka:  Small fruit with sweet flesh. Well-liked because it is resistant to skin-splitting.

Sowing the Tomato Seeds


Whichever variety is chosen, seeds can be sown March to April in 10cm pots. Plant three or four seeds to a pot and place on a windowsill or in a propagator.

On germination prick out plants into individual pots to grow on. Keep in a light place, free from frost.

If growing tomato plants from seed doesn’t appeal, or it's a little late in the year, it is possible to forego all the trouble and buy plants from a garden centre or catalogue.

It is more expensive this way, of course, but a good option for those with little time or space for growing tomatoes from seed.

Prepare the Hanging Baskets

Once the tomato plants have reached a decent size, about 6” high (15 cm), it is safe to transfer them to a hanging basket.

  • Use a 14"-16"  (about 40cm)  diameter flat-bottomed hanging basket. Place it on a support such as a bucket to keep it steady whilst filling.
  • Place a 40cm natural coir or moss basket liner in the  hanging basket, covering base and sides.
  • Fill the basket with a peat-free, multi-purpose  compost. Adding water-retaining crystals to the compost helps prevent the basket from drying out too quickly.
  • Plant three trailing tomato plants in the basket. Position them so that they will grow over the basket edge.
  • Don’t hang the basket outside until all danger of frost  is over. Keep the basket in a greenhouse or conservatory, or a cool,  light, indoor area. Eventually you can place your tomato hanging basket in a sunny spot and wait for the stunning results.


Some Things to Consider When Creating a Hanging Basket Display

It must be easily accessible

Bear in mind that hanging baskets must be reachable for people who may have difficulties in stretching or climbing a stepladder.

Consider hanging baskets on plant stands which are placed on the ground and have hooks for displaying a single basket or more.

An upside-down tomato grower is a fairly recent innovation and an alternative to the traditional hanging basket.

Or consider hanging  the basket from a wall bracket, or create a pulley system for lowering the basket. Such adaptations ensure tomatoes (or any basket plant) are easily accessible for gardeners with mobility problems or other disabilities.

A Few Ideas for Easily Accessible Hanging Baskets

Including Upside Down Kits too!
quicor 95002 Deck Plant Hook, 36-Inch, Red

Simple and elegant with a sweeping design that suspends up to a 16" hanging basket. Heavy duty 1/2" steel construction. Elegant powder coat finish.

View on Amazon

Vinyl Fence Plant & Accessory Rail Hanger - White - 6.5 Extension

This accessory hanger is for use on any 2" PVC fence rail. It is designed to suspend any object, such as a hanging plant basket, bird feeder, wind chimes, etc. weighing up to 35...

View on Amazon

Plant Hanger System - Black kit, 2 foot strap

R-HangUps is a unique, patented hanging system that allows you to assemble and move the hanger in minutes without any tools, hardware or damage! Use on trees, lamp poles, fence ...

View on Amazon

Topsy Turvy Upside Down Tomato Planter

Grow Organic too!!! As Seen on TV

View on Amazon

Felknor Ventures Tt021112 Topsy Turvy Tomato & Herb Planter

The Topsy Turvy Tomato & Herb Planter is the most exciting new invention ever for growing tomatoes and fresh herbs. That's because the Topsy Turvy is an upside down planter, whe...

View on Amazon

How to Care for your Hanging Basket of Tomatoes

Here are some tips to ensure an abundant crop from tomatoes grown in a hanging basket.

  • Keep the compost moist. Water well in the morning.
  • Once the fruit begins to form, give tomatoes a liquid  feed every two weeks.
  • Remove yellowing leaves to prevent disease.
  • Turn the basket once every week to ensure plants get their fair share of sunlight.
  • Picking the fruit in the afternoon is thought to improve  the flavour.

Once you get used to picking your own tomatoes from this space-saving basket system you won't want to buy store-bought ones ever again!

And don't forget to pickle a few jars for the winter months.  They will taste delicious!

Items on Growing Tomatoes - From E-Bay

Updated: 07/12/2013, KathleenDuffy
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Kathleen Duffy on 09/30/2013

Johnny, thank you so much!

JohnnyKnox on 09/30/2013

That's a great idea and some very nice suggestions!

KathleenDuffy on 07/13/2013

Hi PurposeEmbraced - Really glad you liked the article! Thanks for that.

KathleenDuffy on 07/13/2013

WriterArtist: You are so right about the space issue! And yes they do look so lush and appetising tumbling down like they do!

WriterArtist on 07/12/2013

The red tomatoes are so attractive that growing them will be fun. Hanging baskets can be a perfect solution to constraint in space.

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