Patio tomatoes in containers

What Is A Patio Tomato – Learn How To Grow Patio Tomatoes

Tomatoes famously come in all shapes and sizes – this is true for both the plants and the fruits themselves. Whatever the space you have and the kind of tomatoes you want to grow, there ought to be something to meet your needs. This is true even for gardeners who want to grow in containers. One of the best container varieties is the Patio tomato plant. Keep reading to learn more about Patio tomato care and how to grow Patio tomatoes at home.

Patio Tomato Plant Info

What is a Patio tomato? “Patio” isn’t just a generic name for a plant that can be grown in a pot. It’s actually the name of a specific cultivar that’s been bred with container life in mind. A dwarf variety, the Patio tomato plant grows to just 2 feet (60 cm.) in height.

It is a very bushy determinate variety, which means it usually doesn’t even require any staking. Like all tomatoes, however, it can get a little floppy, especially when it’s covered with fruit, so some support won’t go amiss.

It is very productive for its size and will usually produce around 50 fruits per plant over an 8-week harvest period. The fruits are round, 3 to 4 ounces (85-155 g.), and very flavorful.

How to Grow Patio Tomatoes

Patio tomato care is very easy and no different than what you would give them out in the garden. The plants need full sun and should be placed somewhere that receives at least 6 hours per day.

They like fertile, well-drained soil and should be planted in containers that are a minimum of 12 inches (30 cm.) across.

Like all tomatoes, they are very frost sensitive. Since they live in containers, however, it’s possible to bring them indoors on cold nights in order to extend the growing season somewhat.

Many people living in urban areas may not have an expansive yard for growing fresh tomatoes. This is where growing them in containers can be the way (sometimes the only way) to go.

Just about any tomato can be grown using containers as long as they use the right set-up.

Determinate tomato types usually work the best for containers because they grow to a particular height, and are much easier to handle in a small space.

These ten best tomatoes for containers are a mix of determinate tomato types, with a couple indeterminates that are also suitable.

Patio Princess

If the word “patio” is in the name then they must be good for growing on patios, decks, and balconies, right?


The Patio Princess is a relatively small plant that produces some of the most delicious little tomatoes ever.

The plants typically only reach about 2 feet tall and produce a continual stream of 2-1/2″ fruits.


The Bushsteak tomato is ideal for growing in containers and small gardens since the compact plant only grows to 20 – 24 inches in height, but produces large, juicy tomatoes.

Sweetheart of the Patio

The Sweetheart of the Patio is another variety that is perfect for containers on a balcony, or deck. Another compact plant that produces one inch tomatoes, bursting with super sweet juiciness.


The Marglobe offers heavy vine growth for a determinate, and produces large, globe-shaped fruit. Tomatoes are ready to pick after 73 days.

Baxter’s Bush Cherry

Baxter’s Bush Cherry features vigorous growth and productive yields that’s perfect for the patio or balcony. The fruits are a deep red color and are resistant to cracking.

This bushy determinate doesn’t need staking or cages.

Sweet Baby Girl

The Sweet Baby Girl is an indeterminate variety that still doesn’t get too tall in most cases. The plant produces sweet, red cherry tomatoes loaded with rich tomato flavor.

Gardener’s Delight

Gardener’s Delight is an heirloom cherry tomato variety that has become a favorite among many container gardeners.

This productive plant features one inch fruits have a nice balance between sweetness and rich tomato flavor.


Balcony tomatoes are the answer for anyone interested in growing tomatoes in containers. It is just the right size for small pots and produces an insane amount of 2″ – 2-1/2″ fruits burting with flavor.


Stupice is a German heirloom variety that grows well in containers. It delivers super early tomatoes that are two to three inches in diameter.

Tumbling Tom Yellow

Tumbling Tom Yellow is great for hanging baskets and containers. Have the plant cascade over the edges of a hanging basket for a beautiful arrangement on the balcony or front porch.

It bears a ton of yellow tomatoes that are one to two inches in size that are deliciously sweet.

Successful tomatoes planted in pots require the right container

Each year, many home gardeners decide to grow their tomato plants in containers rather than plant them in their garden. The reasons vary from having no garden area, to worries about what is in soil, to wanting plants to decorate the deck. For some of these people, the plants did not produce tomatoes in any quantity and for others, problems like blossom-end rot ruined much of the produced fruit.

In the great world of tomatoes, the plants can be grouped into two broad categories. One is called indeterminate. This indicates that the plant continues to grow until the first frost or when there is not enough sunlight to sustain it. This is the largest group of tomatoes that people buy and grow. Plants continue to grow and produce all summer and some even knock over their tomato cages because of their giant sizes.

Tomato pot. Photo credit:

The other tomatoes are called determinate. These tomatoes grow to a certain size and produce most or all of their fruit within a short period of time. Often, gardeners know them as “patio tomatoes.” They are more suited to smaller, confined areas.

Both kinds of tomatoes have root systems that are wider than they are deep. A large indeterminate tomato might have roots that grow two feet or more on each side of the plant. In a garden, there is usually no problem, but when containers are used, often the roots run out of room before they run out of growing.

Large plants in small pots can cause difficulties. It becomes more of a problem when the plant is expending a great amount of energy-producing fruit. With a large plant in a small container, plants dry out rapidly and need to be watered several times a day or they wilt. Excessive watering can wash the nutrients right out of the pot with the constant drenching and plants may suffer from a lack of nutrients. Some of these plants did not produce many tomatoes or produced a large quantity with blossom end rot.

Blossom end rot is a physiological problem where the fruit produced have flat, black, leathery bottoms, ripen and rot quickly. It has to do with the plant’s vascular system not transporting enough water and calcium to the blossom end of the fruit. Essentially, it is caused by not enough water or inconsistent amounts of water.

Since people are not aware of the differences in tomatoes, they often select what they like to eat. Many of these are the large, indeterminate varieties. People often choose small containers not realizing that there is not much root room in a 12-inch wide pot. Roots run horizontally to the side of the pot and then are forced downwards where they grow in a circular pattern or have to stop growing. People think about the depth of the pot, not its width, and this is difficult on a tomato with a big root system that is bred to produce ample, tasty fruit.

Because of the heat and no rain in June and July, many people who have not had problems with tomatoes in containers in the past did this year. Extreme growing conditions cause small problems to become larger.

For those who had excellent results with tomatoes in containers, as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. For those who did, consider larger, wider containers for next growing season.
Related Source:

  • Gardening in Michigan

Growing Patio Tomatoes – Dwarf Bush Variety Patio Tomatoes

In recent years growing tomatoes in a pot or even a hanging basket on the patio has become very popular. When fruiting, the dwarf bush varieties promoted for patio tomatoes are attractive plants anyway.

To get a good crop from patio tomatoes isn’t difficult but this guide should help you get a decent crop of fresh tomatoes from your patio every year.

Patio Tomatoes Peardrops from Suttons Seeds

Start as with any other tomato, under heat and move up to a 3” pot. If the weather is against you, still cold, you may need to move it up a pot size before planting out. See the article on Sowing and Starting off Tomatoes

If you have a greenhouse or a coldframe then you can plant up in your container and keep it sheltered and warm until the weather is right to move it outside. Remember it isn’t just frost to avoid but cold nights. See Ideal Temperature for Tomato Growing

Initially bring out in the day and return to cover at night for week to harden the plant off a little and avoid shocking it. If the weather turns cold after they’ve gone out, horticultural fleece blankets can often save the day.

Don’t forget that it is often warmer nearer the walls of a house or in an area sheltered from the wind. Just a degree or two can make all the difference.

The biggest problem with growing tomatoes in relatively small containers is the compost drying out and causing problems like blossom end rot and split skins. Always use a good quality compost that will help hold water and add water retaining crystals to the compost. These are generally available and just swell up when they meet water to release as things dry. They help ensure there is always moisture available in the compost.

With hanging baskets, line the interior with an old plastic bag with a few small holes punched through to help hold the water and rehydrate dried compost.

Feeding Patio Tomatoes

The nutrients in the compost should carry the plant through until it sets fruit i.e. when you can see tiny tomatoes where the flowers were.

My preference is to use my own comfrey liquid but it is rather strong smelling. The deal with my wife is that I use a commercially available tomato feed at home such as Tomorite or Chempak. I don’t recommend using cheap tomato feeds – the NPK balance is often wrong and you may pay a premium for a decent product but at least it will do the job effectively.

Quality feeds often contain additional magnesium which prevents magnesium deficiency, a particular problem of tomatoes caused by the high potash feed – see magnesium deficiency in tomatoes

Inter-cropping Patio Tomatoes

Tomatoes Interplanted with Lobelia in Jardinaire

Although they can be attractive in their own right, there is nothing to stop you planting some flowers in the same pot. We’ve used lobelia to good effect but marigolds, which repel whitefly, would be a good choice.

Towards the end of the season, watch out for cold nights and cover with fleece or move undercover to extend the cropping period.

Otherwise – just enjoy picking and eating the freshest tomatoes on a sunny day!

Best Varieties for Patio Growing

My personal favourite is Gartenpearle (Thompson & Morgan) but tastes vary. Hundreds and thousands is a prolific producer even in a basket. Cherry Falls and Peardrops from Suttons Seeds are well spoken of. Losetto is a patio variety that is also blight resistant, which can be a major problem with tomatoes as well as potatoes.

Further Information: Tomato Growing Guides

  • Grow Unusual Tomatoes!
  • Types of Tomatoes – An Introduction to Tomato Growing Part 1
  • Sowing and Starting off Tomatoes – Introduction to Tomato Growing Part 2
  • Growing Tomatoes in a Tomato Grow-house (Mini-Greenhouse)
  • Growing Tomatoes in a Greenhouse
  • Growing Tomatoes in the Greenhouse Border
  • Growing Tomatoes in Pots or Grow Bags in the Greenhouse
  • Growing Tomatoes by Ring Culture
  • Growing Tomatoes in Straw Bales
  • Growing Tomatoes Outdoors
  • Planting & Growing Tomatoes Outdoors
  • Growing Patio Tomatoes – Dwarf Bush Variety Patio Tomatoes
  • Water Requirements for Tomatoes
  • Ideal Temperatures for Growing Tomatoes
  • Removing Tomato Side Shoots (Suckers) & Stopping Tomatoes
  • Best Tomato Varieties – My Top Tasty Tomato Picks
  • Heirloom Tomatoes (Heritage Tomatoes)
  • Best Tomatoes for Greenhouse Growing
  • Tomato Troubles & Diseases | Causes & Cures of Tomato Problems
    • Tomato Blight – Blight Resistant Tomato Varieties
    • Tomato Blossom End Rot | Causes & Cures for Tomato Blossom End Rot
    • Tomatoes Magnesium Deficiency – Yellow Leaves, Epsom Salts
  • Raising Tomato Plants from Seed


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This post will teach you just how easy it is to grow tomatoes in pots. One of my favorite parts of homesteading is getting my hands dirty and the ability to grow enough food for my entire family. To take a seed from a little paper packet, plant it in some ground, and a few months later I have a bountiful harvest is something I look forward to every year.

Unfortunately, the last few years have not been good for my garden and this year I am forced to do something drastic.

My soil has become invaded with just about every garden pest in our area. And to add insult to injury we also got hit with some pretty nasty diseases as well. I have tried to fix things on my own but I realize now it is going to take a bit longer than just one offseason to fix things.

This year instead of planting in my garden out in our back yard I am moving things on up to the house. Yep, this year I am going to have a patio garden and I am pretty excited to see how it goes.

I have always grown a few things on my patio. Flowers, herbs, and every now a then maybe even a planter of lettuce. My full garden is quite a way from the house so it is always nice to have a few things close by for meals.

This year, however, I am pulling out all the stops.

I plan to grow my entire garden up by the house using any container I can get my hands on. This will, in turn, allow my garden to sit vacant while also letting my chickens dig in the soil fertilizing it and eating any bugs or larvae as well. It was suggested to me by a local master gardener to let my garden sit dormant for 1-3 growing seasons (yep, you read that right) so I was desperate for a plan B.

SLCG PRO TIP: When you let a garden sit dormant this means you are planting nothing in it all growing season. This gives any pests that have laid eggs in the soil no plants to feast on. By doing this for a few years you will kill off pests without having to rely heavily on chemicals to remove them.

I spent the last several months researching all I can about growing vegetables in containers. I just assumed all plants were created equal and the methods I used to grow my Marigolds would work just as well with my peppers and tomatoes. Needless to say, what I found was just the opposite. There are different rules for different vegetables. And in this post, we are going to cover, tomatoes.

How to Grow Tomatoes in Pots – A Few Things to Remember.

When growing your garden in containers there are really no rules, that is when it comes to the style of container. You can pretty much use anything you have as long as you follow a few guidelines.

  1. Make sure you have ample drainage. – This means you will need to have a way for any excess water to escape so it does not pool at the bottom of the container. This can rot the root system and damage the plant producing weak fruit. To fix this you can drill a few holes in the bottom or using a hammer and nail, simply “pound” in a few instead.
  2. Make sure your plants have enough room to grow. – The key to strong and healthy plants is enough room for a sturdy root system. For tomatoes, you will want at least a 5-gallon container to ensure you have plenty of room for the roots to grow.

Plenty of room and plenty of drainage are your first steps when you want to grow tomatoes in pots. As long as you have those two things right, you are well on your way to a summer full of BLT’s and homemade sauce!

How To Grow Tomatoes In Pots – Step by Step

Growing Cherry Tomatoes in Containers

When folks think of how to grow tomatoes in pots they immediately go to cherry tomatoes and rightfully so. This is the perfect plant to grow close to the house so you can grab a yummy snack all summer long.

Step #1 Pot size – Look for a container that will hold 5 gallons and is from 14-20 inches in diameter. This will allow your plant to develop a large and healthy root system.

Step #2 Planting – Keep it to one plant per pot. Don’t be tempted to put more than one plant into a pot. Overcrowding can lead to poor air circulation which can lead to diseases such as early blight. Remember, you goal is enough room for the roots. Keep the roots happy and healthy and you will grow a happy and healthy supply of tomatoes.

Step #3 Soil – When planting any variety of tomato, be sure to use good quality soil (allow for 1 inch of space from the pot rim) and compost mixture. As flowers start to appear, top dress with compost. This will keep the base of the plant covered and protected. As you water the nutrients from the newly added compost will slowly work it’s way down to the plant’s roots making absorption easier.

Growing Full-sized Tomatoes in Containers

Yes, it is possible to grow full-sized tomato plants in containers! How cool is that? Before we dive in deeper we need to go over a few terms. There are actually two types of tomato plants, Determinate and Indeterminate.

Determinate tomato plants reach a certain plant height and then stop growing. The majority of their fruit matures within a month or two and appears at the ends of the branches. These tomato plants need to be supported because of the weight of the tomatoes. You can do this with a simple tomato cage and are a favorite of canners since all the tomatoes tend to ripen at once.

Indeterminate tomato plants are vine-like plants. These types of tomato plants continue to grow and produce fruit all season long. It is not unusual to have indeterminate plants reaching 15 feet or even more so support of at least 5 feet is a must. For this reason, a larger tomato cage may be needed. The biggest advantage to these plants is you will get fruit all season long which is perfect for eating and enjoying.

When choosing a plant for your pots it is best to stick with a bush-like Determinate plant.

Step#1 Pot size – This is important when growing tomatoes you need to make sure your plants have enough room to establish a sturdy root system. Choose a pot size that is at least 18-inches in diameter. A good choice is a 5 or 10-gallon bucket.

Step#2 Drainage – As mentioned above be sure to drill holes in your containers for ample drainage. This will prevent water to puddle and possibly damage or even rot the root system.

Step#3 Location – Choose a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sun. You can group your plants together for easier care but do not let the plants touch. I like to use outdoor carts with wheels to make moving my plants much easier.

Step#4 Location part 2 – Potted tomato plants require a steady amount of water so if possible locate your planters close to a water supply or at least close enough that a hose will reach. Remember, with containers, you will be watering much more frequently than an in-ground garden. Be sure to set things up so this daily chore is a bit easier to do.

Step#5 Support – Add your support such as a tomato cage right away. Doing so later risks disturbing the root system and/or damaging the plant. As the plant grows you will want to guide branches through the cage so it is well supported as the fruit begins to form.

Step#6 Planting – Be sure to dig a hole deep enough that it will cover ⅔ of the plant’s stem. This will help to encourage more root growth and result in a more sturdy plant. I tend to forget that the health of the plant is all about the roots. The more care you take now, the better your harvest will be later.

Step#7 Mulch – Even though you are using pots it is still important to include a good layer of mulch. For this reason, you want to make sure you leave a good 1-2 inches of space below the rim of the pot. Using mulch will keep your soil moist longer so make sure to replace with fresh mulch as the mulch compresses during the growing season. Bark, straw, leaves, or shredded newspapers are all good options for mulch.

Read: Why You Should Mulch Your Garden

Step#8 Soil – Make sure to use the best soil possible for the best plants. This is an important step so no scrimping here. Choose a light and fluffy potting soil that will not compact down. Please note when using a fluffy soil that it may rest down and you will want to add more soil later on.

Step#9 Water – Adding enough water is the secret sauce to a healthy harvest. One of the drawbacks of growing your tomatoes in pots is you will need to water more often. Unfortunately, there is a fine line between enough water and too much. To be sure you are giving the right amount, I like to apply the high tech finger test. Simply stick your finger down into the soil and if the top 1 inch or so is dry, it’s time to give your plant a drink.

A good rule of thumb to follow when watering tomatoes in pots is to dive a good water weekly and light water every day. Of course, the amount and frequency of your water will all depend on the amount of sun your plants are getting. By checking the soil every time you water you will be better able to gauge just how much you need.

Bottom line. Watering is the key to a healthy strong and abundant tomato plant. You want to keep the soil in your pots consistently moist – not wet, but damp. Get your FREE watering guide to ensure you are always giving the correct amount at the most crucial time.

Australia’s favourite tomato types

With so many variations of tomatoes out there you might be a little confused about what type to grow in your garden. To help you out, we’ve created a list of the favourite variations of tomatoes grown in Australia.

You’ll find tomatoes that are bush or vine types with a range of sizes, shapes, colours and tastes that grow in different conditions.


    • See how easy it is to grow tomatoes at home

Indeterminate vs determinate

Indeterminate varieties are considered vining and should be staked for support. Indeterminate tomatoes usually grow for a longer period and produce larger crops but start to flourish later. The determinate variety of tomatoes are usually a shorter bush type that blooms over a shorter time frame. After the tomatoes on these plants ripen they die shortly after.

The HomeLeisure list of tomato types

There is some 7,500 varieties of tomato around the world, but heres’s a list of some cultivars available in Australia that you could try growing in your garden.


A hybrid type that is a tall indeterminate capable of growing up to about 2.5 metres in height. They tend to fruit early with some great tasting fruit but unfortunately their tolerance to diseases and bacteria is quite low.

Beef Steak

This indeterminate variety tends to flourish mid-season growing fruits that are large and have solid flesh, making them a great option for salads.

Black Russian

Black Russian tomatoes

As the name suggests this tomato has a darker colour and can be described as almost purple or chocolatey. The Black Russian is an open pollinated heirloom variety making it a traditional meaty and rich tomato. They can thrive in a cooler climate than most due to the fact they can absorb more heat than most other types of tomatoes.

Father Tom

The best feature of this hybrid tomato is that it is bred to be highly resistant to a range of diseases including Verticillium, Fusarium, and Tobacco Mosaic Virus just to name a few. The plant itself is a tall, fast growing and can protect their fruit from sunburn due to their extensive foliage. They can be described as a gourmet style tomato that would be great for salads and also have a long-lasting shelf life.

Grosse Lisse

Grosse Lisse tomatoes

These open pollinated indeterminate tomatoes fruit in a warmer climate which is generally the medium to late season. However they grow medium to large tomatoes and are seen as reliable with a great flavour which makes them very popular.

Health Kick

This determinate type of tomato is known for its added health benefits as it contains 50% more of the antioxidant lycopene. It is a roma type that grows quite tall and requires a decent amount of direct sunlight.

Mama’s Delight

If you’re a novice gardener then you should consider this type of tomato as it’s easy to manage due to it’s height. They are medium sized, don’t require any trimming and can be grown in a pot. However they should be staked or grown alongside a medium sized wire frame.

Mini Roma

Mini Roma tomatoes

Also known as grape tomatoes, the mini roma is a hybrid that is bred from a cross between a roma tomato and a cherry tomato. They fruit a small roma tomato that are considered sweet and bite sized and go great salads.

The Patio Tomato is a roma hybrid that is a compact determinate and is very productive despite it’s small size. They only grow to an average of 0.5 meters and product small plum-shaped tomatoes. They are low maintenance, don’t require staking and they grow well in small gardens or pots.


Most pink tomatoes have either a mild or sweet taste. The most common types are the German pink, Caspian pink and the Brandywine heirloom tomatoes.

Pot Prize

You probably could have guessed from the name that these hybrid tomatoes are the perfect type to grow in pots! Despite the fact that they only grow to a medium height they produce heavy tomatoes and do need to be staked.


This roma type is well known for being a high yielding variety, growing tall and producing sweet, thick skinned tomatoes. Due to their thick skin, these heavy tomatoes are well suited for drying and saucing. They can work well growing in a tomato cage and tend to be a one harvesting plant.

San Marzano

San Marzano tomatoes

This tomato is very popular and often described as the classic Italian roma because it originates from Italy, is great to cook with and is ideal for making tomato paste. It is an indeterminate small bush plant that produces high yields of thick skinned roma tomatoes. They can be grown in small pots, don’t need to be stake and have a high resistance to diseases.

Sweet Bite

This cherry sized tomato is an indeterminate type that is also known as the Sweet 100 and can grow to around 2 metres. They are vigorous and high yielding, producing sweet cherry tomatoes in the mid to late season. They can also self seed so they may continue to grow from last years season but they need to be staked. Sweet bite tomatoes should be picked quite regularly as over watering can cause them to split.

Sweet Grape

Another high yielding plant, the sweet grape plant is considered the “original grape tomato” that produces small and sweet tomatoes.

Tommy Toe

Tommy Toe tomatoes

This indeterminate type usually grow to around 2.5 metres with the right support as this vining plant has good climbing capabilities. They are a strong garden variety that grows in the mid to late season producing sweet and large cherry tomatoes.

Truss Sweet

This type of tomato is an indeterminate that grows to about 1.8 metres tall producing great tasting plum shaped tomatoes.


The tumbler is well known for being a traditional hanging basket plant that produces small, yellow and red sweet cherry tomatoes. They are quite unusual but are attractive, low maintenance and fairly high yielding. They can be grown in a small pot or in the garden supported by a small stake.


Yellow Pear tomatoes

There is a variety of different yellow types tomatoes including the little sugar yellow, yellow baby (aka the mini yellow pear) and lemon boy just to name a few. Typically they have a lower level in acidity which causes them to be more mild than most other tomatoes. The typical yellow tomato is a mellow salad variation and can grow quite tall. They are usually quite vibrant with their bright yellow flesh which is a great feature if you are looking to add colour into you garden.

Patio Hybrid Tomato Seeds 2320


Patio Hybrid Tomato Seeds 2320. A perfect tomato for container gardening. The bushy, miniature plants are loaded with dark red, 115 g (4 oz) medium size fruit. Packet contains 20 seeds. Resistance: ASC, ST. Harvest in approximately 70 days. Days to harvest are highly variable depending on growing conditions. Please note that due to a packet shortage the seed for this variety may be packed in a generic seed package. Determinate growth pattern.

Resistance to diseases for individual varieties is indicated by the abbreviations in the descriptions. V = VERTICILIUM WILT. N = ROOT NEMATODES. LS = LEAF SPOT. ST = STEMPHYLIUM. F = FUSARIUM. TMV = TOBACCO MOSAIC VIRUS. ASC= ALTERNARIA STEM CANKER.

How to Grow

350 seed/gram. Sow seeds indoors about 6-8 weeks before last spring frost date – use a peat moss based growing mix for germination and growing seedlings. The temperature of the seeding mix should be 21-24 C (70 – 75 F) for prompt germination. When the seedlings are 4 cm (1.75″) high, transplant each into individual peat pots – reducing temperature to 15–18 C (59 – 65 F) until planting in the garden late May. After hardening off, transplant into well-drained organic soil 60 cm (24″) apart for determinate varieties and 90 cm (36″) apart for indeterminate varieties. Tomatoes need warmth, direct sunlight & a steady supply of water. Keep plants well-watered Apply the water to the soil rather than showering down over the plants. Rotate the crop position in the garden every year. Wait three years to use the same patch in the garden. Dig out and discard diseased plants. Do not compost. It is also very important to keep plants evenly watered as fluctuations in available soil moisture can lead to a host of problems such as fruit cracking or splitting, irregular fruiting and increasing the chance of blossom end rot developing. Apply a mulch of straw around plants to protect them from soil borne diseases and to help conserve soil moisture.

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