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Gardeners Delight tomato in pots - advice needed

celcius_kkwcelcius_kkw Posts: 751
edited May 2020 in Fruit & veg

I bought some gardeners delight tomato seeds the other day in the supermarket and I’m planning on growing them in pots as I live in an apartment. Does anyone have experience growing this variety in containers? My main question is how big does the container have to be? Does the diameter matter more than the depth or vice versa?

I read somewhere that says although it’s more of a cordon tomato plant it can be grown as a bush tomato? I’m not sure how that’s achieved - does one just pinch off the tip and let the side shoots grow in that case? What’s the advantage of growing it as a bush? Would it allow the plant to tolerate a smaller pot? 

This is my first time growing tomatoes so any friendly advice would be much appreciated. 



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,782
    Do you have a balcony that’s sunny and not too windswept?  I’m doubtful about the success of growing tomatoes in an apartment otherwise. 

    When I grew Gardener’s Delight they needed a pot at least the size of a large bucket. I think they’ll also need staking even if grown as a bush as they’ll grow upwards until you stop the tip ... which I think I would do when it has 5 trusses ... unless someone here has experience of growing them as a bush ... I’ve always grown them as cordons. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,537
    Gardeners delight grows fine in a pot the size of florists buckets (which is what I use with holes drilled in the bottom). They need to be grown as a cordon, although if it has two stems you can get away with it if you have the space.  No good at all as a windowsill plant.  If you have a sunny, non windy balcony you stand a chance. It's  too late in the year to start growing tomatoes from seed unless you really like green tomato chutney.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    edited May 2020
    They can get up to two metres tall+  - really not small plants at all. There are toms more suited to hanging baskets (smaller) like Tumbling Tom, that's, overall, a much smaller plant. As I understand it, toms like eveness above all things - even temps, even watering, shelter.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,340
    I only grow in pots, but the others are right. No use on a windowsill. 
    If you have full height glass doors you'd get away with it.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • celcius_kkwcelcius_kkw Posts: 751
    Thanks for all the replies 

    I should mention that I have two large pots measuring 17inc across and 15 inches deep and lots of smaller ones measuring 7 inches across and 10 inches deep. 

    @Dovefromabove I have a roof terrace that gets full sun from 1pm onwards to sunset.. so about 7-8 hours a day. It can get a little windy at times..but that’s more in winter. 

    @[email protected] I must say I’m a bit disappointed to hear that I may have missed the tomato bandwagon this year.. I’ve actually just ordered two more packets of seed ‘sungold’ and ‘sweet aperitif’.. I hope they will keep till next year? I’ve also got tumbling Bella that I gather could be grown on the windowsill.. but the despatch and delivery time is so long I’ve been waiting for over two weeks.. 

    @Fire Yeah, ideally I would have preferred to grow a bush or dwarf variety.. I did place an order for tumbling Bella two weeks back but due to lockdown pressures it hasn’t even been dispatched.. that’s how I ended up picking up gardeners delight in the supermarket. 

    @[email protected] how big are your containers? 
  • strelitzia32strelitzia32 Posts: 767
    You may be lucky growing from seed. As fairygirl says, if you have full height glass and plenty of sun and warmth (I suspect your afternoon sun may not quite do it), and pinch out early for fewer trusses, you may well get some tomatoes. It's not game over if they are green as long as they are a decent size, you can ripen them with warmth, a brown paper bag and a banana. I only finished sprouting my tomatoes 2 weeks ago with the last variety, they're currently 2 inches tall in a greenhouse and I still expect a good crop.

    Regardless, just seeing how they grow and doing it successfully will be good experience and help you hit for next year!

    You could always buy one of the fancy full spectrum indoor grow lights, I think I've seen one from ehlo.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,340
    I've used florist's buckets as @fidgetbones says. I just pot on into the next size as they grow, and they end up in ones which are about 12 inches/30 cm diameter, with around the same depth.
    Last year I grew cherry toms though, and I used two plastic boxes which fit into my little greenhouse. I guess they're about 15 inches width, about 12 depth, and about the same in height. We can't grow outdoors here - not worth trying. Too inconsistent temperature wise.

    If you have Sungold seeds, sow some just now. Mine have only been sown about a month ago. If you're growing indoors they'll be fine  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,215
    Tomato seed stays viable for several years. Sow what you need, and keep the rest somewhere cool and dry for next year.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • celcius_kkwcelcius_kkw Posts: 751
    edited May 2020
    @strelitzia32 Thank you for the encouragement.. I shall give it a go.. you’re right.. trial and error is part of the fun too and I will always take something away from the experience :) 

    @Fairygirl Is sun gold suitable for be grown indoors (in my case it will have to stay on the windowsill as that’s the sunniest spot in my apartment). I thought they grow absolutely huge? 

    @JennyJ Cheers for the advice.. would Tupperware containers be alright for storing them? Should I keep them out of sunlight? 

    Can I clarify something with both of you.. am I right in thinking if I were to pinch out the plant when it gets to a certain height it will then stay at that height but still produce fruits lower down? If I were to pinch out the top to stop the growth but kept the side shoots and not remove them.. would the side shoots’ crop compensate for the reduced trusses from above? I am not aiming to get the maximum crop out of them as I know it’s almost impossible growing in containers so I would be happy with a decent crop (I’m the only one eating it anyway so I don’t need kilos of it) 
  • strelitzia32strelitzia32 Posts: 767
    Keep your seeds cool, dry and in the dark. Sealed containers are a bad idea as they will condense moisture unless you can put some of this silica packets inside.

    Pinching out stops growth and forces the plant to put its energy to what's already there. You're best to wait until you have a couple of trusses forming on the main stem then pinch out the top. Keep pinching out the side shoots wherever you see them, they won't compensate in the way you're hoping. Remember to feed! And it is absolutely possible for large crops in buckets and pots - commercial growers just use fancier systems that are based on the same principles.
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