Tomato cultivation on the balcony - tips on varieties, substrate & Co

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Fruit from our own harvest can not be compared with those from the supermarket. They are more aromatic and fruity and they come in different shapes and colors. For a cultivation on the domestic balcony one can pull own plants out of seeds or buy already finished young plants in the garden trade. There are no special varieties for cultivation on the balcony, but there are varieties that are particularly suitable for this type of cultivation.Tomato varieties differ not only in shape and color, but also in growth form. So you can choose between bush, bar and cocktail tomatoes. The latter are particularly often used for tomato cultivation on the balcony. The variety of varieties is huge, so there is something for every taste. With appropriate space and for a greater variety, the cultivation of different varieties offers. Some varieties are particularly suitable for growing on the balcony:

cherry tomatoes

Angora Super Sweet
This medium-maturing cocktail tomato has 3 - 6 cm small, extremely aromatic red fruits. They are sweet, mild and juicy but not floury. Unusual is the slight fluffy hairiness of the fruits. Their stature height is between 120 and 250 cm.
Black cherry
The fruits of this precocious tomato in the ripe state have a purple to dark brown color. They are packed, juicy sweet in the taste. The stature height is a maximum of 200 cm.
Black Zebra Cherry
The special feature of 'Black Zebra Cherry' is the dark red base color with the emerald green, irregular stripes. The fruits are round, firm, 2.0 - 2.5 cm in size, with a spicy, sweet note. The stature height in the pot is 120 - 140 cm. Harvest time starts around mid-August.
Cuban Yellow Grape
This high-yielding variety is a very resistant wild tomato with small yellow, egg-shaped, up to 20 g heavy fruits. The taste is sweet-aromatic and the stature height in the pot is a maximum of 250 cm.

bush tomatoes

Prima Bell
The bush tomato 'Primabell' is a very compact, precocious and high-yielding potato with round, intense red, about 30 g heavy and very aromatic fruits. With a size of 30 - 40 cm this dwarf tomato remains very small.
The variety 'balcony star' is predestined for cultivating as a balcony tomato. It grows only up to 60 cm high and produces a wealth of deep red round fruits, which are ripe for harvest from August. They are medium in size, space-packed with a slightly lemon-like aroma.
Tumbling 'Tom Red'
'Tumbling Tom Red' has a hanging habit and is therefore very well suited for a traffic light planting. The round, red, 4 - 6 cm small and very juicy fruits have a particularly lovely aroma. Harvest time is from July to September.
Red Robin
The compact and productive bush tomato 'Red Robin' grows only about 30 cm high and develops round red, sweet and aromatic fruits. Harvest time is from July to October.
Straw tomato 'Green Zebra'
The special feature of this tomato is the green-yellow striped color of the ripe fruit. Its aroma is intense spicy, fresh fruity with fine acidity. From the end of July can be harvested. The plants grow up to 125 cm high.
Tip: If you only have a very small balcony, should opt for cocktail tomatoes, which remain comparatively low and are very productive. Completely unsuitable for a bucket attitude are so-called bottle tomatoes, which can be up to 500 cm high.

Pre-culture in the house

Peck tomatoes

Planting deeply has the advantage that further roots can form on the lower part of the stalk and thus the plants can better supply them with water and nutrients. Planting basil or nasturtium between tomato plants can enhance the aroma of tomatoes and minimize evaporation.
Tip: From a certain plant size, it is advisable to remove the bottom, near-ground leaves to protect them from moisture by splashing. Otherwise, brown rot threatens.

site conditions

Tomatoes generally prefer warm, dry and wind and rain protected locations with as much sun as possible. Consequently, balconies with a south or southwest orientation are best suited, here the light output is highest. Heat is not a problem for these plants as long as they are adequately supplied with water.
The situation is different with wetness from above or rain, which does not get tomato plants at all. Wet leaves promote the development of fungal diseases such as brown rot, which spreads quickly across the plant and fruits. Preferably, the plants are placed under a canopy or in a commercial tomato house.
Basically, tomatoes grow in any permeable, fresh and nutrient-rich potting soil.By mixing in some fine gravel or expanded clay, the permeability can be improved. Too many coarse fractions should not be so that the substrate does not lose its stability.

When to go outside?

On the balcony, the tomato plants between mid and late May. There should be no night frosts left. However, you should give the plants a short period of adjustment and slowly get used to the sun. The sensitive leaves otherwise get sunburn very quickly. It is best to put them out for a few days at first only by the hour or only during the day. Later, when there is no risk of frost, they can stay out.

care claims

Even if you do not have a garden, you do not have to do without home-grown vegetables. Just tomatoes can be grown on a small balcony. It depends on just the right location on a needs-based care.

to water

Tomatoes need to be watered regularly, they are extremely thirsty. It is better to water regularly than rarely and intensively. Dryness could cause the fruit to burst and should be avoided. However, tomatoes do not want to be permanently in the water. When casting, make sure to pour only from below and never over the leaves. The best time for this is early morning or evening. A mulch layer ensures that the substrate does not dry out so quickly.


Harvest ripe and unripe tomatoes

Between July and October the time has finally come, the aromatic fruits can be harvested. Fully ripe fruits of red varieties are completely colored. The full ripeness of multicolored, yellow, orange or green varieties can be recognized by the fact that the shell gives way slightly under pressure. Another indication of mature tomatoes is the intended breaking point at the stem, where the fruit can easily be snapped off.
There are special green varieties that can fully retain their green color and can be easily consumed. All others are green only when immature and so not edible. Due to the weather it can happen that the first frost threatens, before all the fruits are ripe or they simply have not got enough sunlight. Then they do not need to be disposed of, but they can be harvested as normal and allowed to ripen in a dark and cool place. However, they are not as good as sun-ripened tomatoes.
The tomato cultivation on the balcony is a good and above all delicious alternative to tomatoes from the supermarket. The effort is relatively low. Particular attention should be paid to the right variety selection, a sunny, protected from rain location and optimal nutrient supply. Then nothing stands in the way of a rich harvest on your own balcony.

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