We are always on the hunt to find the best ways to grow tomatoes in our gardens. Few crops enjoy such widespread popularity, which is somewhat ironic given that they were considered poisonous in medieval times. But these days tomato growing is almost a national pastime.
But not everyone has the space or time to start a vegetable garden. So various container growing approaches have come about, but few are as popular as hanging tomato planters. Here's a sampling of why they have become popular.
First, you can use them almost anywhere. Since they hang, you don't even need floor space for them. Put one on a balcony, and many apartment dwellers can find they will grow great tomatoes. Put a hanging planter on your deck or patio, and fresh tomatoes are just outside the kitchen door, handy enough for a quick salad or to slice for a sandwich.
You don't need to weed them nearly as much as a regular garden. They are isolated from the lawn and other weeds, and there is not usually that much surface area to attract weeds in your planter.
Because you can change out the potting soil or growing medium each year, you end up with fewer problems with disease, as disease organisms will often overwinter and come back the next year. Similarly, because the soil is prepared as opposed to just using what's in your yard, you can improve the drainage and the moisture retention by using a custom mix with more organic matter or enhancements like perlite or peat moss.
Since the tomato plants hang down, the whole problem of trying to set up stakes or tomato cages is eliminated, just let them grow down to the ground, and for large indeterminate varieties you can prune them to keep the tomatoes under control. This improves the air circulation as well, which can help the pollination of the plants.
However, like most container garden approaches, the key to making it work well is to keep it watered well without water-logging the tomato plants. This is what usually sets apart one planter type from another. . .
Read about which planters work well in our hanging tomato planters review . We have that and more tomato growing ideas at http://howtogardenguide.com