In April, I have started my first “Tomatoes on the balcony” project inspired by the Urban Gardening movement. I payed particular attention to the seeds because I did not want to support Monsanto and Co. by buying F1 hybrid seeds every year. After a careful research I came across the Bantam! project which aims to produce organic seeds (mostly tomatoes) for hobby gardeners. For a small price I received four sachets with four different sorts of cherry tomato seeds (all heirlooms), two of which should give yellow fruit. I also bought seeds of two other organic tomato sorts (Abraham Lincoln and cherry tomatoes) online from an organic farmer. All the tomatoes are supposed to be well suited for growing on a balcony in a 10-liter pot.
I started my tomatoes from seeds in ordinary plastic yogurt pots (don’t forget to make holes for drainage) – you can find more on the technique on the internet, for example here. At the beginning of May I put the seedlings in their final 12-liter pots from Elho Green Basics collection (made entirely from recycled plastic). Of course, I chose a suitable peat-free potting soil to avoid peatland depletion in Eastern Europe and elsewhere as according to experts peatland is more important than tropical rainforest in terms of taking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (you can read more on the importance of peat-free soil here). And of course you would need organic tomato fertilizer – I use the one from Aries. So far the plants seem to be happy and are flowering at the moment!
The advantage of our balcony is that it is very sunny – exactly what tomatoes like! What they do not like however, is the temperature below 10 degrees Celsius, so I have been taking them in for the night until the end of May (this depends of course on the climate you live in). Also, tomatoes should be protected from rain, as the “manual” on the seed package states, so a protected balcony is better.
Our cherry tomato is already starting to bear fruit! I hope that the weather will be good enough for them to ripen. I will keep your posted 😉 Also do not hesitate to ask questions or write your suggestions because I am still a beginning gardener 🙂