The most popular question at the farmers market is about tomatoes. The interesting aspect of this is if you have the ability to grow your tomatoes in a garden or as many city dwellers you need to grow it in some kind of container. Most of the people we see at the market are interested in the various kinds of tomatoes rather than understanding that their success is directly related to this question and the properties of the environment you have available.
There are two kinds of tomato and only one of these will do well in a container. This has to do with the way their roots grow. Most tomatoes are vines and they have a root system that can extend as much as eight feet down into the soil. You might have guessed that a tomato that desires the room to grow could be underperforming in a pot or planter box.
The indeterminate tomato is the kind that fruits all season and needs to be planted in a garden. Most of these tomatoes are familiar and include all types: beefsteak, paste, slicers, globes and cherries.
Determinate tomatoes are the only ones that will work in a container, pot or planter box. They were designed for making catsup and their fruit all set about the same time. You only get one harvest from a determinate tomato. It is their root system that makes these tomatoes do well for city dwellers, the roots are much less demanding and form a much smaller root ball which is better suited for containers.
Tomatoes in containers also need fertilization; though, the usual heavy fortified nitrogen based fertilizers will make great foliage but zero fruit. So, for city dwellers, if you want to have a successful tomato grown in a pot, choose a determinate type and fertilize it with a low nitrogen fertilizer.