Home Depot is now selling locally grown, organic vegetable and herb plants. Yesterday, I bought a few determinate cherry tomato plants which hail from Garden State Growers in Pittstown, NJ.
I called Garden State Growers and confirmed that their Farm Fresh Organic labeled plants are free of neonicotinoid, a pesticide that kills bees. The employee said, “The plants are 100% pesticide free.”
Everyone should grow tomatoes in containers. It’s super easy and super fun. There’s no excuse not to grow them. City dwellers can grow them on fire escapes or an apartment rooftop patio. (Read this article I wrote for Huffington Post for city dwellers.)
I had this 18″ diameter clay pot on hand which is fine for growing a determinate tomato plant (with support). You can also grow a small pepper plant, broccoli or small eggplant in this size container.
The locally grown plants were four for $10. Buy a bag of potting soil and a few containers–the bigger the container, the better. Tomatoes have large root systems. A large container will prevent the soil from drying out too quickly.
Water regularly. Containers dry out quicker than a garden bed. Self-watering containers is a great option, especially if you go away on weekends during the summer.
I’ll add a stake, add a slow release fertilizer and water daily on hot summer days.