Tag Archives: Container Gardening

Two Tiny Tomatoes Perfect for a Tiny Space

For the past couple of years I’ve kept my tomato growing to the balcony. The 50sq foot space gets almost all day sun in which tomatoes thrive. In addition to the one large salad tomato planted in a half barrel, our balcony supports a dozen or so different herbs in pots, several fig trees I started from cuttings brought out from KY and several pots of geraniums and pansies. I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with a single tomato plant so I set out to find something small that wouldn’t take up much of our little remaining space. This year I opted for an old favorite and a new variety I had never grown. Both were started inside under lights in the early part of April. A couple of weeks ago I transplanted them to their final containers.

Tiny Tim Tomatoes

Tiny Tim Cherry Tomatoes
Tiny Tim is an old favorite of mine. An upright heirloom variety that grows just about a foot tall, this open pollinated tomato was introduced in the 1940s and does really well in containers. I’ve had luck planting 3-4 plants in a 3 gallon container. They are a little crowded which means a little more work keeping up on the watering and feeding but I find it worth the extra effort and the yield is great for the amount of space required. I trellis the plants by cutting the bottom ring off of a 3 ring tomato cage and using the two two rings to contain the plants. They end up looking like little green bushes full of small red fruit. The taste is tangy sweet.

Litt’l Bites Tomatoes

Renee’s Litt’l Bites is a new variety for me. An English tomato that also grows to about 12 inches in height but tends to spread sideways more than TT. The two I planted should be spilling over the side of the railing planter they are sharing with some trailing nasturtiums and pansies before too long. Since this is a new variety for me I can’t attest to their taste but The plants are very sturdy and already sport a number of blossoms and a few small tomaotoes despite the 50-60f temps we have been having recently. Our weather here in the Seattle area is a lot like some parts of England so I have high hopes that this will become another favorite of mine. I’ll update this post once I actually get to taste them.


This will probably be the last big harvest of basil here. I say big but it is all relative right? This is a 3 gallon bucket of basil I picked this morning. I’ve been picking off of 3 plants of sweet basil this summer and 1 plant of purple ruffles. Generally I would cut the plants back drastically when I started to see the flower heads forming. I made sure to leave a couple of sets of leaves each time and the plants rewarded me with even more growth. As a rule I give them a shot of fertilizer right after harvest. If the weather holds out this fall I may get another small cutting. This year the plants were grown in containers, two with my grape tomato plant in a half barrel and the other two in another large planter. They have done better than in previous years probably because they are easily accessable and I can see them when I water which means they are more apt to get what they need when they need it and are harvested promptly. I think next year I will double the number of plants in containers.


The leaves were brought inside and cleaned off. I don’t spray them with anything so generally I just give them a good shaking just in case there are hitchhikers. Any chewed or touch older leaves go into the compost pile. I may or may not remove the leaf rib. If the leaf tends to tear away from the rib it is removed if it all comes off in one piece i pinch the leaf stem back to the beginning of the leaf blade. The pile of leaves and tips is then run through the food processor to chop fine. I add some olive oil to the chopped leaves and scoop it into a freezer bag. The 3 gallon bucket yielded a quart sized bag of basil about 1/4″ thick. This goes into the freezer and I pinch off what I need.