How to Grow Tumbler Tomatoes

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The tumbler tomato plant produces up to 6 lbs. of juicy-red cherry tomatoes.
The tumbler tomato plant produces up to 6 lbs. of juicy-red cherry tomatoes. (Image: cherry tomatoes image by Curtis Sorrentino from Fotolia.com)

Specifically bred for growing in hanging baskets, tumbler tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum) are highly productive, providing tomato gardeners with enough tomatoes to garnish their favorite salads all summer long. This cascading tomato plant produces up to 6 lbs. of juicy-red cherry tomatoes earlier than most tomato varieties. In fact, these 1 1/4-inch beauties are usually ready for harvest in 50 days if grown in full sun and sterile soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed starter tray with lid
  • Tumbler tomato seeds
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Hanging baskets
  • Organic potting soil
  • Grow light
  • Fertilizer

Fill a seed starter tray with damp potting soil. Sow one tumbler tomato seed per cell, at a 1/4-inch depth. Cover the seed starter tray with its plastic lid and place the tray in a sunny window during germination.

Remove the lid only to moisten the soil with water from a spray bottle during the germination process. Remove the lid permanently after the tumbler tomato seeds germinate, which should take between six and 14 days.

Prepare hanging baskets for outdoor planting once the temperature rises to a constant 55 degrees F. Set the seed tray outdoors to allow the tomato seedlings time to harden off one week prior to outdoor planting.

Fill 8-inch hanging baskets with organic soil. Leave a 1-inch gap between the soil and lip of each basket. Organic soil is lighter and airier in nature, which will allow water to flow through the soil freely and also allow the roots of the tomato plants plenty of room for expansion.

Remove the tumbler tomato seedlings from their cells, carefully keeping the roots and soil intact. Plant one tumbler tomato seedling in the center of each hanging basket.

Water the soil immediately after planting the tumbler tomatoes. Maintain moist soil throughout the growing season, allowing the water to flow through the soil and out the drainage holes in the bottom of the baskets with each watering.

Tips & Warnings

  • Harvest the tumbler tomatoes as they ripen.
  • If you cannot provide the tomato tumbler seeds and seedlings with bright sunlight, set the tray under a grow light.
  • Feed the tumbler tomatoes a 10-52-10 fertilizer for the first three weeks. Apply a 20-20-20 fertilizer after the three weeks. Follow label instructions for allocation amounts.
  • Do not overwater the tumblers. Too much water will cause the roots of the tomato plants to rot. Press your fingers into the soil before each watering. If it feels moist, do not add more water.

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