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Can You Grow Tomatoes On A Screened Porch – Strategies For The Best Results

How great that many people grow herbs, fruits, and vegetables in containers outdoors and even indoors as well. Growing plants indoors can be very convenient. Imagine cooking and being able to pick herbs directly from your indoor plant to add to your food. The next place to take advantage of growing is your front porch. If you have tried and failed at specifically growing tomatoes on your front porch, you may have asked yourself if it can work. Can you grow tomatoes on a screened porch?

You can grow tomatoes on a screened porch. There has to be at least 6-8 hours a day of sunlight directly hitting your tomato plants. A screen still allows sunlight in, but your tomatoes will need to be placed in the most suitable spot for optimal sunlight. Your tomatoes will need a slight breeze to pollinate naturally. If that’s not possible, you might have to pollinate them yourself.

Your plants must still receive the right amount of water every day. Having them right on your front porch is convenient for watering purposes. If you have given up on growing tomatoes successfully on your front porch, at least continue reading this article, and maybe you’ll want to give it another try. 

Do Tomatoes Require Full Sun?

Tomatoes always require full sun to flourish. The recommended time of direct sunlight a day is 6-8 hours. Tomatoes do not thrive in the shade. Without adequate sunlight, they will only produce a small amount of fruit, if any at all.

Also, If your tomatoes are in too hot of sunlight for more than 6-8 hours a day, then they could also fail. The fruit may never properly ripen. The right amount of sunlight is significant to the success of your tomatoes. 

How to Grow Tomatoes On A Screened Porch

  1. Pick out the proper container for your tomato plants. Make sure the container is tall and stable enough to support the size of the plant. The container must be a foot and a half to two feet deep. The roots need plenty of room to grow and easy access to a good amount of potting soil and its nutrients. It’s also essential that the container has a good amount of drainage at its bottom to prevent the plant from being too saturated and causing rotted roots. If you find a container that meets every criteria minus the drainage, then drill holes in the bottom. 
  2. Scope out your porch and find the perfect spot for your tomatoes to grow. There must be a minimum of 6 hours and the maximum of 8 hours of sunlight provided to your plants. If they are placed in spots that are always shaded, they will most likely not receive adequate sunlight. Also, make sure your plant isn’t placed in an area that acts as a wind tunnel. Too much wind can ruin your tomatoes and blow them off the vines before they are ready to be picked. A fair amount of wind is necessary in order to pollinate your plants. If you cannot provide enough wind, you can learn to self pollinate your plants instead. 
  3. Go to your local home and gardening store to pick out adequate potting soil. Soils specifically made for in ground gardens and not container plants will not provide the correct nutrients to your tomato plants. Gardening soil is not made to drain properly the way potting soils do, which again, like overwatering, can rot your plants and their roots. Look specifically for potting soil with a slow-release mechanism. Every time you water your plants, it will release fertilizer into the soil and adequately feed them.
  4. Water diligently. The soil should always be moist, about 1 to 2 inches beneath the surface. If it’s dry, then your plants need more water. Overwatering, however, can also cause rotting, so try not to water your plants when the soil is already moist enough.
  5. Harvest ripe tomatoes from your plant as often as you can. This allows the plant to focus its attention on ripening the fruit that needs it the most. Also, tomatoes can become overripe and rot if they aren’t picked. Maintaining your plant, picking, and pruning is essential for the plant’s overall health. 

Can Growing Tomatoes On Your Front Porch Be Beneficial?

Growing tomatoes on your front porch may seem more complicated than growing in the ground, but it has its benefits. A porch provides more protection than a garden on the ground.

Depending on where you live, critters like mice, bugs, rabbits, and possibly even deer will easily be able to access your tomato plants if they are on the ground.

They will happily help themselves to eating your plants which could cause them to die or not produce properly. You have more control of your tomatoes when they are on your porch. You can position them in a spot that receives enough natural sunlight and wind and keeps them sheltered from unpredictable weather such as a rainstorm or excessive heat. 

What Tomatoes Can You Grow In Containers On Your Porch?

Growing tomatoes in containers on a screened porch can be equally fun. Below is a list of varieties that grow well on a screen porch while in containers.

Tomato Plant
Window Box Romas
Tiny Tims
Sprites
Totems
Bushsteak
Tumbling Tom
Stupice
Marglobe
Baxters Bush Cherry
Gardeners Delight
Patio Princess
Sweet Baby Girl
Sweetheart Of The Patio
A list of tomatoes that can be easily grown on a screened porch

Final Thoughts

To conclude this article, the answer to the question many of you have is simple. Yes, you can grow tomatoes on a screened porch. Overall, a screen doesn’t filter sunlight, and it doesn’t prevent your tomatoes from growing.

The correct positioning on a porch will be the difference between your tomatoes thriving or dying. They must be placed in a spot that receives a lot of sunlight throughout the day, and that has a slight breeze.

Tomatoes on a porch in a container require daily maintenance, including watering, picking, and pruning. Many people prefer growing tomatoes on their porches because they have more control over them. Take a step out of your comfort zone and try growing your tomatoes on your front porch instead of in the ground.