Container Gardner Newbie

Hi,
I am in Northern California and the weather is so beautiful so I thought of growing some tmatoe and herbs in containers as I live in an apartment. Pity not to have a house with a big yard here! anyway,
I want plant some herbs in the same container as the tomatoes. I don't know what would be a good match to grow in the same part. I guess Basil and chives are good choices, But
I need lots of Mint and Basil and French Tarragon, I love them so much , just eat them raw with my food!
So, I thought grow Mint in one container. French Tarragon in one.
I don't need that much Oregano, Thyme and chive. So can I grow these three in the same container where I grow my tomatoes.
I went to nursery yesterday and there is so many different thymes? which one should I get? I am concerned about the falvor.
How about Bell peppers, Can I grow them in the same container with herbs or tomatoes? How big they get, How big a container Ineed to grow peppers?
And finally last question! I have got "Sweet 100" and "Early girl" tomatoes so far. I want to get 2-3 more. What do you recommend? I am looking for high yeild and long season bearing.
Hope to get answers soon, Many thanks in advance.
Gardner Newbie.
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You are going need some huge containers. From my experience, the root system from one tomato plant alone takes up almost the whole container.
Tomato plants can and do grow at times to the excess of 6 feet tall
Read up on companion planting. I have read that basil and tomatoes work well together but that you should not plant chives with tomatoes.

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It's because you live in America. The one you want is Pacific Standard Thyme :-))
Steve
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In article
, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Be aware that tomatoes like lots of light and heat.

Maybe just be patient, and try a few different types over a period of time. That was how I settled on my favourite lettuce (Buttercrunch.) I may very well just keep doing different tomato varieties each year. Etc, etc.

I strongly suggest planting them alone. I use 10-litre (2 and a half gal) buckets for those. Maybe a foot and a half tall for my largest one right now. BTW, I suggest using a single bamboo stake next to the main stem, and loosely tie the plant to it, for stability.

There might be more specific advice if you say exactly how much total space you have for all the plants. Another issue is your light - what direction is your apartment facing? Do you have a balcony or other outside area, or is everything indoors?
Also, patience is very important with any fruiting type vegetable. Lettuce can yield fairly fast (maybe 10 weeks or so - I haven't kept track.) But things like tomatoes, capsicums (bell peppers), cucumbers, etc, take many months of care before you can start eating. For example, my capsicums that I planted in September, are still working on some small fruits, and similar- aged tomato plants have had some ripe fruits, but most are still green.
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On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 13:47:07 -0800, Antipodean Bucket Farmer

Actually, they don't like really hot weather. Around here, the tomatoes slow down or stop setting fruit when the temperatures stay above 80 F during the night and in the upper 90's during the day. Some varieties are more heat tolerant than others, but too much heat can be as bad for tomatoes as too much cold.
<...>

Most of the tomato or pepper varieties I look at here in the States at the very least list whether they're long, short, or mid-season. Most give the number of days to first fruit from when the plant is set out.
And, um, am I counting it right...you're saying that after 6 months you still don't have many ripe peppers or tomatoes? Those are some _very_ long season varieties! I always plant some short season varieties; patience may be a virtue, but it's not one of mine.
Penelope
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Hi,
Thanks for your informative reply.
My apartment faces SouthEast and I have a balcony. It gets pretty good sunlight and it's a good size but I can not fill it out all with plants. I still need space for my Grill.
I finally got three tomato plants and I am going to plant them today in 18 Qt containers. they are "Sweet 100", "Early Girl" and "Celebrity". These containers have 4 drainage hole in them, is it enough? or should I drill more holes. should I put a layer of rocks at the bottom of the container or just several pieces of rocks are enough?
I got two rectangular containers for strawberries. They are about 30" by 6" , I don't think I get more than a few strawberries from them , but worth the taste. do strawberries need good drainage too? more than the two preinstalled holes?
I want to plant the basil in the tomato containers, BUT , are they going to be covered all by the tomatoes?
Thanks again. Gardner Newbie.
Antipodean Bucket Farmer wrote:

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I think your containers are large enough, you won't get the amount of tomatoes you can get growing in the ground but you'll get a few and they'll be very good. I've had problems in the past of tomatoes smothering anything else they share containers with. You might want to plant your herbs in little 4-6" containers and set these on the soil next to the tomatoes. Move the herbs around a bit so they don't root into the tomato pot and as the tomatoes get bigger, they'll lean in certain directions, simply move the herbs into better spots and rotate your tomato plants while you're at it. I've never put rocks in my container, but you might want to put mats under them to prevent stains on your balcony. Also look around for tomato varieties designed for container growing. You'll have to water frequently, especially in hot weather. :)

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tomato lover wrote:

wouldn't know from personal experience as I _always_ have Basil growing ;-) Marigolds are also good companions for tomatoes, and catnip is great to grow with just about everything.
As for the thyme, if you are looking for the best thyme like flavor, go with common (or vulgar) thyme or lemon thyme. I probably have four or five different thymes going right now. I get the best look from the silver thyme, but it's flavor is not as full.
Be careful growing herbs, though, they have a way of creeping into your senses (and heart) and changing you forever.
David
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wrote:

You can grow the mint around the tomatoes or peppers, too. There's spearmint around the Grenada Seasoning pepper that I've overwintered the last 2 years, and both plants are thriving.

Just make sure the tomato doesn't shade them. They like sun.

Brush the leaves with your fingers, then sniff. Take the ones that smell especially good to you.

It depends on the variety, some get bigger than others. Buran is a nice container bell, it's on the small side, but very productive. You could probably grow one of them in a gallon pot. Lemon Drop peppers are a nice container chili pepper, but they'll want a larger pot, probably at least 3 gallons.

Consider Russian Silvery Fur Tree tomatoes. It works well in containers, and produces lots and lots of medium/small tomatoes. Plus the foliage is more ornamental than most tomatoes. Current tomatoes are nice, too. I've grown them in hanging baskets before.
Good Luck!
Penelope
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