Caring for Your Container Vegetables

Did you receive a vegetable container from us this year (2021)?  To register your information, click here.

If you received a container in previous years, and would like to know when 2022 distribution will happen so you can possibly receive one again, email

For more assistance, please call the Hamilton County Purdue Extension Education Center at 317-776-0854, or email   To connect with to committee that prepared your container vegetables, please click here.   There are also many free resources available from Purdue Extension. 

2021 Tomato Varieties:

DWARF FIREBIRD SWEET TOMATO:  4-10 ounce bi-color fruits are sweet, juicy, full flavored and satisfying. Let them ripen well and you will be highly rewarded. Dwarf Firebird Sweet vines are not more than 4 feet, usually shorter. They produced clusters of five tomatoes that begin to ripen after 75 days. 


DWARF STONE TOMATO:  Dwarf Stone tomato is a deep red, rich and sweetish fruit that has a little tang and great balance. Prolific plants are no taller than 3 feet and have great disease resistance. These would even be around at the end of the season. Perfect little slicer, salad tomato. Good for salsas and sauces. They begin to ripen after 60 days. 

CHOCOLATE CHAMPION DWARF TOMATO:  This champion deserves its name. Dwarf Chocolate Champion tomato is a shorter variety, perhaps 3 feet, and produce nice sized, chocolate-colored fruits that can weigh 3-6 ounces. Fruits are oblate and reddish with chocolate shoulders. They are nicely balanced and very desirable! Great container variety. They begin to ripen after 70 days.

STAKELESS DWARF TOMATO:  Stakeless is a deep red very flavorful fruit. Short tree-like plants have strong bases and produce 3-inch round tomatoes. Stakeless tomatoes are very rich, juicy and tasty. This is a perfect tomato for small garden spaces or growing in containers. Definitely a dwarf variety that’s worth growing. They begin ripening about 70 days after transplant. 

DWARF MALLEE ROSE TOMATO:  Dwarf Mallee Rose is a rugose, regular leaf variety that is a heavy producer of medium-large (five to fourteen ounce), oblate-shaped, pink fruits. The fruits are smooth, slightly ribbed, juicy, and meaty with a nice, sweet flavor.  This is a beautiful slicing variety that grows on 3.5 feet tall plants. They are perfect slicers that begin to ripen at around the 75 days, continuing to heavily produce all season long. Dwarf Mallee Rose will do well in containers.

DWARF WILPENA TOMATO:  The rugose, potato-leaf plants of ‘Wilpena’ reach three to four feet in height by the end of the season and produce red colored, oblate shaped, juicy yet meaty, delicious, mild, well-balanced flavored slicing tomatoes. Although fruits average eight to twelve ounces each, they seem to be prone to double-blossomed first fruits that can make it up to twenty-eight ounces.  They begin ripening about 85 days after transplant. 

Sun, Watering, and Feeding:

Place your container in full sun (at least 6 hours of sun a day).

Containers need watered every day, preferably in the morning.  If the soil begins to feel dry and look lighter in color, you’ll want to give the plant more water.  You can tell if the soil needs more water by digging down into the soil a couple of inches.  If it feels dry, water until it drains out of the bottom.  Pour water on slowly, being careful to not flood the plant.  In hot, dry weather, this could be more than once a day.

Those that received a container garden in June should have received a small packet of fertilizer.  This should be “scratched in” to the soil around the outer edges of the plant(s) in late June or early July.


Harvesting Basil: 

You can find more information on growing herbs by clicking here.

Click here for more information on using and storing basil.

Harvesting Sweet Onions:

Click here to read more about growing onions.

Click here for more information on using and storing onions.

Harvesting Peppers:

To learn more about growing and storing peppers, click here.

Harvesting Tomatoes:

To read more about growing tomatoes, click here.

Common tomato problems are discussed here.

Click here for more information on using and storing tomatoes.

Common Pests:

You can find information on common garden pests, including pictures and recommendations, by clicking here.

If you see a hornworm on your tomato, pick it off and destroy it asap.  Be sure to regularly check for this pest.


Ready To Do More Gardening?

This publication from Purdue Extension Department of Horticulture will help to guide you through the growing season.