Patio Tomatoes in Low Light

“Dear Horticulturist,
I’m wanting to grow tomatoes on my deck this year. Is there a less demanding variety of tomato (low light, and hearty) that you might recommend for a beginner?


Boy, that’s a tough question. I don’t know of a tomato that performs well in part or more shade. That said, the situation you describe should produce enough tomatoes providing the variety you choose is a good producer to begin with. There are other factors which may impact production as much as sunlight. They include zone, size of the pot, tomato variety, fertilizer, etc.

I grow heirlooms mostly and I use 12 – 16 gallon pots. Tomatoes may be grown in 5 gallon pots, but with limited sunlight, I certainly wouldn’t try it. The production would be very low. Here are a few dependable varieties that have excellent flavor and decent output.

Cherry – Gardener’s Delight, Black Cherry, Galinas, Sungold
Paste – Opalka, San Marzano
Beefsteak – Goliath, Marianna’s Peace, Ponderosa, Mexico, Cherokee Purple, Pruden’s Purple
Small – Eva’s Purple Ball(my favorite small tomatoe for flavor and production), Bloody Butcher, Break o’ Day




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6 thoughts on “Patio Tomatoes in Low Light

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