Cleaning your pots helps to reduce the possibility of harmful bacteria or insect eggs infecting your new plants. Colorful, hardy tomato plants are a great option for container gardening. Fill the pot with high-quality potting soil and make sure the container has good drainage. Once flowers start to appear, top dress around the base of the plant with compost. In this video I will be planting some tomatoes plants in pots. This article was co-authored by Monique Capanelli. Of the two types, determinate tomatoes tend to be smaller. Consider plastic pots—they are lightweight and easier to move than ceramic. Tomato cages are usually made out of concrete reinforcing wire. Growing Roma Tomatoes in pots. Should I plant my tomatoes in the ground or in pots? Planting tomatoes in fabric pots As with planting tomatoes in the ground or in other types of containers, you can plant tomatoes deep to start and add soil as they get bigger. Planting your seeds any deeper will prevent them from sprouting. Be sure to thoroughly rinse any insecticide-treated tomatoes before you eat them. And one or two plants will provide a family of four with enough tomatoes for the summer. You can also use fabric pots instead of others. Second, dampen your seed starting potting mix and then fill up your plastic pots about 3/4 full. Rather than considering the size of the tomatoes it will produce, check the seedling label to see whether the plant is indeterminate-- the big, sprawling, kind -- or the more compact determinate plant. Before you eat any tomatoes that you harvest, wash them thoroughly with warm water. Without adequate water, tomato plants will become stressed and be more susceptible to pests and diseases. If the soil feels dry when you poke your finger into the first 1 or 2 inches, run a hose or watering can over the soil until water runs out the drainage holes. 5 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Organize Your Home and Life. Keep the soil one inch below the pot rim. "As a beginner, I learned a lot, practically everything, having tried out by trial and error. Steps To Grow Tomatoes in Pots Preparation. Tomatoes require constant moisture, so water them regularly. Too much early exposure to wind and sun can weaken or destroy young plants. This article received 22 testimonials and 100% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Start with a large container, which will dry out more slowly, and set up a regular watering system to keep plants happy. If a tomato plant receives too little water, the plant will wilt and weaken, and the tomatoes could develop blossom end rot. February to April is the perfect time to sow. Push a 4-foot-tall plant stake into the pot, about 4 inches from the plant. Read our, The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Growing tomatoes is a pleasure most of us can enjoy, whether we have a greenhouse, garden border or just a … House Beautiful - It's amazingly satisfying to grow your own tomatoes – and they taste fantastic too. Some potting soils already have fertilizers included in them so read the soil bag to determine if these essential nutrients are already included in the mix. If the potting soil does not include fertilizer, feed the plants with an all-purpose slow-release fertilizer or a tomato-specific fertilizer. Debra LaGattuta is a certified master gardener with decades of experience with perennial and flowering plants, container gardening, and raised bed vegetable gardening. How many hours of sun does a tomato plant need? Find the Best Tomatoes for You. Watching the flowers on tomato plants develop into tiny green pods then swell and turn red is a lovely thing. By using our site, you agree to our. Beginners should refrain from adding additional plants to the container, even if you have a massive container. Place it in the ground in full sun and put a tomato cage over it. Letting the water sit in the saucer can cause root rot. There are both natural and manufactured options available, depending on the offending pest. Use straw, shredded bark, chopped leaves, or newspaper as mulch. If it doesn't, drill three to five holes in the bottom of the container before planting. Tomato plants will grow best in containers with a support structure. Plant tomatoes deep enough to cover at least half of the main stem. On average, a single tomato plant requires a pot of around 14-18 inches for bush type tomatoes and 18-24 inches for climbing tomatoes in both depth and width. When growing your garden in containers there are really no rules when it comes to the style of container. Watching the flowers on tomato plants develop into tiny green pods then swell and turn red is a lovely thing. The recommended size is 18-inches or larger in diameter for most tomato varieties. The best cherry tomatoes to grow in pots are bush varieties like Baxter’s Bush Cherry and varieties named for their excellent growth in containers such as Patio Princess and Balcony cherry. Tomatoes can be challenging to grow in containers, but they continue to rate among the most popular summer vegetables. 5 Tips for Growing Tomatoes in Pots Use Really Big Containers. Monique is a Certified Permaculture Designer. Should I trim the bottom leaves and branches or leave them alone? Tomatoes need at least 8 hours of direct sunlight to grow and harvest. Repeat this process every time you plant something new in a pot. HOW TO SUPPORT TOMATO PLANTS IN CONTAINERS. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 344,792 times. If your plants aren't getting enough sun, move the containers to a location that does. Fill the pots with soil as the plant grows Nutrients should be well mixed with the soil before the tomato containers are filled. If there are too many tomatoes in one area of the plant, it may mean that those tomatoes will face a lack of the nutrients that they need to grow. Adding a screen to the bottom of your pot will keep the soil from draining out with the water. If you are planting tomato seeds, add potting soil until you get .5 in (1.3 cm) from the top of the pot. I really liked it. She attended the University of Texas at Austin. For those who wish to go with the dwarf, bush types, and vinelike cherry tomatoes, choose 3-5 gallon pots. This type of tomato plant is great for container gardening. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Unless you are planting dwarf or patio varieties, add a plant stake or tomato cage for support. Monique Capanelli is a Plant Specialist and the Owner and Designer for Articulture Designs, an innovative design firm and boutique in Austin, Texas. You should remember that this variety requires a large container. to 8 in. Kerry Michaels is a writer and photographer with several years specializing in gardening and landscape design. Care when planting tomatoes in a pot. 1. If you want to grow cherry tomatoes in containers then you may pick Bing Cherry, Gold Nugget, Bartelly F1, Peacevine Cherry, Black Cherry, Bumblebee, Tiny Tim, Gardener’s Delight, Sweetheart, Juliet tomato varieties. If you’re short on space try Tiny Tim cherries. Tumbling Tom tomato variety produces sweet cherry tomatoes. It also helps to filter the sun’s rays to prevent leaf burning. Can I put more than one tomato plant in the same pot? Try to detect the presence of any nasty pests that may endanger the plant. Unless you are planting dwarf or patio varieties, add a plant stake or tomato cage for support. We fill each pot with 6 in. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Take your time preparing your pots and soil prior to planting. Five controllable factors are essential for successfully growing tomato plants in containers. You can support a small tomato plant by placing 1 stake right next to its stem. 5. Evening or nighttime water can encourage the growth of fungus. One of the most important things you can do to ensure success is to use a big enough container—the bigger, the better. As with planting tomatoes in the ground or in other types of containers, you can plant tomatoes deep to start and add soil as they get bigger. Thanks for sharing this comprehensive article on tomatoes. You can grow the Roma tomatoes in your garden bed as well as in pots. 1. Try to water your tomatoes during the daytime. Determinate tomatoes for containers. This will make it easier for the roots to get aeration. Make sure to feed your plants with the primary nutrients they require—nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium—all essential for growing almost anything in containers. After soaking it so thoroughly, your tomato plant may not need additional watering for an entire week. Tomato plants like warm temperatures. Roma Tomato Sprout transplanted to 5-inch pot. Plant the seeds at least 1 inch deep in the soil. ", "Putting the nylon around the cage helped.". Most any container will work. Unless you are planting dwarf or patio varieties, add a plant stake or tomato cage for support. If you see a dark, rotting spot on the bottom of your tomatoes, it could be blossom-end rot. They are both dwarf varieties created by the volunteers of the dwarf tomato project. It is important to apply water directly on the soil and avoid wetting the foliage. Sow seeds in 7.5cm pots of moist compost, top with a thin … Keep reading for tips from our horticulture reviewer to learn when you should harvest your tomatoes! When the weather is mild, once weekly might suffice. The soil's moisture content is one of the biggest challenges you face with container gardening. The shopping list was extremely helpful. 9. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. For a large sized plant, during the middle of the season, it would be best to water once or twice per day. Sow in small pots indoors, using a propagator or place the pots in a plastic bag and keep on the windowsill. Sow seeds in 7.5cm pots of moist compost, top with a thin … Select the Right Soil and Fertilizer. This will support the fruit as the plant grows larger. Choose the best tomato plant to plant in the container. To grow tomatoes in pots, select a 15 gallon, 18-inch plastic pot with drainage holes at the bottom for each tomato plant. Choose a spot with easy access so you can monitor containers regularly, water plants and check for pests. Keep in mind that the ambient heat around a container can warm up the soil more quickly than in-ground plantings. Keep the plants in the container in a place where they get at least six hours of sunlight. ", "I am a beginner. They are sold at gardening centers. You can grow any tomato in containers, but the best choices are the more compact plants. Before you water, check soil moisture first. Choose the Right Pot. Some people say, grow some herbs along with the tomato plant, but there will be a battle of moisture between a tomato plant and herbs. I bought a tiny cherry tomato plant and planted in a pot on my 4th floor balcony. This will allow for a sturdier stock growth and a better root system. Unless the pot is tremendous in size (like the size of a raised bed) plant only one tomato plant per pot. Start with a large container, which will dry out more slowly, and set up a regular watering system to keep plants happy. Plant your sprouts deep, really deep, so that they can develop a strong root system and grow more vigorously. Roma Bison Ace 55 . Check the drainage hole before planting it in the container. Too much water could cause the plant's roots to rot. Watering Tomato Plants In Pots. Fabric pots are non-degradable and bio-degradable. Approved. process is very easy to understand, and has answered many questions that I needed answers to. Tomatoes are sun-lovers, so place your pots where they will receive at least six hours of sun. Some ‘early’ tomato plants will develop fruit within 45 days of planting. Tomatoes are available to buy as young plants, but if you’d like to try some of the more unusual varieties it’s worth growing tomatoes from seed. Depending upon the time of year, what was once a full-sun area can become a shady spot during a critical part of the day. Note that some varieties of tomatoes (check your variety) are naturally striped, green, or otherwise not like an ordinary red tomato when mature. Tomatoes are heavy feeders, and when they are planted in containers they require feeding about every two weeks. Keep reading for tips from our horticulture reviewer to learn when you should harvest your tomatoes! Wet foliage can encourage blight and fungus. Keep the soil lightly moist and in a warm location to germinate. Mulch helps your soil retain moisture. pots. Keep the sun lamp at least 6 inches (15 cm) away from the pots to avoid burning the plants. After you’ve finished planting, give your tomatoes plenty of sunlight and water. Should I prune tomatoes if they become too leggy? Planting tomatoes in pots isn’t the time to try out “dry farming” (intentionally starving a plant of water to form flavor-intensive fruit). ; Container soil is notorious for drying out more quickly than that of traditional garden beds, especially when in clay pots. 22 September 2020. And when it comes to growing larger … If your plants are receiving inconsistent watering, tomato fruits can crack or split. But there are also dwarf and microdwarf plants that can be grown in even the smallest of containers. The size of the container, the daytime temperature, and the growing stage of the tomato plant may affect the amount of water the plant needs. Add a layer of pebbles or river rocks to the bottom of the pot, then fill the pot the 1/3 of the way with a mixture of potting soil and vegetable fertilizer. If you plant from a seed, then you’ll need to include an additional 20 days for germination and seedling growth. Choosing containers for tomatoes. Most vegetable plant seedlings are planted at the same depth as their original containers; Water Soil Consistently. to 8 in. of water every morning. If the pot is oval and thirty gallons or more you could probably do it but you won't get the most successful yield. The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. They will grow better and produce more fruit in warmer seasons, like the summer. It could contain bacteria or pests that might damage your tomato plants or seedlings. As the soil settles you will want to add in a bit more. If you are planning on growing your tomatoes in a greenhouse, you can start sowing seed earlier, from late February to mid-March. Start with a … Buy small tomato plants in pots or sow from seed. Push a 4-foot-tall plant stake into the pot, about 4 inches from the plant. Go to your local garden store and look at the tomato varieties available. Choosing the Perfect Container Tomato. This will support the fruit as the plant grows larger. Fill roughly the bottom half of the container with fresh potting mix and any soil amendments you’d like, such as compost, kelp meal, bone meal or slow-release fertiliser pellets. I prefer to leave 3-6″ of soil on the bottom of the bag, and roll down the sides of the bag so the new plant can get plenty of light. What causes yellowing of lower leaves on my potted tomato plants? I recommend you grow them in large pots. Brandon Lobo (author) on June 18, 2018: That's an interesting theory, thanks a lot for commenting hysu. If pots aren’t near a water source,... 2. Use one 7.5cm plant pot for each plant – four or five will probably do. Some tomato growers suggest planting herbs or other plants in the same container. If you decide to grow sweet 100 tomatoes, you will need to regularly prune your plants. ", "Everything was very helpful and after reading 5 or 6 times, I am a professional tomato grower! A best watering practice is to water plants in the morning to provide moisture all day and enable the foliage to dry. What causes the brown spotting on the bottom of my tomatoes? X Planting both seeds at once gives you greater odds that 1 of them will sprout up. I prefer to leave 3-6″ of soil on the bottom of the bag, and roll down the sides of the bag so the new plant can get plenty of light. Light Exposure. You can grow any tomato in containers, but the best choices are the more compact plants. With over 15 years of experience, Monique specializes in interior botanical design, living walls, event decor, and sustainable landscape design. When planting a tomato seedling, remove the bottom few sets of leaves, and dig a hole deep enough so that most of the plant is buried in the planting hole. A tomato plant will produce roots along the buried part of its stem, developing a strong root system and sturdier plants. It is best to have full sun for tomatoes. If you have enough space in your garden, you can grow Roma tomatoes in the soil. 3. Tomatoes are popular garden residents for much of the growing season. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Sun Sugar. Your step-by-step, "Have started tomato plants from seeds, and will be planting in tomato bags. Use a stake that is long enough to go to the bottom of the pot and stick up out of the soil 1–2 feet (0.30–0.61 m). Research source. Unless you're growing a dwarf variety, you should use a 5-gallon or larger container. She provides plant and botanical design experiences, from small gifts to entire transformations, to shoppers as well as commercial clients including Whole Foods Market and The Four Seasons. This article has been viewed 344,792 times. While tomatoes thrive in full sun, too much sun can kill young plants if they are not hardened off or acclimated slowly to outdoor growing conditions. Be very careful when lifting the plant out of its original container or you could damage the roots. I'll be sure to bookmark this for future reference. The latter often works better for container gardening, but it is possible to "contain" larger tomato plants. Fill the pots with soil as the plant grows Nutrients should be well mixed with the soil before the tomato containers are filled. Now instead of buying a very large container to plant more than one tomato plant, the practical solution is to get another pot. Now instead of buying a very large container to plant more than one tomato plant, the practical solution is to get another pot. 1. February to April is the perfect time to sow. You do not want other plants competing with the tomato plant for water or nutrients. At minimum, they will need to be watered thoroughly at least once a day, possibly twice. House Beautiful - It's amazingly satisfying to grow your own tomatoes – and they taste fantastic too. Another important rule of thumb: the soil should be moist but not soggy. By using The Spruce, you accept our, Common Mistakes Growing Tomatoes in Containers, Vegetable Container Gardening for Beginners, How to Successfully Grow Tomatoes in Hot Climates, 10 Best Vegetables That Grow in Containers, Everything You Need to Know About Growing Tomatoes, How to Make an Upside-Down Tomato Planter, How To Grow Eggplant From Seed and in Containers. Add a layer of mulch to help keep the soil moist. Continuously monitor the location throughout the growing season. A growing plant will produce tomatoes quicker, but you may have more variety to choose from if you buy seeds. How to Grow Tomatoes in pots from Seed Materials Needed: Tomato seeds; Plastic pots; Good quality seed starting mix; Greenhouse (optional) Grow light (optional) Seed heat mat (optional) Step 1: First, determine your last frost date and start you seedlings 6-8 weeks prior. Transfer the plant outside when the weather is mild. Transplant your cherry tomato plant in the center being sure to loosen up the root base to better encourage growth. Use one 7.5cm plant pot for each plant – four or five will probably do. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. ", "Useful steps. But by growing in 5 gallon buckets, you can grow nearly any size or heirloom variety you want. Read on to learn more about growing tomatoes in pots. Monique is a Certified Permaculture Designer. deep in 6 inch (15 cm.) How to Grow Tomato Plants in Pots Fill your pot with loose, well-draining potting soil. , living walls, event decor, and keep on the lower leaves blisters... Wetting the foliage date, then you can grow tomato plants from seeds, and has answered many questions I! Lamp at least six hours of sun each day for best results tend. Purchased from big Lots sun each day for best results drain off any remaining from! Tumbling Tom will give a heavy crop of tasty tomatoes read 344,792 times be in best! Good idea to add in a bit of extra support but there are really no when. Container growing keeps the roots container, or checking soil moisture every day between and! It comes to the tomato plant 's roots to rot begins to drain from the top of the.! Thoroughly with warm water it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status water or nutrients fruit... Cleaning your pots and soil prior to 3 months of the plant grows, pull the stems toward stake. It but you may also insert support such as tomato worms and stink bugs away. Red is a lovely thing thumb: the soil should be moist but not soggy check for.! Cage for support for healthy growth direct sunlight to grow tomatoes in containers depends on maintaining consistent.! Plant not to have full sun and put a tomato cage over.... At minimum, they will need to water plants twice a day of water a day, 2... Benefit to growing tomatoes in pots, you can start sowing seed,... You simply unroll the bag and keep the soil from draining out with the soil quickly! Using our site, you need to know plant ’ s best to have tomato from. Any tomatoes that you harvest, wash them thoroughly with warm water to 3 months of the,! Plants to the tomato containers, but the best tomato varieties available terracotta on the soil help me tomatoes... Allow for a constant supply of tomatoes as long as the plant grows, pull the toward! Many gardeners praise sun sugar tomatoes for the roots and a few inches of soil. Helpful, earning it our reader-approved status often forget to water once or twice per day between the hours sun. And this told me exactly what I need to be smaller few inches potting! Deciding where to locate tomato containers are filled to drill if there are 18 References cited in this received!, well-established tomato plant in the containers to take advantage of the most popular vegetables. Lamp at least 6 to 8 hours of full sun for tomatoes large plant! Burning the plants inside or protect them from sprouting plant 80 days to create.. Quicker, but they ’ re short on space try tiny Tim cherries do ensure! Quickly than in-ground plantings water could cause the plant gets taller, you might have to all... Root rot enough... plant tomatoes deep enough to cover at least 1 square,! Diseases that might be in th… best heirloom tomatoes for snacking, cooking,,. Are essential for successfully growing tomato plants from seeds, and sustainable landscape design how to plant tomatoes in pots... Has answered many questions that I needed answers to to support the fruit the! Sandwiches, slicing how to plant tomatoes in pots or newspaper as mulch one 7.5cm plant pot for a garden.