Choosing to grow tomatoes in pots makes it easier to grow plants indoors. It makes it possible for anyone to grow tomatoes irrespective of their home designs. You can choose to grow tomatoes in any location like your kitchen, driveway, rooftop, fire escape, or anywhere else. You don’t even need to have sunlight; you can purchase an LED grow light to ensure your tomato gets all the lighting it needs. However, the real question burning in many people’s minds is what size pot should I use for tomato plants? If you’re amongst those wondering this, then keep reading.
By the end of this article, we’d have covered:
- What size of pot should I use for tomato plants?
- The best soil for tomato plants grown in pots
- How to water tomatoes in pots
Now that we’re clear, let’s begin.
What Size of Pot Should I Use for Tomato Plants?
Your tomato is going to need lots of space to be able to develop a robust root system. This is why you need to get the right size of the pot that will not affect your tomatoes’ root growth.
You can grow any tomato variety in a pot, but the type of tomato also determines the size of the pot you would need. Determinate tomatoes require pots that are about 18 inches in diameter. On the other hand, indeterminate tomatoes require pots that are 24 inches in size.
The reason for having a large pot is not just, so the root isn’t stunted but so that the pot is strong and large enough to hold enough soil. You need the right amount of soil to ensure the plant is held upright and support its nutrient and water needs. Make sure the pot you settle for has holes at the end to ensure air enters the soil on humid days. The drainage holes also work to ensure adequate drainage to prevent bacteria and fungus from growing in the soil.
Best Soil For Tomato Plants Grown in Pots
You need to use the right soil for your tomato plants. This is because tomatoes require a lot of nutrients. Ensure the soil isn’t just nutrient-rich; it is also moisture-retentive and drains well. You can either decide to buy a potting mix or make one of your own. If you prefer to make one of your own, you can mix garden soil with compost and builder sand for your tomatoes.
You can also choose to mix garden soil with manure, sphagnum moss, and builder sand. Whatever choice you decide to go with, ensure the soil mix is free of bacteria before using it. Fix the pot with up to 2inches of the soil; this allows enough room for watering and growth.
How To Water Tomatoes in Pots
Just like tomatoes grown in the garden, potted tomatoes need a continuous supply of moisture. Don’t let your potting soil go dry but don’t also let it get soggy or too wet. If you use a small pot, you will need to water even more frequently. Ensure you add fertilizer to your watering can to ensure the soils are not washed out of the soil during watering. Any time your soil is at least an inch or half-inch dry, ensure you water the soil.
This means either watering every day in mild water or three times a week when it’s scorching. When you find your plant wilting, it is a clear sign that it needs to be watered. Ensure the water reaches the soil to the end; you can tell this has happened when water starts coming out through the drainage hole. Another way to water is to put water on a tray under the pot and allow the soil to suck up the water through the drainage hole.
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Hello! I’m Jessica Zander, a garden coach and consultant based in the Boston area (zone 6b), offering virtual consultations across the country and Canada.
I’ve been passionate about gardening since the early 1990s, and in 2022, I launched You Can Do It Gardening to empower individuals to feel more confident in their gardening endeavors.
Following a 30-year career in nonprofit finance and operations, I transitioned out of that field in mid-June of 2023 due to the growing demand for coaching services. Interestingly, my years of presenting financial statements to boards and finance committees proved to be valuable experience for teaching people about gardening! I enjoy sharing skills, providing guidance and suggestions, and collaborating efficiently with clients to make significant improvements to their outdoor spaces, both small and large. I also regularly teach at the Arlington Continuing Education and Cambridge Adult Education.
My approach is direct and practical, akin to Mary Poppins, but tailored to your garden. Clients find satisfaction in saving money and taking pride in their own gardening achievements.