Growing tomatoes in containers

First things first, find a sunny spot where your tomatoes will get at least 6-8 hours of sun.  Tomatoes are warm season crops meaning you’ll need to wait to plant them after the last frost date has passed. 

Select plants suited for container gardening

Such as bush types, dwarf varieties or with a determinate vine type. There are also disease resistant hybrids that can take some of the guess work out. Determinate tomatoes have a determined height and one large crop. Indeterminate types can grow to be quite a bit larger with an extend harvest season. It’s really up to you what you want to take on. Lucky for you, there are dozens of varieties to choose from, so you’ll be sure to find the one that is right for you and your growing situation!

Grow one plant per container

Make sure the container is large enough to accommodate a mature plant. You should be starting with at least a 5-gallon pot but 10- or 20 gallons would be even better. Check for drainage holes in your containers so that you can properly water your plants without waterlogging them.

Depth is important

Plant your tomatoes about six inches deep. Tomatoes have the ability to grow roots from buried stems, helping with stability as your plant grows and begins to produce fruit. Use a fluffy soil and amend with organic material at planting. Make sure you have a soil that will allow for proper drainage too. Feed your plants with a fertilizer formulated for fruits and vegetables. Follow instructions for rate and frequency of feeding for healthy roots, shoots, and fruits!


Along with feeding, watering is essential for a successful crop of tomatoes. Water deeply and avoid wetting the leaves to prevent disease. Soil tends to dry out quicker in containers compared to garden plots. Monitor your plants to avoid unnecessary stress from underwatering. As mentioned earlier, make sure you have proper draining soil and drainage holes in your containers. Tomatoes will thrive when watered regularly but will suffer with soggy feet.

Offer them support

Use a tomato cage to support your plants as they grow larger. Cages will support the vines and the fruit as it matures. They can also help keep plants in place if you live in a windy location. Get your stakes or cages in place before your plants get too big.

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