There are many ways of growing tomatoes. One way of doing so is to put them in containers. But even the containers can vary a lot, from beautiful hanging baskets to the heavy ceramic pots.
Planting tomatoes in pots can either be a very easy task or a very difficult one. This depends on different factors such as your location, the tomato variety you are planting, and especially the quality of the pot.
Since the kind of pots you are using can directly affect your tomato plants, it is naturally important to buy the best tomato pots.
You can read further ahead as we discuss about planting tomatoes on pots and the best tomato pots that are available in the market.
Before You Start – Things to Remember When Planting Tomatoes in Pots
According to Wikipedia, pot farming is the process of growing plants in containers. For tomatoes, this can be a great idea. With pots, you can put the tomatoes in your patio, by the window, or in the backyard.
However, there are also things that you should know and understand before you start planting your tomato seeds in pots.
1. Some tomatoes are not meant for containers
Naturally, growing Big Boy Tomatoes will be different than growing Early Girl Tomatoes. There are countless varieties of tomatoes currently existing, and it is only natural that some of them don’t tend to do well in containers.
This is especially true for some of the large indeterminate tomato varieties. Some really tall tomato plants can grow up to 12 feet tall. Some tomato fruits can get huge as well. You probably should not put these tomatoes in pots.
Some of the best tomato varieties that are great to plant in containers are cherry tomatoes. The plants of cherry tomatoes are usually rather short and well-behaved. Their fruits are also gorgeous and tiny so they make great home decorations.
Read more: Cherry tomatoes
2. Growing tomatoes in pots can be harder
When watering tomato plants, you cannot give them too much or too little water. They like moist soil, and thus soil should not be too dry or too wet.
The problem is that water content can be harder to control in containers than when in the ground. Pots can hold more water in place. Therefore, if you excessively water the plants, the drainage might not be enough and the roots of the tomatoes will rot. And remember that you have to make sure you don’t put too little water as well.
Another thing to consider is that soil in pots tends to be very stagnant. In the ground, plants will have more interaction with nature such as welcoming new organisms that enable the nutrient cycle of the soil. When in pots, the nutrients of the plants’ soil may not be enough and will need constant attention.
3. Growing tomatoes in pots will still require staking
One mistake that gardeners do is not support their tomato plants with stakes or a cage when planting them in pots. Most varieties of tomatoes will still require support and you should plan accordingly.
If you do not want to put too much effort into it, some determinate tomato varieties might be a great choice for you. Mini tomatoes, especially, only require minimum support, if any at all. They have very short plants that stand upright which make them ideal for growing in pots.
Read more: Mini tomatoes
Advantages of Growing Tomatoes in Pots
Although there are some disadvantages to growing tomatoes in pots, you should not get discouraged. In fact, the negatives of growing tomatoes in pots do not outweigh the positives at all.
The biggest advantage of growing tomatoes in pots is that you can move them around. The advantages gained due to the portability of pots may be small at first glance but this is actually not the case. Here are some reasons why.
1. Tomatoes in pots make great decorations
By being able to be moved around, tomatoes in pots can be arranged to benefit the appearance of your house. If the tomato plants are not yet blooming, you can put the plants in the backyard. And when they finally bear fruits, you can then place them in front of your house.
The point is that due to the portability of pots, you will have many options regarding their arrangement. If you pair the pots with varieties that bear gorgeous fruits such as Currant tomatoes, they can bring out a whole new atmosphere for your home.
Learn more: Growing Currant Tomatoes
2. You can get them away from harmful animals and insects
If you are growing tomatoes in your backyard, they are quite vulnerable to many things. This is especially true for insects that plague them. By planting tomatoes in pots, you can move them away from all the harmful things, if necessary.
Some animals can harm them as well. Squirrels, for example, can eat the leaves of tomato plants. Sometimes they would dig out the soil as well so they can store and hide the nuts they acquired. If you have these problems, you may want to move your tomato plants to a safer location.
3. You can control the temperature and sunlight they are getting
Weather and temperature are two big factors in trying to grow plants to maturity. If there are problems in the weather, you can move the potted tomato plants around to circumvent them.
Long-lasting heavy rain, for example, can be bad for your tomato plants. If the soil contains too much water, the roots of the plants may rot. In this case, moving them indoors may be your best option.
In addition to temperature and weather, sunlight is also a huge factor for plants. Tomatoes, in general, need at least 6 hours of sunlight exposure in a day. But if you flip that logic, they only need around 6 hours of sunlight a day so you can move them around as long as they get an adequate amount.
How to Grow Tomatoes in Pots: Tips and Tricks
For the most part, the process of growing tomatoes in pots is similar to directly planting in them in the ground. However, there are some variables in pot planting that may require a different approach. You will also need to remember some things to make sure your plants grow healthy.
1. Make sure to control the amount of water you give them
As mentioned already, you should not give your tomato plants too much water at a single instance. If the water pools too much, the roots of the plant may actually end up rotting.
On the flip side, you also should not give them too little water either. The truth is that tomato plants like to have plenty of water. It’s just that you should not submerge them with it.
The best thing to do is to keep the soil moist all the time so that the plants have a constant supply. In other words, more frequent watering sessions with not too much water are better than having few sessions with large amounts of water all at once.
2. Apply fertilizers
Again, it has already been mentioned before as well that the soil in pots may lack nutrients for the tomato plants. To solve this problem, application of fertilizers is necessary.
Even for tomatoes planted in the ground, use of fertilizers is recommended. The best kinds of tomato fertilizers are usually those with high Phosphorus values. Phosphorus is directly involved in the growth of the fruits of plants. Since you generally want high yields, you would certainly like Phosphorus in your fertilizers.
To apply initial fertilizers, you have to mix them with the soil. The mixture of fertilizer and soil should be put at the base of the pot and the soil on top of that should all be normal without fertilizers. Make sure that the roots of the plant do not touch the fertilizer mixture to avoid burning.
Learn more: Best Fertilizer for tomatoes
3. Put them in Large Pots
One thing that you should never neglect is the size of the pots. While you should not necessarily buy the biggest pot out there, it is generally true that bigger pots are better for tomatoes.
You want room for your plants and their roots to grow. Planting them in small pots will inhibit their growth and will thus be very detrimental.
Tomato plants may grow to different sizes so it may be better for you to research about the specific variety of tomato that you are intending to grow. Once you determinate their predicted size, you should buy the pot accordingly.
4. Sunlight is Important
This much should be obvious. However, when moving around the pots, we may actually overlook this simple fact. In general, tomatoes need at least six hours of sunlight. It’s also fine if the plant is exposed to the sunlight all throughout the day.
The most important part is getting an adequate amount. If you do not want to constantly move the plant pots, you should arrange them in a position where they can gather sunlight for the most part of the days.
Tomato Pots: 10 Best Tomato Pots
The quality of the pots used in planting tomatoes is quite important in determining whether they will grow healthy or not.
Here are some of the best pots for tomato planting that you may need.
1. The iPower Fabric Pot
The iPower Fabric Pot is a great product for growing tomatoes.
First of all, since it is made up of fabric, any excess in water can drain out of the soil. Additionally, oxygen and carbon dioxide can also freely come and go to make sure that the tomato plants have plenty to work with.
The iPower Fabric Pot has a diameter of 21 inches and a height of 15 inches. The best part about it is that it can be reused. If you ever need to plant more tomatoes in the future, you can simply wash it and use it again.
- Made of fabric
- 21” x 12”
2. ARTALL Flower Pots
These pots are not actually meant for tomato plants, but they can actually go well with mini tomatoes. The plants of mini tomatoes are also very small and short. Therefore, if you just buy a larger-sized ARTALL Flowerpot, it can be a great option.
ARTALL claims that their pots are made of fiber and materials that are all eco-friendly. The biggest advantage of these pots is their appearance. They look pretty and will be a nice addition to any home.
- Can come in vibrant colors
- Made of vegetable fiber
3. Maui Mike’s Soft Fabric Pots
The soft pots from Maui Mike are a great option among fabric pots. They are made up of hemp and can drain excess water without problems. These pots are made up of eco-friendly materials. Like other fabric pots, they do not inhibit airflow and are thus great for oxygenating your tomatoes.
The pots are 11 inches in diameter and 10 inches in height. These pots are easier to carry around than other pot types. They also have handles sewn on top so you can move them around. In addition, they are also lightweight.
- 11” x 10”
- Fabric Pots
4. Home X Tomato Plant Tower
This one is more than just a pot. The Home X Tomato Plant is has a pot at the bottom with already established stakes that form to look like a tower. If that’s not enough, it also contains a water well too.
This plant tower has four levels and each one has its own use.
One advantage of this product is that it is made specifically made for tomato planting. And since it already offers staking support, you do not need to it yourself.
- Multiple things in one
- Includes many features
- Has support stakes and a water well
If you are looking for hard pots, plastic ones can be a great option. This is because they are very light and they are remarkably cheap.
The Akro-Mils Plastic Pots are actually stacked pots with multiple layers. They are excellent for decorative purposes, and you can grow multiple tomatoes at once. To complement this, planting small determinate tomato plants are recommended.
If you buy these pots, make sure that each of your tomato plants gets enough sunlight. Place them accordingly.
When not in use, you can collapse the pots and store them away.
- Stacked pots
- Multiple layers
- Made of plastic
- For decorative purposes
6. Hydrofarm Tomato Barrel with a 4-foot Tower
This product from Hydrofarm is similar to the one from Home X. They both offer the container for the tomato plants including the stakes and rings to form the support.
The Hydrofarm Tomato Barrel is also expandable. If the tomato plant you are growing grows taller than what you anticipated, you can simply stack the stakes and rings on top of the existing ones.
The materials for this tower are all plastic.
- Plastic pots
- Tomato tower
- Can be expanded if necessary
7. Mr. Stacky’s Stackable Pots
There is not much to explain about this product. The pots are designed to be stacked on top of one another.
Users of Mr. Stacky’s Stackable Pots have expressed their delight upon realizing that the pots are extremely durable. This is a very important trait for stackable pots to make sure they don’t collapse.
They are very resilient against weather conditions as well. You can leave them out in the winter if you want.
Each pot is 18 inches in diameter and 12.5 inches in height.
- Sturdy and durable
- Can be stacked in multiple layers
- 18” x 12.5”
8. Outland Living’s Raised Garden Bed
While the other products are pots stacked with one another, this Raised Garden Bed is propped by a stand. It is 4-feet tall and is separated into four different layers.
It is a great decoration for your patio. It’s practical for your tomatoes as well due to the wide space that the beds can offer.
- 4 feet tall
- 4-layered beds
9. Hydrofarm Tomato Trellis with Wheels
This is another product from Hydrofarm. The Tomato Trellis with Wheels is a great tomato plant container with a built-in support system.
The bed is wide which makes it practical for growing tomatoes. Moreover, to compensate for its larger size, it has wheels to make it easier to move around.
- Has built-in support
- Has wheels
- Wide bed
10. Plant Nanny Wine Bottle Stake Set
The last pot product in this list is, well, not really a pot. It is a set of stakes that go well with your tomatoes grown in pots.
The Plant Nanny Wine Bottle Stake Set helps you control the water put in your pots by using long-necked bottles of any sort.
To use it, simply prop up the stake on the soil. You can then flip the bottle filled with water on top of the stakes. The water will drain to the soil and will water your tomatoes accordingly.
- Great stakes for pots
- Helps in water control
- Can use recycled bottles
Best Pots for Tomatoes Buying Guide – What to Look For in Buying Tomato Plant Pots
Among all the available tomato plants in the market, how are you supposed to pick one from them? It certainly is difficult to pinpoint exactly what you need for your plants. It does not help that all the pots somehow feels the same sometimes.
This section aims to shed some light on what things you should be considering when buying your plant pot.
1. Pot Size
It should be stressed time and time again that the tomato pot size should matter a lot. If you do not buy a pot large enough for your needs, your plant will not have enough space to grow.
Additionally, large pots also provide room so that the fertilizers do not touch the roots of the tomato plants directly. This is very important since fertilizers may end up burning the roots if not applied properly.
Pots are can be made up of different materials. Each material has its own advantages and advantages. It is important to know their characteristics so you will know what kind of pot you need for your plant.
3. Plant Variety
Of course, buying pots for your tomato plants should also take these tomatoes into consideration. The variety and type of tomatoes, in particular, tie in quite heavily with the size and materials that you need for your plants.
The first thing you should do is to learn about the different types of tomatoes. Next, you should research about them individually to know their characteristics.
Some varieties of tomatoes may require more water than others. Meanwhile, other varieties that are used to hotter climates may want drier soil. Since different types of pots can have different capabilities in holding water, knowing the variety’s preferences will help you in buying the most appropriate ones.
Comparing the Materials – Different types of Pots
Since the materials of pots are important in determining whether you need them or not, it is only natural to know about what they can offer for your plants.
1. Fabric Pots
Fabric pots are permeable. This means that the water can go in and out of the pot. For tomatoes who like well-drained soil, this is excellent. Excess water will be drained out of the pot and will not pool inside. This will keep the soil moist but not wet enough to be damaging to the plants.
Having fabric pots will help you a lot in controlling the water that goes to your plants. However, they also have their disadvantages. For instance, since they can tear if you are not careful or if there are insects and animals that can damage them.
2. Plastic Pots
Plastic pots are hardpots, unlike the fabric ones. Their biggest advantage is in their weight and price. They are very lightweight and can be moved around quite easily.
Plastic pots tend to be economical. Hence, if you are planning to plant a large number of tomatoes, these pots may be the best for you.
Another thing is that some plastic pots can be stacked with one another if they are designed to do so. This saves a lot of space.
The disadvantages of plastic pots are also obvious as well. First of all, they are not eco-friendly. If you are someone with an environmentalist mindset, it is best to avoid them. Furthermore, they are less durable than other hard pots like metal and wooden ones.
3. Fiber Pots
If you want eco-friendly pots, fiber pots are your friends. Similar to plastic plants, they are also lightweight and can be moved around easily. In most cases, they also fit better in your garden appearance-wise. However, they tend to be much more expensive than plastic pots and they are not that durable either.
When growing tomatoes in pots, the quality of the pots themselves are quite important. Hence, if you plan on buying pots for your tomato plants, it is best to make sure that you are buying the best and most appropriate one for you. If you buy the best pots for your tomatoes, they will surely grow healthy and bear lots of fruits.