How to Plant a Patio of Tomatoes


If the only space you have is your patio, you can still grow some gorgeous tomatoes. Choose determinate varieties that have been bred to grow into short, bush-like shapes. They grow smaller tomatoes, but are well-suited to growing in large containers in confined spaces such as your patio. Patio tomatoes will still need plenty of room for root growth, so use large containers to pot them.

Step 1

Sow a few tomato seeds in starter mix in each cell of a flat according to package instructions. Usually, most tomato seeds prefer being sown to a depth of a quarter-inch. Place in a window in your house that gets full sun. South-facing windows are best, if you have one available.

Step 2

Water daily for the first few days. Thin the seedlings to one or two strong plants per cell after the first true leaves have grown. True leaves are the leaves that appear that are not the shell of the seed from which the plant has grown.

Step 3

Fill large containers with a 1:1 ratio of potting soil and compost. Dig holes that are twice as deep as the size of each cell in your flat.

Step 4

Transplant seedlings when they have grown too large for the cells of the flat. If their roots are poking through the bottom of the flat, it is time to transplant them. Transplants should be placed a minimum of 10 inches apart from each other. Depending on your containers, you may wish to plant a single tomato transplant per container. Always put the containers in areas that get full sun on your patio.

Step 5

Stake tomato plants if you feel they will need it. Used pantyhose makes an excellent restraining material for tender tomato vines because it is strong, but will not cut or bruise the vines.

Step 6

Fertilize regularly according to the manufacturer's instructions. Water daily, especially in hot weather. Remember, containers dry out more quickly than traditional gardens.

Things You'll Need

  • Tomato seeds
  • Seed flat
  • Seed starter mix
  • Large containers (at least 1 foot deep, preferably larger)
  • Tomato fertilizer
  • Potting soil
  • Compost
  • Trowel
  • Stakes (optional)
  • Used pantyhose (optional)


  • "McGee and Stuckey's Bountiful Container"; Rose Marie Nichols McGee and Maggie Stuckey; 2002
Keywords: patio tomato garden, container tomato gardening, plant tomatoes containers

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.