How to Grow Tomatoes in Only Compost & Peat Moss


Compost and peat moss are both made up of the rotted remains of organic material. When added to soil, both items improve the drainage, nutrient content and soil structure. But when used as potting soil, compost and peat moss are referred to as a soilless mixture. Compost and peat moss should be used instead of dirt in containers due to the fact that soil in containers contains microbes that can harm container plants.

Step 1

Mix potting soil by combining one part peat moss and two parts compost. Compost is pH neutral while peat moss is slightly acidic. By using twice as much compost, you can avoid giving tomatoes blossom end rot, a condition that occurs when tomatoes can't get enough calcium in acidic soil.

Step 2

Place a pottery shard over the drain hole of a five-gallon container and fill with the peat moss and compost mixture. Full-sized varieties of tomatoes require at least five gallons of soil to thrive.

Step 3

Select a patio tomato hybrid. Patio hybrids are cultivated for growing in containers.

Step 4

Hollow out a planting pocket in the center of the container that is deep enough to bury the tomato plant and its root ball up to the top two leaves.

Step 5

Remove all leaves from the tomato plant except for the top two. The tomato plant will develop roots from each point where there was a leaf.

Step 6

Place the tomato in the planting hole and bury it up to the top two leaves.

Step 7

Insert a tomato cage into the container to support the tomato plant once It grows.

Step 8

Place the pot in a location where it will receive six to eight hours of sunlight daily.

Step 9

Check the plant daily and water anytime the peat moss and compost mix appears dry. The soil should remain as damp as a wrung-out sponge.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Peat moss
  • Pottery shard
  • 5-gallon container
  • Tomato plant
  • Tomato cage
  • Watering can


  • Texas A&M Extension: Vegetable Gardening in Containers
  • Ohio State University Extension: Growing Cucumbers, Peppers, Squash And Tomatoes In Containers
  • Oregon State Univeristy Extension: Make your own potting soil

Who Can Help

  • Extension: Organic Potting Soil Basics
Keywords: potting soil mix, container gardening, growing tomatoes

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."