How to Grow Tomatoes at Home in a Pot


Tomatoes are a handsome vegetable plant to grow outside your door. They are high in vitamins and minerals and will produce bright red fruit all summer long as well as a full leafy green plant. They range in types from yellow pear-shaped tomatoes to petite cherry tomatoes and meaty plum tomatoes. Choosing a determinate variety will ensure that the plant does not overgrow its pot since it tends to grow as a bush more than a vine.

Step 1

Fill your container with some potting soil, at least a gallon of soil for each tomato plant. Using more rather than less soil is advisable since it will hold more water preventing the roots from drying out.

Step 2

Make a hole approximately an inch deeper than the depth of the soil in the original planting container. Set the plant in the hole and push the soil back in around the stem of the tomato and tamp it down gently with your palm. By planting it a little lower than it was previously, you encourage new roots to form along the stem, providing more support and a stronger root system.

Step 3

Water the planted tomatoes by sprinkling them with water until it runs from the bottom of the container. Set up your pot so that the excess water drains away instead of collecting.

Step 4

Place your potted tomato in a spot where it will be sheltered from the wind and still get full sun for most of the day. If you plant it in early summer when evening temperatures still drop into the 40s, you may have to protect it with a covering to hold in the heat. Use plastic or glass and remove it in the morning when temperatures rise again.

Step 5

Harvest tomatoes when they are red and soft, by twisting them slightly with one hand and holding the tomato stem with the other. In the fall, when the first frost is forecast, pick all the green tomatoes to ripen indoors.

Things You'll Need

  • Container (1 to 2 gallon)
  • Potting soil
  • Tomato plants


  • University of Missouri Extension: Growing Home Garden Tomatoes
  • Iowa State University: Container Vegetable Gardening
Keywords: container tomatoes, Growing potted tomatoes, Planting ccontainer tomatoes

About this Author

Based in Maryland, Heidi Braley, currently writes for local and online media outlets. Some of Braley's articles from the last 10 years are in the "Oley Newsletter," "Connections Magazine," GardenGuides and Braley's college life included Penn State University and Villanova University with her passions centered in nutrition and botany.