How to Grow Organic Tomatoes in a Container


When you have limited space to grow vegetables, certain vegetables like tomatoes can be grown in large containers and still produce the volume that their garden grown counterparts will yield. When purchasing seedling plants at a nursery look for ones that are marked organic. These seedlings have not been fertilized with chemicals. Most nurseries and home improvement centers carry both organic vegetable soil and organic water soluble fertilizers. With a little preparation you will find yourself having so many tomatoes that you will be sharing them with friends and neighbors.

Step 1

Drill drainage holes in the bottom of the 5-gallon bucket. Drill one hole in the center with a 7/16-inch drill bit. Drill six to eight holes around the circumference of the container between the center hole and the sides. The 5-gallon bucket will provide adequate room for the growth of the root system.

Step 2

Stand the container upright and pour 2 inches of pea gravel into the container. The pea gravel will help drain the water from the soil without losing soil through the drainage holes.

Step 3

Stick a 6-foot tomato stake just off center in the middle of the container. Fill the container with organic vegetable soil to 2 inches below the top of the container. Organic vegetable soil is a mix of peat, compost, perlite and potting soil already mixed and bagged.

Step 4

Scoop out a hole in the center of the container with your hands, wide enough and deep enough for your seedling transplant. Place the seedling into the hole and cover the roots with soil.

Step 5

Place the container in an area where it will receive six to eight hours of direct sunlight. Tomatoes require plenty of sunshine to produce high yields.

Step 6

Water the container daily until the soil is moist, but not soaking wet. It is better to water in the morning to allow the surface water to dry before the evening.

Step 7

Add a water soluble organic fertilizer once a week. Water at the base of the plants, avoiding watering directly on the leaves. Watering the leaves promotes disease and insects.

Step 8

Tie the tomato plant stems to the tomato stake as the plant grows. Tie a piece of cloth or twine to the stake in a square knot to prevent slippage. Grab the end of the remaining cloth or twine, and tie up the drooping stems. This will keep the tomatoes off the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon food grade bucket
  • Drill
  • 7/16-inch drill bit
  • Pea gravel
  • 6-foot tomato stake
  • Tomato plant seedlings
  • Water soluble fertilizer
  • Cloth rags torn in strips or twine


  • Maryland Cooperative Extension: Organic Container Gardening
  • Aggie Horticulture: Container Gardening
Keywords: grow organic tomatoes, grow container tomatoes, tomato growing

About this Author

Kenneth Crawford is a freelance writer with more than 10 years' writing experience. His work has appeared in both print and online publications, including "The American Chronicle." Crawford holds an associate degree in business administration from Commonwealth College.