How to Grow Tomatoes in Containers in Texas


Grow tomatoes in containers in Texas to overcome the hot dry summer, cool winter, poor soil conditions or lack of garden space. Timing is essential for a successful crop--plant seedlings in early spring or fall to avoid the heat of the summer. Select dwarf or determinate varieties for container gardening, as the roots have a defined space within which to grow and spread. With a little planning, you can grow container tomatoes all year round in Texas and reap the benefits of a fresh and healthy produce.

Step 1

Clean a large 5-gallon container or planter thoroughly with soapy water and allow it to air dry. Drill several 1/2-inch drainage holes in the base. Place the container in a sheltered spot, away from intense Texas summer heat or cool winters, but where it gets at least six hours of sunlight everyday.

Step 2

Spread a 1-inch layer of gravel or broken crockery pieces over the base to assist in drainage. Tomatoes are sensitive plants and prefer well-drained soils to avoid developing root rot.

Step 3

Fill the large container with a good quality, commercial potting mix. Read label directions for the amount of fertilizers it contains and how long before you should add more. Most commercial mixes contain fertilizers for up to three months. Add a slow-release tomato fertilizer to the mix if it lacks it. Follow label directions for dosage.

Step 4

Remove the transplant from the nursery container and remove foliage from the bottom 2 inches. Plant the transplant 2 inches deeper in the ground than it was in its original container, burying the root ball and 2-inch stem length. Cover with potting soil and tamp it down.

Step 5

Water the transplant immediately at soil level using a watering can. Keep the soil moist at all times, specially during the hot dry summers of Texas. Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch over the soil to retain moisture.

Step 6

Stake the young plants to encourage them to grow upward. Insert a stake behind each plant and gently tie limbs with cotton twine.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon container
  • Soapy water
  • Drill with 1/2-inch bit
  • Gravel
  • Commercial potting mix
  • Slow-release tomato fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Watering can
  • Stake
  • Cotton twine


  • Texas A&M University: Vegetable Gardening In Containers
  • East Texas Gardening: Tomatoes
  • Ohio State University Fact Sheet: Growing Cucumbers, Peppers, Squash and Tomatoes in Containers
Keywords: Texas container gardening, growing tomatoes, growing Texas tomatoes

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Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.