How to Grow Tomatoes in a Pot

Overview

Many varieties of tomatoes are available at garden centers and from seed suppliers that are suited to container growing, allowing you to grow your own vegetables even if you have limited space. Patio and dwarf varieties are especially well-suited for pots as they usually require minimal support because they do not grow as tall as other common garden tomatoes. Growing tomatoes in pots requires special care as you must provide all the nutrients and moisture to the developing plants.

Step 1

Fill a 5-gallon pot with a soil-less potting mixture, as soil-less mixes are lighter and better suited to container plants. Use a pot with pre-drilled drainage holes so the potting mix doesn't become soggy.

Step 2

Lay a square of black plastic mulch on the ground where you will be placing the pot. Use a square at least 6 inches larger than the pot on all sides and set it in an area that receives at least eight hours of sunlight. The mulch protects the area under the pot while also helping to keep the soil warm. Set the pot on top of the mulch.

Step 3

Plant the tomato seedling in the pot 2 inches deeper than it was planted in the nursery container. Remove any leaves that are below the soil level then refill the hole with soil. Firm the soil around the base of the plant with your hands.

Step 4

Insert a 5-foot-tall wooden stake into the pot behind the tomato plant. Tie the tomato to the stake as it grows, spacing the ties every 6 to 8 inches along the main vine.

Step 5

Mix 2 tbsp. of of high-analysis, soluble fertilizer with 5 gallons of water. Water the tomato plant daily with 1 gallon of this solution, except for every seventh day. On the seventh day, water with clear water to flush out any excess fertilizer salts in the potting medium.

Step 6

Harvest tomatoes as they ripen. Ripe tomatoes are full color and firm to the touch. Frequent harvesting encourages further fruit production.

Tips and Warnings

  • Pots may dry out more quickly during hot, dry weather. Check the pot for moisture twice daily and water a second time with clear water if the potting mix feels dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Potting mix
  • Plastic mulch
  • Seedling
  • Fertilizer

References

  • University of Florida: Minigardening
Keywords: growig tomatoes, container gardening, pot grown tomato

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.