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How to Plant Tomatoes in a Bucket

By Pamela Gardapee ; Updated September 21, 2017

Growing tomatoes in a bucket will allow you to start the plant indoors and move it to the outdoors when the temperature is right. Although tomato plants need at least six hours of sunlight a day, if you have a good sunny window or outside location, planting tomatoes in a bucket will allow you to have a hearty crop. Bucket gardening is ideal for those people that live in large cities with little to no backyard.

Use a drill and 1-inch drill bit to make about six to seven holes in the bottom of the bucket. The holes will allow for drainage, which will prevent root rot.

Place the 1 inch of mulch in the bucket. This will help with drainage. Fill the remainder of the bucket with potting soil to 1 inch from the top of the bucket. Do not pack the soil. Place the wooden stake in the soil about 1 inch away from the center of the bucket where the tomato will be planted. The stake will help keep the plant upright. With some tomato plants, you can use a small tomato cage, but the wooden stake will work much better in the bucket.

Make a hole in the center of the soil that will fit the plant's root ball. The plant's roots should not be clumped together in the dirt. Hold the plant in place and cover the roots with soil. Lightly tamp down the soil with your hand.

Move the bucket to a sunny location. Add the tomato starter fertilizer to the soil. Each starter kit is different and you must look at the specific directions on the kit that you have to determine how much fertilizer to add and how often after the first application.

Water the plant making sure to wet the soil at least an inch down. Check the soil a few times a day. Some plants that have a lot of sun may need to be watered a few times a day, while others will only need water once a day. If the plant is receiving rainwater, you will not need to add more water.


Things You Will Need

  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Soil
  • Wood stake or tomato cage
  • Drill
  • 1-inch drill bit
  • Mulch
  • Tomato starter fertilizer

About the Author


Pamela Gardapee is a writer with more than seven years experience writing Web content. Being functional in finances, home projects and computers has allowed Gardapee to give her readers valuable information. She studied accounting, computers and writing before offering her tax, computer and writing services to others.