I hope you can agree with me when I say:

 Anyone who fancies themselves a green thumb should try their hand at growing tomatoes. 

No summer is complete without a rack of fully laden tomato vines. But growing them is a tricky business!

How can I grow tomatoes in a pot, and how big a pot does it need to be? What’s the optimal soil pH for tomatoes? Can I grow tomatoes indoors? It all boils down to the sort of soil you’re using. A house plant’s roots are restricted by the pot it’s in, so the soil you use is of enormous importance.

A good, no, great, potting soil has to be porous enough to allow root aeration and drainage to occur, but should also be capable of retaining some moisture, air and nutrients. Supplementing your soil with perlite or sand can help improve aeration and drainage, while choosing to supplement it with clay or organic matter can help it hold on to water.

Don’t worry if this is all starting to sound a little overwhelming! I’ve done all the research so you won’t need to. I’ve also included some tips for growing tasty fruit and how to grow tomatoes in pots. Without further ado, here’s a list of the ten best soils for tomatoes in pots on the market.

Best Potting Soils For Tomatoes 2021:

Tomato PlantersRating
Black Gold 8-Quart All Organic Potting Soil
9/10
FoxFarm FX14240 Happy Frog Potting Soil
10/10 (Editor's Choice)
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix, 16-Quart
8/10
Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix 9/10
Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix 8.5/10
Compressed Organic Potting-Soil for Garden & Plants10/10
Good Earth Organics, Zen Blend Premium Potting Soil 9/10
Premium All Purpose Potting Soil, 1.5 cu 7/10

The Beginner’s Guide To Growing Tomatoes:

1. Black Gold 8-Quart All Organic Potting Soil

Why we love it:

  • Comes with MultiCote controlled fertilizer
  • Doesn’t attract bugs
  • Multipurpose

ProsCons
✅ All natural❌ No way to reseal after it's been opened
✅ Doesn't attract flies

2. FoxFarm FX14240 Happy Frog Potting Soil

Why we love it:

  • Ready to use right out of the bag
  • Beneficial soil microbes
  • Mycorrizhal fungi

ProsCons
✅ Easy to find❌ None
✅ Cost effective

3. Miracle-Gro Potting Mix, 16-Quart

Why we love it:

  • Easy to find
  • Cost-effective
  • Reliable

 

ProsCons
✅ Easy to find❌ None
✅ Cost effective

4. Burpee Organic Premium Potting Mix

Why we love it:

  • You have to water less often
  • Helps control moisture with coconut coir

ProsCons
✅ You have to water less often❌ Often out of stock
✅ Helps control moisture with coconut coir

5. Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix

Why we love it:

  • Enhanced with Myco-Tone
  • Great for indoor and outdoor plants
  • Excellent drainage

ProsCons
✅ Enhanced with Myco-Tone❌ None
✅ Excellent drainage

6. Compressed Organic Potting-Soil for Garden & Plants

Why we love it:

  • Portable
  • Non-toxic
  • Hydrating

ProsCons
✅ Portable❌ None
✅ Non-toxic

7. Good Earth Organics, Zen Blend Premium Potting Soil

Why we love it:

  • Extra-perlite
  • Low salt coconut coir
  • Potent

ProsCons
✅ Extra perlite❌ None
✅ Low salt coconut coir

8. Premium All Purpose Potting Soil, 1.5 cu

Why we love it:

  • Converts into 11 gallons of soil
  • Ready to use right out of the bag
  • Potent

ProsCons
✅ Cost effective❌ None
✅ Ready to use right out of the bag

Conclusion:

Wondering where to start when it comes to planting tomatoes? Look no further! I’ve compiled a list of the best tomato potting soils on the market to aid you on your search.

Tips For Tasty Fruit

Tomatoes In No Time At All:

  • Growing tomatoes outside rather than in a greenhouse or polytunnel is a risky venture- but if you’d like to try anyway, go for cherry tomatoes or Black Krim, both of which ripen more quickly outside than others.
  • Grow your tomatoes in a location that has as much direct sun and shelter from winds as you can.
  • Companion planting works wonderfully with tomatoes. Sow basil underneath as an offering to the pests or try garlic, nasturtiums or tagetes to turn aphids off.
  • Don’t water the plant, water the soil! Your tomato leaves and stem will rot.
  • Give your plant a seaweed or comfrey feed every week or so when flowering first beings- the developing fruit need all the potassium they can get.
  • Sink a pipe vertically into the ground when you plant out. Tomatoes have two sets of roots: some at the surface that feed and lower ones that drink in water. The pipe gets the water down to where it counts quickly.
  • The most important thing is to grow some and take your time around harvest. A just-ripe tomato eaten fresh off the vine is really unlike anything else.

How To Grow Tomatoes In Pots:

So you’ve decided to grow tomatoes . . .

You’ve heard all of the different varieties of tomatoes, I’m sure. There’s beefsteaks and  San Marzano tomatoes and  marmandes and even plum tomatoes. But what about indeterminates? Determinates?  If you’re a gardener, you probably already know what I’m talking about.

Determinates are leafy plants that reach a certain height (usually about 90cm), then stop growing. All their fruit ripens in the span of a few weeks. Indeterminates are less bushy and more vine-like, and capable of growing more than a couple of metres high. They produce fruit continuously, so long as conditions are favourable.

I tend to recommend determinates for veg patches or outdoor containers, and indeterminates for inside greenhouses or picture windows. But check the growing instructions when buying plants or seeds. There are benefits and drawbacks to both.

Unless your garden is super windy, you’ll never have to stake your determinates, and they’re less time and labour consuming. However, you’ll note that you’re likely to see a couple weeks of real excess of rather than a regular supply of fruit.  Indeterminates, meanwhile, need to be tied to stakes or held up by cages. And you’ll need to remove their side shoots once these reach about 3cm so they can concentrate on the fruits that form along their main stem.

First things first: buy varieties suitable for growing in pots. The second thing: a tomato plant needs a 5 gallon bucket at the very least, 6 hours a day of direct sun at minimum, and some kind of staking or caging. Start with the very basics: container, plant, dirt, sun, and water.

Be sure to buy potting mix and not potting or gardening soil; a good potting medium is going to stay cushiony, and soft and not compact too much your pot or container. You want it not to dry out too quickly and resist compacting so that the plant’s roots can take up water and moisture from their surroundings. The roots must also have access to oxygen, which means that the mix shouldn’t be too dense.

Moreover, do your research. Pinterest is no way, shape, or form a good source of gardening information:  Coffee grounds, banana peels, eggshells, and other random peelings and kitchen scraps are not fertilizer, do not provide any nutrients until they have been completely broken down (composted) so don’t toss them to your plants in the hopes that you’re feeding them. You aren’t.

All that said, tomatoes are a pretty happy-go-lucky, hardy plant! But that doesn’t mean you should despair if you end up killing them, or a couple taste weird. As with everything else, practice makes perfect.

And look, if all the mucking about sounds too much like hard work, ignore it. So long as you select a good variety and starting them off well in a sunny spot will get you most of the way to a great harvest.

So dig out your gardening gloves, and get going!

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