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Pot for large tomatoes.

March 12, 2009

I am going to pot up my seedlings and from what I have read here, I am going to need a large pot. What size?

I use 5 gal. for most veggies, but i don't think it is enough.

I plan on growing:

Cherokee Purple

Green Zebra

Beef Steak

Giant Belgium

BTW, I asked over at the "container" forum but they weren't very helpful. No slam intended.



Comments (8)

  • digdirt2

    Well Al from all the reading you have done here you'll likely find recommendations for 10 gallons for large indeterminate ones. Did you browse through all the great info posted by Ray on the 'Earthtainers' - 18 gallon Rubbermaid bins? Lots of photos and well worth your time and consideration.

    You'll find that some folks here insist that a 5 gallon bucket is enough for any tomato plant. Their choice of course. While I'm glad they seem to work for them, having tried them as well as much larger ones over the years, I can attest to the fact that there really is no comparison. A 10 gallon container will work more than 5 times better. ;)

    Why not prove it to yourself by growing 1 of your plants in a 5 gallon bucket and others in larger ones.

    I did Cherokee Purple in a 1/2 whiskey barrel last year with great results. Giant Belgium and Beefsteak are HUGE plants - the bigger the better for them. Green Zebra, while far from a favorite with us and years since we grew one, will do ok in 7-10 gallons.

    If you have a local recycling center near you you can often get 40-50 gallon plastic barrels from them and cut in half with holes drilled in the bottom, they make great tomato growing containers.

    Good luck with your tomatoes.


    PS: like in any container - soil-less potting mix only, not garden dirt

  • mulio

    I prefer the 15 gal sized pots. They take more soil mix which can get expensive but you dont have to water them as often as a 5 or 10 gallon.

    A 10 square (5ft diameter) remesh cage usually fits over them.

  • Dan _Staley (5b Sunset 2B AHS 7)

    Agreed with above. You'll find more soil also moderates temperatures. IME big toms in 5 gals need a lot more attention as the season progresses. And they get top-heavy. But try one like digdirt said and see how you like it.


  • jsvand5

    Last season I used a lot of 5 gal buckets. I had ok production from them but the plants did not do as well in the heat as the plants that are in larger containers. This year I went to the local nursery and bought a bounch of used 15 and 30gal nursery pots for $1.00 each. I have 2 plants in the 30 gals, and one in the 15 gal. I also have a couple 18 gal earthtainers which worked well last season, but I am using those to try watermelon this year. I either paint my pots white, or wrap them in tinfoil to help keep the soil cooler. You would be amazed at what a difference it makes. The only thing I am using a 5 gal bucket for this year is my lone determinate (new big dwarf).

  • eplina

    this link may help.

    Here is a link that might be useful: tomato container gardening

  • digdirt2

    eplina - if you are going to continue to post nothing but re-directs to your personal website (up to 86 of them now according to the Search), then please at least make the info there worthwhile to the reader.

    Your brief article, picture of a Tiny Tim plant, and statements like make sure each plant in your tomato container gardening has about a gallon of growing medium in which it can establish some nice, strong roots is of no help to anyone seriously interested in growing tomatoes in containers.


  • weetoots

    Thanks all, although the spaming sucks, but the picture of the different sized containers is an eye opener. I will try some different container, to test it out.
    digdirt - I have read Ray's excellent article on "earthtainers", but the cost is prohibitive over here. Over $20 just for the containers for one setup. I'll check with nurseries for used "pot".

    Again, this forum is the best or they say here "da bes kine".


  • appaloosa909

    I answered an add from freecycle about used nursery pots and got to see the biggest pile of empty pots piled up against a chicken coop I've ever seen! It was a landscaper and he had nothing smaller than 10 gal, TONS of those big 30 gal (thanks for the pic!)and some bigger (50 gal?)I took over 100 pots and couldn't even tell I took any.

    Put a wanted add in your local freecycle and craigslist.

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