Tomatoes In Pots And Tubs: How Much Soil Do They Need?

Tomatoes In Pots And Tubs: How Much Soil Do They Need?

Growing tomatoes succeeds not only in the greenhouse or garden. Delicious tomatoes from your own harvest can also be enjoyed in tubs or large flower pots. Similar to the cultivation of tomatoes in raised beds, intensive care is not required to ensure that they thrive. Rather, in addition to the sunny location, it also depends on the right planting substrate. The following tips on the right amount of soil for the planting pot have proven successful.

In pot or tub

Growing tomatoes in a pot on a balcony

On the balcony, tasty tomatoes can always be harvested until autumn. To allow a magnificent development, a large container is necessary. The pot or tub should hold at least 10 to 20 liters. If two tomato plants are raised per planter, a volume of about 30 to 40 liters is recommended.

In this way, the tomato plants have the opportunity to spread strongly, even in the lower part. This promotes lush growth. In the other case, the young tomato plants tend to shoot up. This prevents the favorable formation of fruits. Also, the plant becomes more susceptible to weather-related accidents.

As a general rule:

  • the larger the planting pot, the easier the culture.
  • the smaller the pot, the more important is the intensive nutrient supply

Tip: the larger the pot, the greater its weight. If a temporary change of place is necessary on the terrace or balcony, it is recommended to put a rolling board (plant roller) under the tomato plant.

Tomatoes In Pots And Tubs: How Much Soil Do They Need?

Select tomato variety

Select tomato variety according to available space

Today, specialty stores offer numerous tomato varieties as young plants or even as seeds for growing your own. When choosing the preferred variety of tomato should take into account several aspects. The first step is to consider the size of the plant and its fruit. From these measurements depends on the required amount of soil. From this, the size of the required container can be derived. The following species belong to popular tub tomatoes.

Tomato varieties

Tiny Tim

  • Height of growth: 30 centimeters
  • Fruits: small
  • Substrate: three to five liters
  • Pot size: 19 to 23 centimeters


  • Height of growth: limited
  • Fruits: 10 to 20 grams
  • Substrate: two to three liters
  • Pot size: 17 to 19 centimeters

Fuzzy Wuzzy

  • Height of growth: about 50 centimeters
  • Fruits: red-yellow striped, about 40 grams
  • Substrate: seven to nine liters
  • Pot size: 25 to 27 centimeters

Balcony star

  • Growth height: most popular small variety
  • Fruits: up to 50 grams
  • Substrate: five to seven liters
  • Pot size: 23 to 25 centimeters

Cocktail tomatoes

Priority is given to so-called cocktail tomatoes, which are suitable for growing tomatoes in tubs. If containers with a capacity of at least 40 liters are available, these 100 to 150 centimeter high tomato plants thrive magnificently on the balcony or terrace.

Popular cocktail tomatoes:

  • Sweet Million
  • Gold Nugget
  • Piccolino
  • Tomatoes Cultivation

Growing tomato at home: Fill the planter

Before filling the necessary planting substrate, place larger stones or shards of clay in the lower part of the container. These will prevent the drainage hole from becoming clogged and unused water from draining away.

After which the planter should be filled about halfway with tomato substrate. This is followed by the plant in the middle. After filling the remaining area, the planting soil should be pressed tightly to prevent the formation of air holes. It is recommended to leave a watering margin of at least two to three centimeters. If the tomato plant is placed in the generous planter at a slight angle, it will develop additional lateral roots. This increases the stability in the pot.

Tomatoes In Pots And Tubs: How Much Soil Do They Need?

Tip: To ensure that the tomato plant on the terrace or balcony does not fall over at the first gust of wind, it is advisable to sink the at least two-meter-long planting stick deep into the ground when potting in the container. In addition, the plant is tied directly to the rod at some fixed points, because it grows not only in width, but also strongly in height.

Tomatoes on balcony

Tomato culture on the balcony: Do not forget about nutrients

To record a successful harvest of tomatoes, it is not enough to fill the pots with ordinary planting soil. After all, it depends not only on the right amount, but rather on the nutrient-rich mixture of the substrate.

For tomato culture, the following nutrients are very important:

  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • other minerals

A growth-promoting planting substrate for tomatoes results from the mixture of:

garden soil: alternatively growing soil
mature compost: generously mixed in
some sand or gravel: promotes water permeability, prevents waterlogging
Note: Tomato plants belong to the highly nutritious plants. In order for their development to progress continuously, a regular high supply of nutrients is recommended. In addition to home-made plant broths, organic fertilizers are also suitable for this purpose. Alternatively, chopped tomato waste can be used. Overfertilization should be avoided.

Tomatoes In Pots And Tubs: How Much Soil Do They Need?

Also, the self-built raised bed is excellent for growing tomatoes at home. The advantage over the culture in the tub is that the nutrient supply is ensured throughout the season. If, in addition, a distance of about 70 to 80 centimeters between the individual tomato plants is ensured, nothing stands in the way of a bountiful harvest of tomatoes in the self-supply garden. Not to be forgotten in this context are the appropriate rain protection and suitable vegetables for mixed cultivation with tomatoes.

Tip: With a favorable choice of location and sufficiently nutritious planting substrate, the tomato harvest on the terrace or raised bed is prolonged in contrast to outdoor cultivation in your own garden.

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