Tomato Plants in Pots

gggvan

Member
Dec 6, 2012
42
Hello, I had a few extra plants and put them in pots in full sun, but they are not doing very well. They are just stagnating. growing very slowly compared to thier in ground counterparts. Should this be?
 
Hello, I had a few extra plants and put them in pots in full sun, but they are not doing very well. They are just stagnating. growing very slowly compared to thier in ground counterparts. Should this be?
A couple of things come into play. First, how long ago did you put them in the pots? When first transplanted, they do take some time to get rooted and going. Also, the size of the pot you transplanted the tomatoes in comes into play, if it is small and the roots don't have room to grow, it will stall out.
 

gggvan

Member
Dec 6, 2012
42
A couple of things come into play. First, how long ago did you put them in the pots? When first transplanted, they do take some time to get rooted and going. Also, the size of the pot you transplanted the tomatoes in comes into play, if it is small and the roots don't have room to grow, it will stall out.
planted about 1 month ago. planter a little larger than the size of a gallon paint can,
 
I would guess it is root bound and probably needs a larger container.
 
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Montanalocal

Feeling the Heat
Dec 22, 2014
381
Helena MT
Because I am at 5,000 feet elevation in central Montana, I plant all my tomatoes in buckets because the ground never really does warm up here in the summertime. I use black 4 gallon pizza sauce buckets, with the whole entire bottom cut out. I set them in my good garden soil and fill them with my best dirt, with a liberal addition of compost and fertilizer. They need to be watered quite often, but I do get good production. The roots grow down all the way through the buckets and into my garden soil.

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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
603
Texas
I love your bottomless buckets, @Montanalocal. It’s great that the plants can get the extra heat yet still make contact with the soil.

@ggvan, I think most tomato plants would prefer at least a five-gallon container minimum (unless there’s soil contact as described above). The good news is that tomatoes transplant easily, so you should be able to move them at this stage. Also, because container planting tend to require more frequent watering, the soil can also become depleted of nutrients. If you pot up, my recommendation would be to make sure you use good soil, compost, and slow-release organic fertilizer.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,715
Massachusetts
agree with duae guttae. my bucket garden would get warm enough to dry out quickly sometimes within the day depending on how much sun and would have to feed them every two weeks. and if you can use rain water rather than city water that helps in a big way
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,348
Northern NH
If you cut the bottom out of the bucket its raised bed hybrid. There needs to be drain holes in the bottom of the bucket and ideally drip irrigation. The soil in the bucket does not hold a lot of moisture so it needs frequent watering. The trade off is the frequent watering can washout the nutrients. Get some Miracle Grow.
 

gggvan

Member
Dec 6, 2012
42
Wow, it was pot bound. I cut out the bottoms and placed on ground over some loosened soil. We are just beginning a heat wave so we'll see what happens.