Will a tomato plant grow in a 5 gallon bucket?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Spookwriter, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 23, 2010
    Spook asking a serious question for once.

    I planted Dad's garden this week. I didn't think we
    would get this far. Last few months have been hard.

    Anyway, we've come the point of where I planted his
    tomato plants. Their garden is a bit far from their house
    and over a bank. He can see it, but I'm pretty sure he
    can't safely walk to it.

    Now the question.

    I think if I plant some tomato plants in regular 5 gallon
    buckets, I can set them closer to the house where my
    father CAN see them and be a part of "garden".

    But will they grow in a bucket? What do you think? What
    about soil? Dig my garden dirt, or go potting soil, or make
    a happy mix?

    Spook...trying to be a good son
  2. angel8035

    angel8035 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2012
    Applegate, California
    There are some specific varieties of tomatoes called "potting tomatoes" that will grow better in buckets. I am growing some regular tomatoes in some 10 gallon pots now and they are doing well. You should mix potting soil and regular dirt as just potting soil has too much nitrogen and the plants will grow big and green but won't fruit.
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    They will grow, the patio type will do better. Make sure to put holes in the bottom of the bucket. I would use potting soil without plant food, then feed them with a supplement specifically for tomatoes.
  4. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Huh? My husband and I grew tomatoes in the greenhouse this past winter. They were planted in 5 gallon (black) nursery pots, with potting soil. They fruited just fine, and we sold a lot of tomatoes from them. In fact, the plants are still at it, and I am surrounded by the fruit from them as i type this (we are harvesting anything that is starting to turn, and ripening it in the house, as we are apparently not the only critters around here that like to eat tomatoes!) A lot of people find straight potting soil a bit too light in a large pot - it dries out too fast, and the larger plants tend to blow over in a good breeze. Commercial nurseries have a heavier mix that they use for larger pots. You don't want to use straight garden soil, because unless you have amended it quite a bit, it usually is a bit too heavy, and won't drain well enough for the roots to breathe well.
  5. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Spook, i have used the buckets before and also the big planters.. they worked fine. They are nice to set on the patio and watch grow.. :)
    Good luck..
  6. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    They do fine for my mom each year in buckets.
  7. CGinJCMO

    CGinJCMO Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2012
    Cole County Missouri
    There is a product that was popular a year or two ago...haven't noticed it advertised this year...Topsy Turvy tomato planter.

    Supposedly tomatoes grow in that thing and it looks like less than 5 gal.

  8. BusyBlonde

    BusyBlonde Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2011
    Bessemer City, NC

    Don't waste your time or money on those - we tried two last year, and neither one did well. We made sure they were watered and fertilized, but only got a couple mini-tomatoes (one was supposed to be beefsteak, other was big momma roma-style). In comparison our regular garden tomatoes produced a ton. I'd go with the 5-gallon buckets, I've had really good luck with putting a couple plants in containers on my patio before. They just need to be watered more frequently than if they were in the ground.
  9. JorjaRhayne

    JorjaRhayne Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2012
    My ENTIRE garden is potted...

    Tomatoes- 30+ plants,
    Running 100s, Rutgers, Marion, Chocolate Cherry, Cherokee Purple, Big boy, Husky Red, Bush Champion, Mortgage Lifter, Peardrops, and Pink Brandy-wine
    Squash- 20+ Plants,
    Table-queen, Crookneck, Straight-neck, Zucchini, Butternut, and Hansel Eggplant
    Peppers-15 Plants
    Sweet banana, Bonnie Green Bell, and Chocolate Beauty
    Pumpkins-15 plants
    Jackolantern, and Jack-be-little
    Cucumbers- 30 plants
    Boston Pickling, Marketmoore, and Straight Eights
    Melons-25 plants
    Crimson-sweet, Jubilee, Sugarbaby, (watermelons) and Hybrid 45 cantaloupe
    Greens-30 plants
    Collards, Lettuce, Spinach, and broccoli
    as well as Mint, Basil and Passion fruit vine

    Also mixed in are an array of petunias and impatiens planted around the base of all flowering plants to attract bees to improve pollination, I have had a 40% increase in production since starting this practice. All my plants are potted in various sized planters, buckets, general wal-mart pots with the melons in the biggest ones. All are in Miracle Grow Potting soil and get Miracle Grow Liquifeed every Sun. I have fruit on all plants and have been harvesting for the past several weeks. Pumpkin fruit is nice and consistent in size but take the longest to mature. Baby melons everywhere and yes the topic of it all my Tomatoes Are Extraordinary. This garden is located in full-partial sun all resting on weed prevention fabric from the garden center. I say GO FOR IT but yes stay away from the topsy turvy planters, they only last about a season then they break. If you want to use the upside down planter idea (good for peppers too) recycle kitty litter buckets with the handles and lids, cut hole in bottom then hang on shepherd hook. Heavy duty water buckets for horses ect. with sturdy handles work good too. Have fun :) J
  10. JorjaRhayne

    JorjaRhayne Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by