Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by masudalam
The best soil for tomatoes in containers is one that is loose such as sandy loam (aerated), is packed with organic matter, is well-drained but also can retain moisture, has nutrients that is a high level of potassium and phosphorous and lastly is slightly acidic with a pH ranging between 6 to 6.8.
Good soil is the foundation for growing healthy tomatoes, Specially when it grows in containers. The advantage of growing tomatoes in containers is that you will have complete control of the soil you will use. The type of soil that you use directly affects the taste and general health of your tomatoes. If the soil is not perfect, you will have to work very hard when taking care of your tomatoes as opposed to when you use quality soil. So, the question then is, what is the best soil for tomatoes in containers?
Potting soil on the other hand is extremely great for small gardens and pot planting. It is free of weeds and crop diseases. Furthermore, this kind of soil drains well and keeps a great pH value to the plant. The soil is well loose and great in texture too.
Main functions of potting soil are:
- Provide adequate air for the roots for growth.
- Preserves moisture and nutrients for the plant, in this case tomato plant
- Lower risks of diseases
Here are some of the best soils for tomatoes growing in containers.
This type of soil is not only great for tomatoes but also for Veggies, Herbs, and Cannabis Plants. Whether indoor or outdoor, Organic potting mix is suitable for use for all edible plants like fruits and vegetables.
With this soil, diseases are flushed out while roots grow deeper for the plant. It is also rich in nutrients and offers easy management of drainage. Good drainage is best for tomato planting.
Organic potting mix soil comes in heavy bags which are well sealed and easy to transport. These heavy bags also enhance storage of the soil.
Water retention of the soil is managed by three components which are;
- Perfect Plants Perlite
- Coconut Coir
- Peat Moss
Ingredients have been used to enrich this type of soil. These ingredients include Worm Castings, Mycorrhizae and Composted Pine Bark. The composted pine ensures that the levels of pH are right and helps in absorption of water and nutrients.
Mycorrhizae is a healthy fungus that protects the roots of the plant. This ensures great yields and production of tomatoes and other plants. This fungus also ensures nutrients for the plant without having to involve fertilizer.
Worm castings on the other hand are enzymes that assist root strength. They also enhance toxins removal from the plants and roots too. The green matter of the leaves on the plant is able to maintain courtesy of this enzyme.
Other ingredients added in this soil include Peat Moss which also aids in controlling toxins and absorption of nutrients for the tomato plant, Perlite which allows for soil aeration and Coconut coir which has neutral pH levels and does not affect the soil in any other way. Coconut coir assist in coloration of the flowers too.
As the name suggests, ocean forest soil offers plenty of nutrients from both ocean, sea and land. All these in one bag, it also entails rich and well aerated components that aid in crop growth and root extensions.
Worm casting are used here to enhance root growth and resist diseases giving the tomatoes time to grow. The good growth of the roots enhances water and food for the plant.
The pH level of this soil ranges from 6.3 to 6.8. This great level allows uptake of fertilizer to the plant which in return encourages growth.
Efficient for both indoor and outdoor, Ocean Forest organic soil is ready for use immediately from the carrier bag. The fact that it is lightweight enables the water storage and retention to a maximum level.
Fox farm ocean forest organic soil is natural as it comes and can be used in various settings like
- Annuals and Perennials
- Outdoor Containers
- Vegetables and Herbs
- Raised Beds
- Bedding Plants
- Indoor Containers
This is also referred to as the professional grade blend, it is a blend of 50% to 60% of Canadian sphagnum peat Moss, softwood bark which is processed, perlite, dolomite inform of lime, release fertilizer and an agent of wetting.
Canadian sphagnum peat Moss is a natural organic element that regulates air in the soil. It also conditions the soil which enables the growth of deeper roots for better food and water absorption. Sphagnum moss species is the main source of this element.
Softwood bark is mostly processed from dirt and wasted softwood products like cedar, which is later refined to help in water retention.
Perlite on the other hand has a handful of functions in the soil. From water retention to keeping the soil loose for easy penetration of water and drainage, it is a key component of this soil.
As the name suggests, premium all-purpose soil is good for all plants including tomatoes.
This is a great type of both indoor and outdoor planting soil. It has excellent components like Pertile, humus and sphagnum peat Moss which is 35% to 45%. This is commendable as the soil texture is improved while the water retention is sustained.
Composted rice hulls have also been used here to ensure fertile organic soil is produced. Limestone is added to adjust the pH and earthworm castings ensure the absorption of food and water by the tomato plant. Other components like yucca extract and feather meals are added to boost the growth of the plant.
This soil comes ready for use and requires minimal mixing.
Also labeled Only Compressed Coco Coir with Nutrients, Expands 3 Lbs. Bag to 12 Quarts, Wonder soil premium organic soil imitates the name by working wonders. It comes dry and well equipped for plating for both indoors and outdoors. It is made with components like worm castings, mycorrhizae, kelp and nutrients.
Worm castings will ensure the soil remains disease free while mycorrhizae on the other hand will ensure protection of roots.
Kelp assists plants to grow better by ensuring proper nutrients are retained. Kelp itself has nutrients that feed the plant while still ensuring opening up the roots for absorption. Kelp is extracted from natural algae hence retaining the soils natural form.
Liquid Kelp is also manufactured which help to boost natural can soil for gardening purposes.
After mixing with water, this soil expands up to seven times its normal size. This will ensure it is used for a longer period of time thus saving on costs.
This type also has the ability to expand. You will only need to add water for this to happen. Not only is this soil great for planting tomatoes but also Flowers, Herb Garden, Micro greens, Vegetables, Wheatgrass and Grass. It is also great for raised beds.
While the name says expand and grow, this is exactly what this type of organic soil does. It is great for containers, indoors and outdoors planting and is a great use instead of potting mix. It has the ability to expand when water is added and can be used for up to 6 months before it is changed.
It is capable of holding 50% water and more than potting soil. Before adding into a pot or container, it is important to ensure that you added water first.
Coir and fertilizer are the main ingredients for this soil. Coir is an organic component that ensure water retention and improves on the soil texture too. Fertilizer on the other hand speeds growth of the plant, in this case, tomato plant. The coir is compressed alongside other plant foods which form this formidable soil for planting. It also helps plants, in this case tomato plant to create more air of up to 90%.
When water is added, it can expand up to three times which makes it serve longer. This soil is a unique substitute for garden soil and comes in small bags but instead offers big results!
This soil can expand 4 times when mixed with water. It is great for hanging pots and containers and even gardens. Its main ingredients are Worm Castings Fertilizer, mycorrhizae, processed bacteria, amino acids and Natural Coconut Coir.
This particular soil ensures water preservation and brilliant growth of roots. With proper growth of root, the plant benefits with concentration of nutrients and food and strength in general. The fact that processed bacteria is present means diseases will not be present too.
This soil is capable of holding water up to 3 times compared to other types of soil. this is essential especially for tomatoes as they require good retention values.
Compressed organic soil is long lasting and can be used for months before changing. It easily gets wet and therefore the drainage is absolutely efficient. With compressed organic potting soil, you not only get growth boost but also the whole ecosystem develops into a whole new fertilized area.
This is an all-purpose quality soil. It has a proven record for high nutrients and convenience. Made in the United States, this soil is reviewed and tested in the lab of Food and Fiber Institute. It is also listed by the same body as a quality and satisfying kind.
Ingredients like pumice, Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss, Composted Bark, worm Castings and perlite are present here. The pumice and perlite ensure perfect aeration in the roots while the worm castings, peat moss and composted bark boost growth, strength and water retention.
This kind can be used in various settings like;
- Raised bed
- Pots and containers
- Hanging baskets
Michigan Peat is an all-purpose soil which has ingredients like dark blend of reed sedge peat. Dark reed ensures fine texture which easily drains water but still retains enough moisture for the plants. Furthermore, sedge peat adds nutrients to the soil and offers fertilizer like content due to the composed effect.
This kind is also great when mixed with natural soil in order to maintain its texture and effect. Michigan peat 5720 water retention is proven to last even during dry weather.
It comes in a 20 pound bag and ready to use.
10. The Good Earth Organics, Zen Blend Premium Potting Soil, Organic Soil for Leafy Greens, Tomatoes
Considered an all-purpose balanced soil for tomatoes, seedlings and leafy plants, it is great for planting. Coco coir is one of the ingredients added here to keep the moisture levels and water retention in check.
This soil is super rich in fertility and still has ingredients like perlite, sphagnum peat moss, pumice, compost, alfalfa meal and worm castings.
After one or two weeks, a feeding program is recommended when using this type of soil. Fertilizer quality present in Zen Blend premium potting soil boosts growth and enables great produce of big red tomatoes when used. The rapid roots which is aided by the presence of worm castings promote the green leafy matter of the plants too.
The fact that it is certified by the Organic Review Institute means that it is proven and ready for use immediately it is out of the bag.
With all these ingredients, this soil has the perfect aeration in the root system which enhances better absorption and the soil texture and fertility is also improved. It is also light due to its fine texture.
What to look for when buying the best soil for tomatoes in container
Tomatoes require a lot of nutrients for them to grow well. The best soil for tomatoes in a container should have all the necessary nutrients for a plentiful harvest. When buying the best soil for planting, it should be mixed and composed of perlite, coco coir/sphagnum peat moss, and compost. Each of the following nutrients in this soil is important as they will aid in the growth of container tomatoes.
- Perlite: This is vital in the potting mixture as it will inhibit the soil from compacting with time.it also allows for proper drainage
- Coco coir/Sphagnum peat moss: This nutrient in the soil mixture is vital as it will help in moisture retention for a long time. It also drains water with much ease.
- Compost: This is also important as it adds some natural organic nutrients to the soil, facilitating growth and healthy tomatoes.
For the tomatoes to grow well and produce fruits, the soil should also be rich in potassium, phosphorous, calcium, nitrogen, Sulphur, and magnesium. Each of the following plays a vital role in their growth, for instance:
- The above nutrients are crucial for photosynthesis
- Calcium is necessary for cell structure and preventing the blossom end root
- Sulfur is essential for manufacturing proteins required for plant growth and gives the plant the ability to withstand cold temperatures.
- Phosphorous and potassium are necessary for plant flowering.
Some trace elements usually found on the potting mix are boron, iron, zinc manganese, molybdenum, and copper. Although these are micronutrients, they are also vital. So, before purchasing your potting mixture, you should check out the above nutrients.
Smell & Odor
When buying the best soil for tomatoes in container, it is important to ensure that it smells pleasant. Fresh, good soil should give earthy soil and not an unpleasant scent when soil gives an unpleasant odor that indicates that the soil is holding too much water. The odor is an indication of bacteria infestation because it thrives in wet soil. The soil with smell & odor has the potential risk of being infested by fungi and gnats, which also thrive in moist conditions. This could also mean that the drainage properties of that soil are not perfect and may compromise the growth of your tomatoes.
Healthy soil has air pockets that will help the plant’s roots breathe; normal soil is aerobic and has beneficial bacteria. Unhealthy soil is anaerobic and has harmful bacteria, which make it smelly. When buying soil for planting tomatoes in a container, ensure you determine the ability of the soil to retain water. You have to dampen the soil in your hand and then squeeze it in your hand; this will help you determine whether the soil is loose or dense. Loose soil will fall apart and drain water well, while one that remains tight doesn’t drain well. Therefore avoid buying soil that is smelly and has odor as it might mean that it can’t drain water well.
When buying Potting soil for growing tomatoes, particularly, in containers, it should be loose and have the ability to hold water to prevent the tomatoes from drying off. The ideal soil for growing tomatoes is Loam soil; this is because it has all the required ingredients for tomato growth. The loam soil has adequate nourishment, proper moisture and effective root growth. Tomatoes have the ability to grow in most types of soils except one that is hard and clayey; this is because this type of soil prevents expansion of the roots of the tomatoes. Loose dirt, on the other hand, is ideal as it facilitates healthy root development.
For tomatoes to grow well, there should be an adequate water supply. Tomato roots, however, do not do well in waterlogged soil; that is why the soil should be good-drained. It should be able to stay moist but at the same time not soggy. A soil mix that has perlite, coco peat is very beneficial to tomatoes. Also, to ensure that the soil is well-drained, the plant’s container has drainage holes. This will help control the soil’s moisture level, ensuring it is neither too soggy nor too dry. These are some of the things that you should look at before buying soil for tomatoes that come in a container.
Also, another tip to note after planting your tomatoes on suitable soil, it is vital to ensure that you place them in the right spot away from too much rain as this will inhibit the draining capability of the soil. Using soil that cannot drain well is also dangerous as it can easily harbor bad bacteria or fungi, which can affect the growth of your plants; these microorganisms thrive in soil that is moist.
The pH value of the soil indicates either the alkalinity or acidity of the soil; any value below 7 indicates that the soil is acidic and that higher than 7 indicates that the soil is alkaline. When buying the Best ready soil for tomatoes in the container, it is crucial to consider its pH.
The pH level is significant for tomatoes because it affects the level of nutrients that will be made available to the plant. It also affects the rate at which the tomato plants will be able to absorb nutrients. For a healthy harvest, the proper pH should be ensured.
When buying soil for planting tomatoes, you should test the pH level using a pH meter. Measuring is quite simple as you will just deep the pH meter on the soil and wait for results from the reading. If the pH is lower or higher than what is supposed to be, you should ask the seller to adjust it to the recommended range. This is done by adding lime or dolomite to a soil of a lower pH, which is acidic. If the soil is too alkaline, which means a higher pH, Sulphur or ammonium Sulphate, which is usually found in fertilizers, is added.
Ease of Use
When buying soil for planting tomatoes in containers, one that is easy to use should possess all the ideal qualities for tomato growth.
- The pH level of this soil should have the right at 6.0 to 6.8 to prevent the buyer from the hassle of starting to balance the pH themselves.
- The moisture level of this soil should be adequate, not too dry or too soggy. This is because soggy soil will destroy the plant’s roots, and dry soil will hinder growth.
- The soil should also be loose enough for better aeration; hard clayey soil is not suitable for tomato growth.
- Ease to use soil should have nutrients like the fertilizers necessary incorporated in it So that the buyer would not be required to be putting fertilizer now and then.
- The soil should also not consume much of your time when maintaining the plants after planting them.
- The soil should contain simple instructions on its use and all the nutrients it is made of on its cover; this will significantly help decide whether to take it.
- Soil that is easy to use will require less time to maintain after planting the tomatoes.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) about Best Soil for Tomatoes in Container
1. Should I use garden soil for growing tomatoes in a container?
When growing tomatoes in containers, it is not advisable to use garden soil directly. This is because the soil is heavy and contains pathogens, pests and fungi that can harm the plants. Also, when garden soil is watered in a container, it becomes more compact, thus decreasing the level of oxygen and the capacity of the soil to absorb water. This is not suitable for growth as with soggy soil and lack of oxygen, the plant’s roots will rot, and the plant will wither off.
2. Is potting soil good for tomatoes?
Potting soil can be used to grow tomatoes; it is plain soil with nutrients from decaying organic matter though it may not be effective as potting mix. Potting soil contains non-soil nutrients like perlite and peat moss. Most potting soil is customized a bit to make it suitable for plantation by adding nutrients to it.
3. Which Type of Soil is best for Tomatoes grown in a container?
The best soil for growing tomatoes in a container is a potting mix; it is made of organic matter and peat moss, and other nutrients, which will provide better aeration, making the soil lighter, enabling the root to grow much quickly. The potting mix is usually customized for every plant. When buying a potting mix, ensure you check all the specifications as not all have the same nutrients.
4. Can I use all-purpose potting soil for container tomato gardening?
No! all-purpose porting soil is not suitable for container tomato gardening. This is because the soil can dry out much quicker, especially in an outdoor garden setting or in some settings retaining too much water. Growing tomatoes in a container will need water balanced soil, which does not dry so quickly or retain too much water. When planting tomatoes in a container, it is important to consider buying soil meant explicitly for them.
The soil used when planting tomatoes largely influences the amount of harvest that you would get. While many soil types can be used to plant tomatoes, it is essential to consider all the necessary components that good soil should have before buying. Soil with all ideal requirements and composition will make your work more accessible, and also, you will spend less time tending to your plants as opposed to a soil that is not well balanced.
The planting of tomatoes in a container is limited as there are not so many plants; thus, a good harvest should be maximized. If you think of growing tomatoes in a container and do not know what properties an ideal soil should possess, look no further; the article above will guide you on some of the things you should be looking at when purchasing.
When it comes to planting tomatoes, particularly when it’s happening in a container, the kind of soil you use is important and determines its growth. Tomatoes are sensitive plants which can only thrive in good conditions and if well taken care of.
For the best soil for tomatoes in containers, drainage is key when selecting the type of soil to use with tomatoes, thus these plants could stress and die in wet conditions and poor pH levels. The organic matter in the soil should also be high and fertile enough not to burn the tomato plants.