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Jun 3, 2009 08:46 AM

size of pots

I went a little crazy on the purchase of tomato plants this year. It seems that every I went to the greenhouse, I found a new type, my most recent purchase was 3 heirloom varieties.

My problem is that I have run out of room in my garden to plant them....LOL. so I am wondering what size of pot is required to grow a proper tomato plant, does it depend on the variety? one of them is undeterminent, if that matters?

I also have 2 pepper plants that I am going to try keeping in my mini greenhouse to see if I get better results than in my garden. the same question applies to them.


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  1. I was growing tomatoes in pots for several years. I think my largest pot was 18" diameter. I think I had a couple that were 24" diameter. They did pretty well. My garden grown tomatoes last year did better (started gardening in the ground again last year) but they get more sun. Sun was an issue which is why I was using pots. I fertilized weekly with a water soluble fertilizer. Last year I ended up growing a zucchini plant in a large pot that a shrub had come in. It did ok. Not great. I think the question with limited growing space is making sure the plants get enough fertilizer. For example, hanging potted annuals purchased from the nursery seem to poop out after awhile and I was told that it was because they are given timed release plant food that only lasts about 3 months.

    1. I use 5 gallon white plastic buckets. I get them from work, where we get pickles in them, by they are also sold at WalMart and hardware stores for less than $10. They aren't pretty, but they aren't real heavy and have a good handle if you ever need or want to move them. I give them bone meal every couple weeks, and water with fish emulsion (smelly!) every week or two. I have had pretty good luck so far. Remember to water every day (tomatoes) and fertilize more often in containers.

      8 Replies
      1. re: corneygirl

        If I wante to plant a few different herbs in a container slightly larger than the bucket you describe do you think it would be okay to mix? I have a basil plant going already but would love to ad rosemary, cilantro and maybe thyme. Curious if you might have any info on this, thanks!

        1. re: enbell

          I have been growing my herbs in containers/pots on my balcony for over 10 years with very good results. I have been using cheap plastic pails from the dollar store. I fertilize every 2 weeks with Miracle Grow.
          My basil ends up looking like little trees.

          1. re: Smachnoho

            Thank you for your reply! I'm new to this (obviously) and was ondering of a few different herbs in the same pot would be an issue. Is it okay to co-mingle herbs?

              1. re: enbell

                yes, it is fine to put them together. some of them go to seed fast and would be best in multiple plantings such as dill and cilantro. Also some such as mint, thyme, sage and rosemary are perennials and can be overwintered depending on zone, if planted in the ground not pots. If you are looking for just a seasons worth of herbs then go ahead and put them in pots together :)

                  1. re: enbell

                    I'd like to chime in with one additional recommendation about mixing herbs in the same container. Choose those plants with similar sun and water requirements to plant together in the same pot. I have never had luck mixing sage with parsley for this very reason. Basil, thyme and rosemary get along quite well together though I always find that I should have used a larger pot than I actually did. So, plant sun-lovers with other sun-lovers and thirsty plants together.

                  2. re: cleopatra999

                    cleo, Agree, except watch out for mint. It doesn't play well with others. It strangles the roots of other herbs (most other plants actually) and takes over the entire pot. After awhile, you'll have a nice pot of healthy mint and little else if you plant it with other herbs. I found out the hard way a few years ago.

          2. I've been doing tomatoes on the deck/patio for a number of years. I've used pots from 18" to 24" with great success. I have a number of herbs in pots - rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, chives, oregano. I bring the rosemary and thyme in for the winter. I have them in a south-facing window, cut them down when I bring them in, water them weekly, don't fertilize them, and then cut them down again when I take them outside. Once outside, I hit them miracle gro weekly for about 6 weeks and then go to every other week. I've had the same plants for about 5 years and they're still doing great. I do the same with some begonias.