Tomatoes can grow well in any good quality, organic soil. You can purchase ready-made soil or prepare it on your own by adding peat moss and farmyard compost. If you are preparing potting mixture, then supplement with plant nutrients. Remember that the plants directly depend on the potting soil for water and nutrients. Garden soils are usually not preferable as they are very heavy for container gardening. Make sure you add healthy soil mixture, otherwise there can be chances of soil-borne fungi and other pathogens in the potting soil, which may lead to development of diseases.
For planting tomatoes in containers you need to add the potting mixture in the container to about one-fourth of the depth. Place the plant in the center of the pot and add soil till it reaches the height of the stem, where the lowest leaf is developed. This way, you are allowing further development of roots from the stem to promote a healthy root system. But make sure you leave some space for watering, i.e., keep the level of soil a few inches below the rim of the container. While planting, lightly press or firm the top soil around the tomato seedling.
Caring Tips of Tomato Plants
Light and water are the two most important factors for maintaining the healthy growth of tomatoes in pots and containers. A healthy plant requires about five hours of daily light. You can place the potted tomato plants in any area, either balcony or windowsill, where the plants will get maximum sunlight. If possible, select a location which is less windy, as high-velocity wind may result in drying of the soil. Once the potted tomato plants are placed in a proper location, water the plants thoroughly. Make sure to water the plants regularly and supplement the soil with organic fertilizers. For water retention and weed control, you can consider mulching with straw or bark mulch. Provide the tomato plants with supports like stakes or cages, when the first fruits appear.
Depending upon the tomato variety and the growing conditions, the plant will start bearing fruits within 6 – 8 weeks. Growing tomatoes is easy but adequate care should be taken as they are susceptible to diseases. Majority of the tomato plant diseases are caused due to soil-borne fungi. Hence, as long as the potting soil is disease-free, there are very less chances of diseases in tomato plants. In case of disease occurrence, you can discard the diseased parts as far as possible and use mild fungicides to prevent further spreading.