Growing Tomatoes in Containers


Home Depot is now selling locally grown, organic vegetable and herb plants. Yesterday, I bought a few determinate cherry tomato plants which hail from Garden State Growers in Pittstown, NJ.

I called Garden State Growers and confirmed that their Farm Fresh Organic labeled plants are free of neonicotinoid, a pesticide that kills bees. The employee said,The plants are 100% pesticide free.”


Everyone should grow tomatoes in containers. It’s super easy and super fun. There’s no excuse not to grow them. City dwellers can grow them on fire escapes or an apartment rooftop patio. (Read this article I wrote for Huffington Post for city dwellers.)

I had this 18″ diameter clay pot on hand which is fine for growing a determinate tomato plant (with support). You can also grow a small pepper plant, broccoli or small eggplant in this size container.


The locally grown plants were four for $10. Buy a bag of potting soil and a few containers–the bigger the container, the better. Tomatoes have large root systems.  A large container will prevent the soil from drying out too quickly.


Water regularly. Containers dry out quicker than a garden bed. Self-watering containers is a great option, especially if you go away on weekends during the summer.


I’ll add a stake, add a slow release fertilizer and water daily on hot summer days.


9 thoughts on “Growing Tomatoes in Containers

  1. If you are buying from Home Depot make sure you are buying plants that have not been treated with a neonicotinoid. This type of insecticide is killing our bees.

    1. Sophia is 100% correct. Most of the plants, vegetables and flowers, from the large box stores contain harmful chemicals that kill bees. I see your tomatoes were labeled organic, hope that is the case.

      1. I just responded to Sophia’s question. We’re all safe with Garden State Growers plants labeled organic! Thanks for the comment.

    2. In addition to a large sign at Home Depot stating that Garden State Growers organic plants are pesticide free, I called Garden State Growers after reading your comment and asked specifically if the plants I bought were treated with neonicotinoid? The employee said, “They are 100% pesticide free.” So everybody is safe with Garden State Growers who supply Home Depots in the NJ/NY/PA region (and beyond?). They also supply Walmart. Thanks for your comment! BEE-FRIENDLY!!!!

  2. I planted my tomato plants today, as well! Happy to see I’m not alone in the container gardening. I also planted herbs. Makes my mouth water! Love the new house picture, Sue.

  3. Nice to hear.

    I stopped buying from Home Depot when I saw neonicotinoids on the labels of their plants. I got two beautiful plants for my retirement that I had to allow to die after they were spent blooming because they were treated with neonics.

    I haven’t used any insecticides in my yard for at least 20 years. My roses are fine, healthy and blooming great.

    I have a vermiposter for compost and worm tea for fertilizer.

    I highly recommend a worm condo of some kind. Mine is called Wormtopia. They take up very little space and you can put your kitchen scraps in there for make your own compost for your pots. I mix mine with potting soil for a bit of an extra boost. Just remember: no meat or fish, no dairy of any kind, no citrus including tomato and pineapple. No onions. No grass or weed clippings and nothing that has been treated. They’re good with any wilted or spoiled fruits and vegetables. Apple cores to potato skins. Peels of all kinds. Coffee grounds, tea bags and egg shells are fine. You can even put 100% cotton lint from the lint trap in there. Also shredded paper but not the glossy stuff. In fact you should put some shredded paper layers in there between the organics just to allow for air.

    If you’re not squeamish they are the perfect pet.

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