There are many benefits when growing bush tomatoes in large pots and large pots do have a number of advantages over grow bags.
Here are just a few of the benefits:
- They can be moved easily – into the sun or indoors at night.
- Great for bush varieties – plants can trail over the sides without reaching the ground.
- It is more difficult for slugs to hide in a pot than a grow bag.
- It’s easier to plant support canes in a deep pot than a grow bag.
Some disadvantages are:
- Pots can be blown over by the wind, especially when plants are fruiting and top heavy. A large weight (a brick) in the bottom of a pot helps stability. Adding sand to the compost will improve drainage and make the pot heavier and therefore less likely to be blown over on a windy day.
- It is more expensive to buy pots than grow bags. But a large pot will last for years and look great on the patio.
- One of the disadvantages with container growing, be it a large pot or grow bag, is that the soil dries-out too quickly. So add perlite, vermiculite or water retaining gel to the compost to help retain moisture and prevent compost from drying-out too quickly.
Keeping bush varieties off the ground also increases aeration around the base of the stem which is where diseases usually begin.
Overall, bush varieties are best grown in large pots and tall varieties are best grown in grow bags or directly in the ground if you have suitable soil.
Tomato varieties for large pots
My top choices for a large pot are Red Alert or Tumbler F1 – both cherry tomatoes, and Oregon Spring or Legend – both large size tomatoes.
Best size for large pots
When choosing a pot for final planting, go for a bigger rather than a smaller size. Tomato plants like a reasonably big root area.
The pots in the photo above are plastic, around 16 inches across at the top and bought from a discount store. You will find plenty of these on sale in the spring.
Soil capacity for large pots
The ones above contain around 10 to 12 litres, so you can expect to fill around three pots this size with the soil from one grow bag.
It is generally true to say that a bigger container will produce a better crop.