How Much Soil Does a Tomato Plant Need?

The GardenSpring |

How Much Soil Does a Tomato Plant Need? It depends a bit on the tomato variety. The large varieties can be grown in buckets with 10-15 liters of soil.

For smaller varieties, perhaps half of that is enough. It is always good to have a lot of soil, so it does not dry out so easily.

Take fertilized (organic) potting soil for tomatoes or annuals. Count on 20 liters of potting soil per plant; so 3 tomato plants fit in a 60-liter bag.

How Much Soil Does a Tomato Plant Need?
Image by Kruscha from Pixabay


Tomatoes are tasty and healthy. And even better: you can grow tomatoes yourself. You can easily grow bush tomatoes in a pot. Of course, you can also grow your own tomatoes by sowing them.

Tomatoes come in many colors and varieties. You can grow different tomatoes because, in addition to climbing tomatoes, there are also shrub tomatoes.

Remarkably enough, less known, while no less than 95% of all tomato varieties are shrub tomatoes. With the exception of very large tomatoes, shrub tomatoes, just like climbing tomatoes, come in all shapes and sizes.

From cherry tomatoes and Italian creeping tomatoes to beef tomatoes. You can grow both types of tomatoes yourself. The same applies to these varieties: the red ones are the healthiest.

What Soil Do Tomatoes Want?

Tomatoes need soil that is warm and rich in nutrients. The tolerable soil pH for tomato cultivation is 5.5 to 7.0. The ideal soil pH is 6.0 to 6.8.

The Right Soil and Climate for Tomatoes

Ground.  The ideal soil for growing tomatoes is with a ph = 6, the soil must be fairly loose and draining, free from stagnant water that would favor plant diseases.

Furthermore, to obtain a good harvest, the soil must be rich in nutrients and organic matter. In fact, tomatoes are quite a greedy vegetable.

Climate. Even if enough cold-resistant types of tomato have been selected, it is still a plant that can stand the cold, and above all that requires excellent sun exposure.

Tomatoes can be grown practically all over Italy, as long as you have a sun-kissed plot. The plant also fears excessive dryness, which can be limited by mulching and irrigation.

How Much Soil Does a Tomato Plant Need?

Growing Tomatoes at Home: Filling the Planter

Before the necessary plant substrate is filled in, larger stones or shards of pottery should be placed in the lower area of ​​the bucket. These prevent the drain hole from clogging and unused water from draining away.

After which the planter is filled about halfway with tomato substrate. Then the plant follows in the middle. After filling the remaining area, press down the potting soil to prevent air pockets from forming.

It is advisable to leave a pouring edge of at least two to three centimeters. If the tomato plant is placed at an angle in the spacious planter, it will form additional side roots. This increases stability in the pot.

Tomatoes on the Balcony

Tomato culture on balconies: Don’t forget the nutrients

In order to be able to record a successful tomato harvest, it is not enough to fill the pots with normal potting soil. After all, it’s not just about the right amount, but rather the nutrient-rich mixture of the substrate.

The following nutrients are very important for tomato culture:

  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphor
  • other minerals

A growth-promoting plant substrate for tomatoes results from the mixture of:

  • Garden soil: alternative potting soil
  • mature compost: generously mixed in
  • some sand or gravel: promotes permeability for water, prevents waterlogging

The self-made raised bed is also ideal for growing tomatoes at home. The advantage here overgrowing in a tub is that the supply of nutrients is secured throughout the season.

If you also pay attention to a distance of about 70 to 80 centimeters between the individual tomato plants, nothing stands in the way of a lush harvest of tomatoes in the self-sufficient garden.

Not to be forgotten in this context is the appropriate rain protection as well as suitable types of vegetables for mixed cultivation with tomatoes.

Tomato Cultivation Care Tomato Pruning and Pruning

Tomato Pruning

Pruning is combined with the support of the tomato. The pruning tomato is formed into a single-stemmed plant.

All lateral shoots are removed when their length reaches 5 to 10 cm.

The young lateral shoots are removed by hand because they are tender and fragile.

Removing the shoots while they are still small avoids large wounds that are difficult to heal and increase the risk of transmitting pathogens and fungi through the wounds.

Pruning should be repeated every week to remove the lateral shoots that the plant continuously produces, while at the same time the plant stem should be supported.

Pruned tomatoes can be planted nearby.

Tomato Peel

If you want to speed up tomato production, you can proceed with the pruning (removal of the top of the plant), 1.5 to 2 months before the end of the harvest.

The pruning is applied to stop the plant from producing new leaves and taxa that will not have time to mature and at the same time to force it to accelerate the ripening of the fruits that it already has.

The top is removed after at least 2-3 leaves from the last inflorescence of the plant

Wet Red Tomatoes
Image by kie-ker from Pixabay

Defoliation and Support of the Tomato

Tomato Peeling

As the plants grow and when the first taxa begin to mature, the process of defoliation begins, ie the removal of the leaves below it.

Defoliation is done to allow the best lighting of the fruits that are close to the ripening stage because direct light improves the quality of the fruits.

The leaves are removed at this stage because, as they begin or have already “aged”, they do not receive enough light for photosynthesis and do not contribute to production.

Defoliation continues after the fruits of the lower taxa are harvested and when the next taxa begin to ripen, for the reasons mentioned above.

Tomato Support

The simplest way to support it is by using a pole. The pole can be wooden or plastic.

Avoid the use of metal poles (unless they are covered with neutral material), because they are very hot from the sun and the plant wants to avoid them.

Instead of poles, you can develop a system of horizontal wires and vertical strings.

The horizontal wires are placed at a height of 1.80 to 2.00 meters above the planting line of the tomatoes.

From the wire and above each plant, begin vertical strings that end in the soil.

Problems in cultivation

  • Aphids or aphids. Small insects bite the leaves, especially the tender ones, and cause them to twist. They are removed by spraying grated green soap dissolved in water.
  • Top rot. Drying the fruit at the end opposite the stalk.
    It is prevented with balanced watering and is controlled by spraying the leaves with foliar lime fertilizer.
  • Wrist shape. Radial tearing of the fruit rind starting from the stalk. Due to unbalanced watering.


Sawant, A. (2021, January 5). Tomato Cultivation Guide 2021. AGRICULTURE GURUJI.

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