“I have a deep garden box with soil and fertilizer. I plant tomatoes and they never do well. I am getting frustrated. This year will be my 3rd try!” Question from Janis of North Attleboro, Massachusetts
Answer: There are several reasons why your potted tomatoes may not be succeeding. I will list several potential reasons, and then provide some suggestions for this year’s container tomatoes.
Potential reasons for container tomato failure:
- The garden box is not draining well.
- The box is not big enough.
- You are watering too often or not often enough.
- You are growing indeterminate, or vining, tomatoes.
- Your tomatoes are diseased.
For your third try, follow these tips for success.
- Make sure your container is draining very well and its soil is fast-draining and porous. Also, consider planting your tomatoes in a larger pot. Watch the video below to see what size containers work for me.
- Add new potting soil. Tomatoes are susceptible to many soil-borne diseases (click here to learn more), so fresh soil is essential. Black Gold Natural & Organic Potting Mix is approved for organic gardening and my tomatoes like it.
- Feed with a fertilizer formulated for tomato growing.
- Choose a determinate, or bush, tomato that is certain to grow well in your Massachusetts climate. ‘Celebrity’ is an award-winning red slicer that always performs well in containers. ‘Glacier‘ is a flavorful cocktail tomato that grows well up North. ‘Sunrise’ sauce tomato is a super sweet, golden sauce tomato that is perfect for pots.
- Place pots in full sun and keep them evenly moist but not wet. Water most frequently in hot, summer weather.
- Cage your tomatoes.
I hope that these tips help!
Happy tomato growing,
Black Gold Horticulturist