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If you are tired of buying tomatoes or are just getting into growing fruit and veg and want to have a try at growing your own, you are in for an exciting journey. Growing tomatoes is not hard; all you need is to find a place to grow them and offer them the required nutrients and lots of water. This is where choosing a good tomato planter is worth its weight in gold, especially the self-watering planters that have saved my toms a few times.
A popular way to grow tomatoes is by using planters because they have a small footprint, and you get to control the compost the plants are planted in, it’s also great if you don’t have garden beds too. There are now some well-designed planters for tomatoes and they come in various designs, so you can plant any type of tomatoes you want. If you are looking for tomato planters whose size is suitable for the home gardener, this is the guide for you and we have 4 different planters to choose between.
This review is geared to reveal some of the best tomato planters available, who thought buying a planter could be so exciting. My favourite which I named my Best Pick is the Hozelock Grow Bag Waterer, it’s super easy to use and versatile enough to be used with grow bags which is one of the ways I love to grow tomatoes.
Additionally, the Haxnicks Tomato Climbing Patio Planter can serve as a replacement for those who prefer to use a large container with a cane when growing tomatoes, this is actually ideal for those with limited space such as on a balcony. There is more to unravel in the sections below, so let us dive in:
Tomato Planter Reviews
1. Hozelock Grow Bag Waterer
The Hozelock Grow Bag Waterer is perfect if you want to grow your tomatoes in a grow bag in a more traditional way and still ensure your tomatoes get enough water without having to check frequently. A problem I use to have was the plants starting to wilt before I had a chance to water them and this planter really did solve this issue.
Once the waterer is at full capacity, it can keep the plants hydrated for up to 14 days, depending on the plant’s size, which is phenomenal. What I will say is that once the tomatoes are large and established they tend to need the water topping up every 3-4 days.
To make like easier you can use an attachment to attach the hose directly which helps, especially if you can leave it set up like this. You can also take it a step further and attach a water time and automatic it if your away longer than 3 days. You just need to work out how long to set the timer for and how long for as to not flood the plants.
The plants access the water through the capillary spikes that pierce the grow bag, so there is no intricate system to set up. A little tip is to make a little slit in the grow bat for the spikes rather than trying to push the spikes through teh grow bag, it just makes it a little easier.
You can use this waterer for many years because it is made from durable plastic that can withstand the outdoors well. It has a 15-litre reservoir to keep track of the amount of water the plants get, unlike using a hose and water manually every day. Check the water levels through the indicator provided and refill the waterer as needed. It’s a brilliant setup.
I recommend replacing the wick material before a new planting season to ensure that the plants get enough water but there are readily available and can even use some J-cloths folded around the spikes.
This model is easy to store because of its size as its 95cm long, a width of 39cm, and a short height of only 10cm. It is a lightweight model; therefore, portability is not an issue.
- Automatically waters tomatoes and has a water level indicator.
- Can be used with all standard grow bag.
- Features cane support holes to secure canes in position.
- Made from a robust material.
- Comes with replaceable wicks to transfer water to the plants.
- Easy to clean and store.
- Gives good value for money.
- The hole to fit the support canes could be bigger.
The Hozelock Grow Bag Waterer is the planter you need if you are a fan of using grow bags to grow tomatoes like me. This quality self-watering planter is the perfect way to ensure you keep your plants from under or overwatering. Once the spikes spear the grow bag, the capillaries come in contact with the soil to dispense water.
Note that the reservoir will hydrate small plants for a longer time compared to larger ones because the water intake is different. 14 days for a new planter but around 3-4 days for established tomatoes. Be sure to check on water levels, especially on hot days, to prevent the plants from wilting, you just won’t need to check every day. I personally live this setup and recommend anyone who grows tomatoes to invest in one of these.
2. Haxnicks Tomato Climbing Patio Planter
The Haxnicks Tomato Climbing Patio Planter is designed to help you grow tomatoes in your garden or patio and is a great alturnative to those who normally use large planters. This planter does not take up much space but its large enough that they don’t dry out too often.
I think this planter and frame is perfect for people with small gardens or who just have a balcony. It is made from durable polythene fabric, similar to that of potatoes grow bags; hence you will get a good few years out of it. A little feature I do like is that the planter comes with its own steel 3 sided frame for tomatoes to grow up.
You can also move the planter easily thanks to the reinforced handles which can be handy. In terms of size, I think its more than large enough to plant 3 tomatoes plants up and thanks to teh included frame you don’t need to worry about canes either.
- Features a UV-stable polythene and a stainless steel frame.
- It is easy to use and large enough for 3 tomato plants
- Comes with drainage holes around the sides.
- Can be flat-packed for storage.
- Offers reinforced handles for portability.
- It is affordable.
- Smaller than expected.
For those looking to grow two or three plants in a single planter, the Haxnicks Tomato Climbing Patio Planter is suitable and is just the right size. We love how the planter looks, and it serves its purpose well.
However, it is well designed as its drainage holes don’t clog easily as they are on the outside, and the handles make moving the planter from a greenhouse to on a patio easy enough. Overall, we would recommend this model for those who need an affordable planter accompanied by a frame and would rather grow tomatoes in planters with plenty of compost so they don’t dry out too quickly.
3. Garland Green Plant Halos 3 x Pots Watering Crop Support Planter
The Garland Green Planter is an interesting design, it features a moat-like design with six watering spikes for optimal results. These spikes measure 2.8cm, so you are assured that they disperse the water all through the soil.
The pots’ centre holds the soil separated by a barrier from the section that holds the water. The water reservoir hydrates the plants for 3-6 hours, depending on the weather and the size of the plants so they still need to be watered daily but they keep the soil hydrated.
They are fairly good quality as they are made from UV-stable plastic so will last a few years. It’s not large as it only has a diameter of 29cm, and it is 13cm high, so each pot can only hold one plant at a time but they fit nicely into a pot or you plant place them directly on top of the soil on the ground.
There are holes where you can install supporting canes which many of the other models are considered didn’t have, this does give your plant more stability as they grow rather than just trying to place the canes into the soil so it’s a nice feature to have.
- Keeps plants hydrated for longer.
- Comes with holes for support canes.
- Easy to use.
- Made of UV-treated plastic so it won’t fade or crack.
- Offers three pots giving value for money.
- No problems to report.
The Garland Green Planter is ideal for those who want to grow their plants in individual standard pots or in the ground but need a way to help keep them watered and prevent them from wilting. Something else we like is that they tend to stop slugs from getting on to the plants as there is mote between the plant and soil.
They can keep the plants hydrated for a while, but they will need a refill often on vert warm days but its much better than coming home to wanting tomatoes. I find that this model is a bargain and its a simple but effect design.
4. MyGardenGreen 3 pack Tomato planters self-watering garden Halo Pots
Another set of halo pots comes from MyGardenGreen; these pots are self-watering as they consist of two sections. The inner section holds the soul while the outer section in the water reservoir. You can utilize these planters even if you use a grow bag or a raised bed just like our prevous pick. The pots are made from weather-resistant plastic; hence they can be re-used as needed and should last a few years.
Your tomatoes will not go unsupported as they grow because the planters have cane support holes. These holes are spacious, so it should be easy to fit the canes but they don’t include the canes so make sure you order them separately. This model is 13cm deep, 27cm wide, and 27cm in length; they are not large so they fit well when placed on tomato grow bags or pots, you can of course place them on the ground too.
- Made from durable plastic.
- Features cane support holes.
- Can be used with grow bags and raised beds.
- Lightweight, therefore easily portable.
- Offers good value for money.
- Does not come with support canes.
The MyGardenGreen self-watering garden Halo Pots are easy to use if you’re looking for a way to keep plants well-watered. These halo pots have a sizeable reservoir to keep your plants hydrated for a few hours in warmer weather which is when you usually start have issues with wilting tomatoes.
We find these planters suitable for those looking for a pack of medium-sized rectangular planters for their tomatoes. The planter’s price is not so bad for a set of three; therefore, take a chance and see if they would be suitable for you.
Which Tomato Varieties are Suitable for Growing in Planters?
Cherry tomatoes are the easiest to grow in planters because of their size. Some of the more suitable cherry tomato species to grow include;
- A well loved tomato variety
- It is highly prolific and with tasty fruit
- Superb yields of sweet fruit
- Ideal for the vegetable plot or greenhouse
- Easy to grow
- Cascading tomato plant, ideal for hanging baskets and pots.
- Highly prolific, with tasty fruit
- Sweet flavour
- Fast growing
- High yields
- A popular tomato variety
- Highly prolific with tasty fruit
- Great yields
- Easy to grow
- Cascading tomato plant, ideal for hanging baskets and pots.
- Highly prolific, with tasty fruit
- Sweet flavour
- Fast growing
- High yields
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Not every planter you come across is ideal for planting tomatoes, any big pot will do but the best setups are ones with watering systems which overcomes one of the biggest problems, your planters wilting before you had a chance to water them again.
They are specially designed planters suitable for growing tomatoes that have compartments to hold support canes and keep the soil moist. These types of planters come in all shapes and sizes, so it is up to you to select the best tomato planter that can fit into your space and budget. Before picking a suitable tomato planter, consider the following:
Planters are made from a wide range of materials including, wood, plastic, fiberglass, clay, and fibre. Among the most important thing while picking a planter is the quality of the material. You can select a great-looking planter, but you will still lose money if the quality is poor because its service life is short.
A good tomato planter should be created from weatherproof materials to stay outdoors without incurring irreparable damage. Look for UV stable plastic, most tomato planters are made from plastic so this is a must, usually, if a tomato planter is cheap, its because the plastic is not UV treated and made from flimsy cheap plastic
Size of the planter
The number of plants you want to grow should come into consideration when selecting a planter. Remember, it is good to space out your tomato plants so that they can thrive instead of fighting for nutrients. If you want individual planters for each of your plants, there is no problem; just ensure there is enough room for the roots to thrive.
It is good to estimate how tall the plant will be so that you can pick a pot/container that will support the weight and the size of the plant once it matures. Buying a small planter will limit the plant’s growth and cause the plant to produce low yields as well as dry out far more often. When growing tomatoes in pots, I like to go for larger 10-15 litre pots. If your using a grow bag this does not matter but keeping the soil moist is much harder which is where the Hozelock tomato waterer comes in.
The capacity of the reservoir
Most tomato planters feature a reservoir because it is a sure way to keep your plants hydrated. If you are busy and away from the plants most of the day, you want to select a model with a large reservoir like our best pick. This way, your plants can get adequate water even on days when the sun is scorching hot, and you can’t water manually. A suitable planter will additionally feature a water level indicator to notify the user that it is time for a refill.
Models with a sizeable capacity save you time as you don’t always need to worry that the plants are wilting. Since it is not advisable to overwater tomatoes, selecting a model with a specified capacity is an excellent way to keep tabs on the plant’s water intake.
As tomatoes continue to grow, they get heavier, and thus they need a good support system. If you look at platers suitable for growing tomatoes, you will find ports to fit support canes. The length of the support canes matters because a tall tomato plant needs continuous support as it matures. Select a model that offers sizeable holes to fit support canes so that you don’t have to struggle while setting up.
How do you like to grow your tomatoes? Do you like using grow bags or raised beds? Regardless of your chosen method, you want a tomato planter that fits into your growing method without an elaborate setup.
For example, the Hozelock Grow Bag Waterer is suitable for those who use grow bags as all is required is to place the bag on top of the waterer, and the soil starts to absorb water. Do not limit yourself; pick a versatile model so that your plants can remain hydrated in case of any changes in your growing method.
Tips for Growing Tomatoes in Planters
Growing tomatoes can be a complicated process depending on the species of tomatoes you select. To make it easier to grow tomatoes in planters, these tips might be of help;
- The best time to sow tomato seeds in the UK is between the end of March and the beginning of April. If you plant later than that, your tomatoes will not have enough time to ripen before the season ends. Learn more about growing tomatoes from seed in this guide
- When working with clay pots, it is easier for the soil to dry out because of its porosity. Always check to see if the soil is dry and rehydrate as needed, especially on hot days. I actually recommend just avoid using clay pots for tomatoes.
- Select soil with good water retention so that you don’t have to water the plant daily.
- The best soil for planting tomatoes should have equal parts of compost, potting soil, sphagnum moss, and perlite. This soil mixture offers the most nutrients for the plants without holding on to too much water to promote pest infestation.
- Tomatoes like the sun, so you should place them in an area where they can absorb six to eight hours of sunlight. A south-facing garden is ideal.
- If your planter does not have holes for support canes, push them into the soil but not too deep to get in the way of developing roots.
- Clean your planters before using them for a new planting season; this way, any unwanted microbes can be kept from attacking the plant.
Our Final Conclusion
A lot of work goes into finding the best tomato planter and tending to the plants until the tomatoes are ripe. But, the reward comes when you are harvesting your ripe and healthy-looking tomatoes ready for use. Never settle for substandard planters; select a suitable planter so that you can continue enjoying season after season of tasty tomatoes.
Planters worth growing your tomatoes in include our best pick, the Hozelock Grow Bag Waterer, which retains water for days to keep your plants hydrated. The self-watering planter is easy to use, and it is durable, giving good value for money.
There is also the Haxnicks Tomato Climbing Patio Planter, our Runner-up, which is more affordable than the Best Pick, and it is suitable for growing around 3 plants evenly spaced in one planter. Furthermore, the planter is easy to store because it can be flat-packed.
Your tomatoes don’t have to grow in wary conditions if you can provide enough space and nutrients for them to grow. Select an excellent planter and revolutionise how you grow your tomatoes. That is it for now; tell us in the comment section which of the tomato planters attracted your attention the most.
Last update on 2021-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API