Ever wonder which way is better for growing your tomato plants? Me too! So, I put this question to the test!
I’ve always done in ground plants because that’s how we did it growing up, and we didn’t have a greenhouse until this year. Adding the greenhouse into the equation made me want to try all kinds of plants in pots, but especially tomatoes. I’m slightly obsessed with homegrown tomatoes and the sooner I can get my hands on them, the better!
I was able to start to start all of my plants early thanks to the greenhouse, so they all got started at the same time. When they got a few inches tall, I transplanted 75% of them to my big in ground garden but left 25% of them in their large pots. The pots I used have an 18-inch diameter. They were large enough I was able to put cages in them to support the tomatoes.
After I transplanted the majority of them to the outside garden, my greenhouse ones grew much more quickly than those. They were easily 5 times bigger after just a few weeks. It was still getting fairly cold here at night, so the greenhouse ones stayed much warmer, hence the getting larger quicker.
In the middle of May, I had to move my greenhouse plants outside, but kept them in their pots because the greenhouse was getting too hot, and it was actually killing them. They perked back up quickly once I got them out of there thankfully.
First week of June, the potted tomato plants are 6 feet tall, covered in green tomatoes and tons of blooms. My in-ground ones are about half that size and don’t have any tomatoes on them and just now starting to get some blooms.
With the potted plants, they became so top heavy it has been challenging keeping them from tipping over. I had to use steel posts next to them and tie string from the tomato cage to the steel post to keep them upright.
Personally, I like both ways and will continue to do both but prefer planting them directly in the ground. You don’t have to water as often, and they are easier to keep from tipping over. If you don’t have the option to plant in the ground, I would definitely use pots, it works well! Bugs don’t seem to gravitate towards the potted one like the ground one which is a major bonus!
At the end of the day, they both produce well, and they both have pros and cons, but you can’t go wrong with either one! Which way do you use?