Foodlovers Foodtalk Forum

Growing tomatoes in bags

Posted by Gail E 
Growing tomatoes in bags
October 17, 2006 05:02AM
Has anyone any experience with growing tomatoes in bags. If so, can you tell me the following please?

1/ What is the ideal "brew" to grow them in... bagged compost/ vege mix or something else?

2/ Do I put lots of drainage holes in the bottom of the bag prior to planting?

3/ Do they require more than the normal watering?

4/ How many plants should I put in each ..say 40L...bag?

Any other helpful tips would be really appreciated.

Thanks from Graeme ( Gail E's husband)
Re: Growing tomatoes in bags
October 17, 2006 04:20PM
Hi Graeme ,I grow tomatoes in black bags in our tunnel house.I think the size is PB29,but your nursery could confirm that.I have had my bags for 10 years and just wash out after use each year and store till the next season.I use tomato potting mix,I think it is the brand that starts with Y has an A then T the E then S.I hope Im not advertising, Helen??If I cant get that type I use barrel or tub mix and put some tomato fertliser into it and mix well.Dont forget to wear gloves and do it out doors or wear a mask.The drainage in the bags is good as holes are all ready in the bottom of the bags.I grow 1 tomato and three basil plants in each bag.I water well when planting,then just water when needed till fruit sets,then dont let dry out.I stake and tie as needed.If growing in glass or tunnel house,nip the bottom leaves off to let the air circulate and helps keep plants healthy.Remove laterals when big enough to nip out.The basil helps keep the whitefly away and in altenative bags I grow 3 small marigolds for the same reason.Dont know if it helps,but was told it does and it is companion gardening,and looks pretty.Feed with liquid fetiliser after tomatoes have set and every now and again according to the instructions.I hope this is a little help?Email me if I can help any more.

Cheers Joy

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/17/2006 04:23PM by joy.
Re: Growing tomatoes in bags
October 17, 2006 04:44PM
Just goes to show there's more than one way to interpret a question. I thought Graeme was talking about growing tomatoes in the big bags of potting mix that you can buy at garden centres and hardware stores. Slit it along the length and plant the seedlings is what I thought he was going to do. Good idea. Now we need some specifics from someone who has done this successfully.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/17/2006 04:46PM by Lorna.
Re: Growing tomatoes in bags
October 17, 2006 05:25PM
Thanks Joy...but I was thinking along the lines of growing in bags such as Lorna has spoken of. We'd love to do it properly but space and $$ are miniscule in our household so the cheapest option is the only one available to us at present.
If anyone has succeeded in growing marties this way, please tell us - in the meantime I'll ask at a nursery.

Thanks girls
Re: Growing tomatoes in bags
October 17, 2006 08:15PM
Graeme,It sounds as if you are going to grow in potting mix??If so you can just add tomato fertliser and grow in the slit bag or what about tipping mix ect into old large buckets and growing that way?I have done this,but make drainage holes in the bottom.
Re: Growing tomatoes in bags
October 17, 2006 10:01PM
Thanks Joy, will give your suggestion a bash and then hope for the best. However, would we be able to grow plants in bagged compost with the tom. fertiliser added or would the mixture be too potent? I only ask as Gail has sveral bags of compost here and the garden itself is full to the top with soil/compost and plants so I can't add any more compost at present.
Re: Growing tomatoes in bags
October 17, 2006 10:53PM
I think as long as you made drainage holes in the bags it should be ok.If you think the tom fertliser might be too rich,dont add any,just plant and watch and see if any needed.You can all ways liquid feed if you think a boost is necessary.Staking might be a problem,depending where you want to grow them.Read the nutrient content on the bag and go from there.Good luck.
Re: Growing tomatoes in bags
October 18, 2006 01:09AM
Many thanks Joy, you're a whizz!
Graeme & Gail
Re: Growing tomatoes in bags
October 18, 2006 05:34PM
Hi Graeme and Gail

I have done this method for two years now. I use a good quality potting mixture bag and slit squares for the tomatoes to grow in. I use tomato slow release fertiliser and a bit of compost added. I have done this with the cherry tomatoes and put two to a bag. These are grown on our balcony and I use bamboo stakes to stake them. They last well into summer months and good when you don't have a vege garden.

Hope this helps.


Re: Growing tomatoes in bags
October 18, 2006 06:57PM
Thanks Jude, sounds just the ticket. We were abit concerned about using straight compost so will do as both you and Joy suggest & use a potting mix with the recommended additives. Hopefully we will have tomatoes for Africa, come summer.

Gail & Graeme.
Re: Growing tomatoes in bags
October 18, 2006 10:10PM
Hi Jude

How do you get the stakes to stay up? I would have thought that there wouldn't be enough depth of potting mix to hold them. I am assuming you use a 40l bag on its side rather than on the end.
Re: Growing tomatoes in bags
October 19, 2006 01:35AM
Good thead. I have been thinking of planting cherry toms in bags this year also as the spots I have used in past years are taken up with either strawberries or misc plants. I also wondered what you would do about staking but after reading above about putting a bag on the balcony I'm thinking maybe I can plant close to the railing on our balcony and tie the plant to that as it grows. Now I just have to convince hubby to lug the bag of potting mix upstairs and move some of his precious plants from the balcony.
Re: Growing tomatoes in bags
October 19, 2006 02:02PM
It seems it would be logical to have the potting mix bag standing on a long edge, not flat, and perhaps supported by something so that it doesn't fall over. That would give the roots more depth to grow down. Or are tomatos shallow-rooted and not needing that depth? You can tell I'm not a gardener, can't you!
Re: Growing tomatoes in bags
October 19, 2006 04:15PM

Yes I do use the bags on the side (not standing as Lorna suggests) and as Tracey says I have a railing on the balconey which I tie the bamboo stakes to and then use old panyhose to secure the tomato 'branches' to the stakes. Hope this makes sense!


Re: Growing tomatoes in bags
October 19, 2006 10:27PM
Bother - I don't have any railings.
Sorry, you can't reply to this topic. It has been closed.
Copyright Foodlovers. All rights reserved.