Got No Pot? Grow Tomatoes Right in the Bag!

Here in Humboldt County, it’s time to plant warm-season vegetables like tomatoes, zucchini and more. But some of us don’t have a plot of land to work, and sometimes, there’s not enough cash to buy a pot. I mean, have you seen the cost of pots these days? Some of them can run pretty steep.

Planting high-yield crops right in the potting soil bag is a trick I learned when I worked at a nursery years ago. It’s cheap, effective and fast.

Beyond the ease and the price, there is another advantage to planting this way. If you’ve ever gotten late blight or other diseases on your tomatoes, you’ll know that you’re not supposed to plant the same crop in that spot for three years to make sure the disease won’t come back. Planting right in a fresh, sterile bag of potting soil avoids all of these soil-borne diseases and allows you to have a great crop every year with little planning or expense.

My friend Fern from Life on the Balcony is a container gardening expert (she literally wrote the book!), and we created a video together showing you how to do this:

The most important elements:

  • Start with a high-quality potting soil, especially if you’re using plants that need a lot of nutrients like tomatoes or squash. I’m a Gardner and Bloome girl since I’m a totally organic gardener (their Eden Valley Blend feels like velvet!).
  • Choose varieties that will do well in a container (I love the ‘Sun Sugar’ grafted tomato from Log House Plants, as well as the ‘Astia’ patio zucchini seeds from Renee’s Garden).
  • You don’t need to fertilize for the first six weeks, as a high-quality potting soil has the nutrients to you get started. After that, one application of a granular organic fertilizer will get you through the rest of the season.

Beyond that, it’s pretty simple, as you can see from the video! If you haven’t gotten around to preparing a raised bed this year or you just don’t have the space, try this technique on for size and see how it works for you.

Disclosure: Gardner and Bloome paid to create this video with me, but the reason they invited me is that I’ve been using their organic soils and fertilizers in my business for years (I just bought half a pallet of fertilizer for all the gardens I maintain!), so the opinions here are definitely my own.

7 responses to “Got No Pot? Grow Tomatoes Right in the Bag!”

  1. Great post! Growing tomatoes in pots is very easy and doesn’t take a a lot of time to take care of your plants! I also grow little sweet bell peppers at my balcony! Not only I enjoy my fresh vegetables, but also my balcony look great, kind of Mediterranean style!
    Thank you for the tips 🙂

  2. Great idea…the bag is strong, gives plenty of soil for plants to root into, and as you say, no need to fertilize for a while. My only concern in places like here, is to keep the bag out of mid-day and afternoon sun, or perhaps it might not hold its shape or strength? (but I could be wrong!)

  3. Great post! Thanks so much for the tips. Everything is expensive these days and being creative beats spending a lot of money on a simple plant pot.