potting soil and container questions?

i have a few questions about potting soil and growing plants in containers.

1. how much does a bag of potting soil cost? im looking at the big bags i believe they are 40 pounds. i tried looking online but not even home depot had the pricing :/

2. when growing plants in a container such as a 5 gal bucket must the entire bucket be used/filled for planting or can i simply cut off like half of the bucket. this is to save money on soil. im trying to grow tomatoes in 5gal buckets but we don't really have a lot of soil to begin with and i don't have any money to spend to buy soil. i want the plants to grow as healthy as possible.

3. will anything less then a 5 gal be bad for the tomatoe plants? im looking at a pot we have in the house it's about idk maybe 2-4gals. im wanting to use it but don't want to damage my plants roots system or harm them.


alright thanks i won't cut the buckets i guess i will try fill it up as much as i can to provide a good root system.

Update 2:

1. oh really im broke $0 and you say that can buy me soil 0.0 yea i don't think anyone will give me about 100 pounds of soil for free.

2. i have checked online. i am not stupid thats the first thing i do. If i am asking a question on here is mainly because i want feed backs from other people and what they think. not because i didn't do research.

and yes they are still in their starter trays they just sprouted today about 3 of them about 2 more will be sprouting again 2morow/tonight. i won't be transplanting them until later as some people suggested/ i researched about.

Update 3:

oh and also i did look up on how to tie them. i have watched video after videos on planting tomatoes on youtube by various gardeners. but like i said i want opinons this is after all a forum. simply if you don't like what the user asks don't answer at all. simple as that. i do appreciate the help that many people give but i don't appreciate the attitudes. like i said im not stupid research is what i go to first.

5 Answers

  • M W
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I grow tomatoes (one to a bucket) in 3 gallon buckets from the Dollar Store. Drill holes in the bottom, put a coffee filter over them, and fill with dirt.

    Any nursery in your area usually has big bags of potting soil. I pay $18.00 for a huge bag that fills about 8 buckets.

    The buckets will last for 3 or 4 years. Don't cut them down, because they will be hard to move around if you do that. Leave the handles. A tomato cage fits down nicely inside the bucket.

    When you plant in containers, they need food at least once a week and water more often than if they were in the ground.

    In the fall, when I clean up the buckets and dump the dirt and root balls on my compost pile, there is still loose soil and they aren't root bound, which can be a problem in small pots.

  • bellac
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    I just purchased from Home Depot, a 2 cubic Miracle Grow soil bag. That was last week, and they are still the same price today. Don't worry about the size of the container. The worry should be directed at the plant, itself, and the starters in-between the stems. These should always be remove. Once the plant is in the pot, use a tomato cage to surround it. Thereafter, once it starts growing steadily and you see flowers, trim the stems without the flowers to allow the air and sun in. I not only use a tomato cage, but I also use bamboo sticks to tie to the cages and allow the stems of the bamboo to be extended above the cage for the indeterminates. Use ties to attach these bamboo sticks. I use the Mittleider method to nourish my plants.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Are you plants still in those starter trays you asked about the other day? (Yesterday?) Why didn't you just go to Home Depot or Lowes? It's not like the soil cost as much as gold. I can afford it, and I'm permanently broke. How much? I don't remember. It's been a couple of months.

    Do you know you need to drill holes in the bottom of the buckets? And once drilled, then you need something to cover them up (because soil will go out, if you don't), but something that will let the water drain out easily. I use old terra cotta pot shards, because I have them, but other people use coffee filters or screening, like from old screens on your windows. Still others use the screens used for the bottom of bonsai pots, and some use pebbles, but pebbles make the container heavier then needed.

    How big a pot? How big do you want your tomatoes to grow? I've seen people grow tomatoes in 8 inch (wide) pots, but the tomatoes only get to be about 1-2 feet tall, and not as many tomatoes as your typical plant. I want full fledged plants - indeterminates, so they grow as much as they want as long as they can (but I have four season and your in HI.) Tomatoes are annuals, but I don't know how big they get if there is not frost killing them eventually. So, I do go for the 5-gallon containers, and, I'm like you, not into spending my money on soil, if the plants aren't going to use it anyway. So, I fill the bottom of the containers with upside down soda cans. (Empty, of course.) Upside down, so the water doesn't just sit in the cans forever, causing waterborne diseases, 1 can deep on the bottom, so about the length of a soda can. (I sometimes crush my cans, so end up using a lot more, but still only about the same depth as I would have used, had I remembered I needed uncrushed cans. lol

    And, sure, you can use the 2-4 gallon can too. We had some extra tomatoes volunteer (right smack in our carrot container, so we lost the carrots for the tomato plants. lol) That is only about a 3 gallon container and holding three plants. They started later then the 5-gallon container tomatoes, but we have to look at the containers to figure out which one that is. (The tomatoes have caught up to the same height as the others.)

    I also put two tomato plants in one 5-gallon container. Then again, I only grow grape tomatoes or patio tomatoes in them (smaller than full-size tomatoes), so it's crowded, but works fine. The big size tomatoes (the Cherokee Purple and Beefsteak) are also together in a container but that one is 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep (with soda cans on the bottom too.)

    And since you don't seem to want to do your own research on how to grow your plants at all, you'll also want to know you will need someway to tie up your plants. They will grow tall and wide, so it's up to you to learn how to control what they do, or they will fall over from their own weight and be a royal mess.

    And, since I don't live in HI, I live in Philly, we don't have to deal with wild hogs. That's another thing you'll have to learn how to deal with, assuming you have them around you. (If you live in Honolulu, I doubt the wild hogs are a big problem. lol) They like veggies and will go after any plant you grow, if you don't figure out how to deal with them.

    Really, you can find out all this stuff by searching online. The disadvantage of doing it your way is people only answer what you ask most of the time, so you miss out on all the stuff that doesn't dawn on you, until it's too late. That's what most of us do. Just saying.

    Good luck.

  • layman
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    i might use new soil the soil you have interior the packing containers is probable crammed with roots from final years flora. attempt utilizing Miracle soil that's the superb stuff. good success and function exciting planting.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    problematic subject. seek over yahoo or google. just that can help!

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.