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Looking for tomato garden ideas? These DIY tomato garden ideas are sure to inspire your gardening genius.
It is an excellent time to grow your own tomato garden.
I don’t know about you, but I am ITCHING to get to planting my tomato garden. Winters in my hometown of Boston are LONG, and it’s time to get out in the dirt and play.
We’ve rounded up the best tomato garden ideas and inspiration, complete with DIY hacks, from tomato trellis ideas, growing tomatoes in pots, to growing tomatoes from seed! I have personally been growing tomatoes for 7 years, from beefsteak tomatoes to cherry tomatoes–and more!
Get inspired to make some special memories in your tomato garden this summer, and get some gorgeous homegrown tomatoes for all of your summer cooking needs!
This post is all about tomato garden ideas.
Hi, I’m Leslie, the founder of PunkMed
Hey friend! I’m so glad that you stopped by today. I had a blast sharing all of my tomato garden ideas with you today, with lots of fun hacks and tips. If you’re into vegetable gardening, urban homesteading, or living a more sustainable life, stick around! There are a good number of resources on my blog, and I always love to hear from my readers (that’s you!) Feel free to send me a DM on Instagram or chat with me on TikTok!
How to Choose the Right Type of Tomato Garden for You
Before we get into the cute tomato garden ideas and their respective inspo pics, we’ll need to cover the different types of tomato gardens and which one may be best for your and your outdoor (or indoor!) space.
Growing Tomatoes in Pots
Growing tomatoes in containers is a favorite of many a vegetable garden lover. I think tomatoes in pots look so cute on a backyard deck or apartment patio!
Plus, growing tomatoes in pots can feel MUCH more manageable for the beginner gardener. I know my own tomato plants have gone a bit wild in the middle of summer, taking over my garden (whoops!)
Growing tomatoes in containers can be a great fit for you not only for the size component, but also because we tend to put containers closer to our home, so it’s easier to remember to snag your garden fresh tomatoes for a salad! There’s no sadness like realizing you didn’t pick your tomato in time!!
On the other hand, growing tomatoes in pots can make keeping the soil moist a challenge. Unlike when directly planting a tomato into the ground or earth, the water can “run through” the container, causing the soil around your tomatoes to dry out.
Also, if you use too small of a pot your tomato plant can outgrow the container, or fall over because the plant gets too tall.
Luckily, there are many solutions you can buy if you want to grow tomatoes in pots!
How to Water Tomatoes in Pots
To combat the issue of your tomato plants drying out, you can use a self watering container or an “olla,” which is basically a watering clay pot that is buried partly underground in your pot and filled with water. The water slowly seeps from the clay, and over time the tomato’s roots will grow toward the pot, easily accessing the water it needs. Plus, by filling the pot every 3-5 days, “ollas” allow greater time between waterings!
Self-watering pots can be purchased online or in-store (I’ve shared my personal recs further down)! Many of these pots also come with a support structure, and you can also DIY a support structure for tomato plants.
For these reasons, you may want to look into buying a kit that is specially made for growing full-size tomato plants or get tomato plant seeds that are specially made for containers, like these tomato seeds from one of my favorite seed companies, High Mowing Organic Seeds.
Growing Tomatoes in Planters & Raised Beds
Ok, so sometimes people interchange the word “planters” and “pots,” when it comes to gardening, which can confuse first time gardeners.
While I’m not going to be a grouchy grammarian and yell at people, I do want to point out that planters are different from pots!
Planters are often much larger than pots (usually square), and they hold more earth. A planter is usually raised up from the ground, and you can often store things under it.
One more thing! A planter and raised garden bed are also different, as a raised garden bed is often on the ground. Planters are great for people who want more room than a pot, but may be putting their planter on a deck, patio or balcony! I think they can be great for people who live in apartments or condos.
Best Finds for Growing Tomatoes in Containers, Planters & Raised Beds
- 20-Gallon Grow Bags
- Tomato Cage (provides support for growing tomatoes)
- Tomato Barrel Self-Watering Plastic Pot Planter with Trellis
- Gautreaux Elevated Planter
- Ataliah Wood Elevated Planter
- 32″ Tall Round Raised Garden Beds Outdoor For Vegetables
- Self Watering Vegetable Planter Box with Trellis (I love this option for an apartment balcony!)
- Cedar Raised Bed Garden Kit 3’x6’x11″
- Square Cedar Raised Bed Garden Kit 4’x’4’x12”
Growing Tomatoes in Garden Beds
When putting together your tomato garden, you can ALSO “direct sow” your tomato seeds into the ground (in some warm climates, AKA NOT mine!), buy seedlings from your local garden center or grow tomatoes from seed (next section).
Growing tomatoes in garden beds is a great idea if you have a good amount of room in your backyard, have decent soil quality, or if you’re like me and take up a LOT of space in your small garden with tomatoes (I really love tomatoes, ok?!)
Growing tomatoes in garden beds also makes it easier to DIY a tomato trellis, including using dowels, string, rebar, tomato cages, etc.!
However, a drawback here can be preparing your soil. If you are in a city like me (hello from Boston!), then you are going to need to invest in compost and soil additives to make your soil nutritious for your beloved tomato plants. I love using Coast of Maine Compost, earthworm castings, and organic all purpose fertilizer mix!
Some people may choose to build up the earth in their garden and build a raised garden bed around the earth, or plop down a ready made planter (like a galvanized steel planter). I like to use kits like these to form a raised bed! A raised bed often means you can build up the soil easier, and it’s easier to garden, because you’re not bending down as much!
Best Finds for Growing Tomatoes in Garden Beds
- Coast of Maine Compost
- Earthworm Castings
- Organic All Purpose Fertilizer Mix
- Espoma Organic Tomato-Tone Fertilizer
- Tomato Cage (provides support for growing tomatoes)
- Jadarius 64.2” H x 10.2” W Steel Obelisk Trellis (basically fancy tomato cages if you want your tomatoes to be the stars of your garden bed!)
- 72 inch Tomato Stakes
Growing Tomatoes from Seed
Growing tomatoes from seed is a great idea, if you’re willing to put in a little extra effort! Most garden nurseries have at least 4-5 types of tomato seeds they sell. You can dig deep (pun intended!!) into tomato gardening nerdery and try out different kinds of tomatoes
Growing tomatoes from seeds also has the added benefit of cost saving (after an initial year of investment for supplies), which is great!
Growing tomatoes from seed may be a good option for you if you want to be able to decide the SPECIFIC types of tomato varieties you want to grow, especially if you live in a climate that can make vegetable gardening difficult. Make sure you are sourcing your seeds from a seed company that grows in your specific climate! These plants will have a genetic advantage, as they are selected for thriving in similar weather conditions.
However, the downside here is that you have to think ahead, and likely start your tomatoes indoors. If you’re reading this later in the year, you can always purchase ready-to-go tomato seedlings and then then you can test growing tomatoes in different spots (indoors and in different areas of your patio or backyard) to see what works best! Think of it like A/B testing! You can see if you prefer to start with ready-to-go plants or want to grow your tomatoes from seed!
Best Finds for Growing Tomatoes from Seed
- Seed Starter Trays with Dome and Base
- Coast of Maine Organic Seed Starter (seeds actually need a special medium to germinate, don’t try to use potting mix!)
- Seedling Heat Mat (seeds need to be toasty to germinate!)
- SunBlaster LED Strip Light Kit – 36″
- Amazon Basics 4-Shelf Adjustable Storage Shelving Unit (36L x 14W x 54H) (use a steel shelving unit to store your seed trays and hang your lights safely!)
For more on starting tomatoes from seed, be sure to check out my blog posts below! That’s a pretty in-depth topic, so in this post we’ll be focusing on growing containers in pots and in garden beds!
Growing Tomatoes in Pots Ideas
Ok, in this section I’m sharing the BEST tomato garden ideas, specifically for growing tomatoes in pots or other containers (many folks love repurposing never used paint buckets for growing tomatoes!)
Tomatoes in the Driveway!
In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear talks about “habit stacking” where you take something you do regularly, and you “stack” a habit on top of it.
Here, I think Lindsay has done a GENIUS version of this. By putting her pots on the side of her house (where she parks) she sees them everyday, remembering to water them and harvest her tomatoes!
Different Types of Pots for Tomatoes
How impressive is this suite of tomatoes in pots (and a few other plants)?! Phoebe has a tower (great for strawberries!), self-watering pots and a tomato planter with supports. Genius!
DIY Tomatoes in Pots Idea
In our next photo, Kacey shows us tomato pots made into a planter, using wood! This is such a genius DIY hack. Putting tomatoes up high like this can help keep them away from rabbits and the like. I love the genius use of window boxes!
Growing Tomatoes in Garden Beds
Ok, in this section I’m sharing the BEST tomato garden ideas, specifically for growing tomatoes in garden beds.
Aesthetic Tomato Cages
How gorgeous is this tomato growing idea from @.theeverhopefulgardener? I aspire to be this aesthetic in my garden! Notice how she has set up her tomatoes in a planter (we love galvanized steel) with black tomato cages on them? These supports are critical for growing tomatoes in garden beds.
Stacks on Stacks of Tomato Cages!
For my fellow tomato lovers, you can also dedicate a WHOLE raised bed to tomatoes. Maybe mix in a few other plants (nasturtium, garlic, chives, and dill come to mind) to try to prevent aphids from attacking your garden, AKA “trap crops.”
One of the hard parts about growing tomatoes in garden beds is keeping out predators! I think aviary netting can be a great option if you’re worried about woodland creatures or birds! Here, Sandy set up netting over tomato plants to keep the birds away!
Direct Sow Tomato Seeds
If you’re into starting seeds, but you don’t have a lot of space in your home (or little kiddos or cats who knock over your seed trays), then you can try this tomato growing hack from @.floreksflockandfarm! They put disposable plastic cups over their seedlings (with ventilation)! Giving each plant a mini greenhouse!
Tomato Cages in RED
I love that this tomato cage is one of those “old school” style of cages that I grew up with, in a sort of cone shape. I love that it’s been coated to make it last longer, and make it more clear where the cage is!
DIY Wood Tomato Cage
Another option to support your tomato garden is to create a triangular shape like this DIY wood tomato cage! This makes more sense for tomatoes that vine (in my opinion, as they can crawl up the structure on all sides.
DIY Tomato Trellis
How cool is this “cattle panel” trellis from @.thewhittygardener! For a setup like this you will probably have to “tie” your tomatoes to the trellis, so they know where to go!
Red Solo Cups for Tomato Plants
Here, @.grayfoxgardens gives a great idea for growing tomatoes in garden beds using red solo cups to start them and then transplant them! Genius! This kind of method also makes it much easier to “plop” the cup (with plant!) down to space them appropriately along the tomato support!
A few more tomato garden resources
Before you go, I wanted to share 3 of my favorite gardening books to help you with your tomato garden. I have personally found these booksto be incredibly helpful!
- Raised-Bed Gardening for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Start and Sustain a Thriving Garden
- All New Square Foot Gardening
- Weedless Gardening
This post was all about tomato garden ideas.