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The 5 Best Potting Soil For Tomatoes in Containers

Are you thinking about planting tomatoes in a container for the first time but aren’t sure what soil to use? Or maybe you’re an experienced gardener looking for a new soil mix to refresh your planting routine.

Our list rounds up the best potting soil for tomatoes in containers and is sure to have an option for tomato planters of all needs and experience levels!

tomatoes growing in containers probably using the best soil for tomatoes in containers

Our Top Picks

Best Overall
FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix

Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix

Most Nutrient-Rich
Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix

Best Overall

FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix

FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity Stake

FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix is our top pick for tomatoes in containers, offering a nutrient-rich blend including forest humus, moss, bat guano, earthworm castings, and sea-based meals. It excels in pH balancing with a range of 6.3 to 6.8.


  • Loaded with essential vitamins and minerals for plant nourishment
  • Contains a variety of organic materials for enhanced soil quality
  • Maintains an ideal pH level, reducing the risk of overly acidic soil


  • On the more expensive side compared to other potting mix options, but offers considerable benefits justifying the cost


Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix

Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix 0.33 Cu Ft

Ideal for budget-conscious gardeners, the Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix is cost-effective yet provides all the necessary nutrients for tomatoes in containers. It excels in water retention and aeration, and one pot of soil sustains plants for up to six months.


  • Great value for money.
  • Efficiently holds water to maintain soil moisture.
  • Supports plant health for up to six months without refreshing.
  • Easily found both online and in stores.


  • May require additional fertilization after six months for optimal plant growth.

Most Nutrient Rich

Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix

Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix - All Natural Potting Mix For All Indoor & Outdoor Containers Including Herbs & Vegetables. For Organic Gardening, 8qt. bag. Pack of 1

Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix stands out as the most nutrient-rich option, making it an ideal choice for tomatoes in containers. It boasts a diverse blend of organic materials, including sphagnum peat moss, which constitutes 35 – 45% of the mix.


  • Rich in various organic matters for plant health.
  • Includes alfalfa meal, earthworm castings, yucca extract, and more.
  • Sphagnum peat moss content makes it particularly suitable for container gardening.


  • The variety of ingredients may require more careful consideration of plant needs and compatibility.

Black Gold All Organic Potting Soil

SUNGRO HORTICULTURE Black Gold 1302040 8-Quart All Organic Potting Soil

Black Gold All Organic Potting Soil is an excellent organic option for tomatoes in containers, known for its high-grade ingredients and non-toxic manufacturing process, making it ideal for organic gardening.


  • Free from harmful chemicals and toxins.
  • Contains compost, aged bark, pumice, and perlite.
  • Promotes healthy plant growth with ample space for root development.


  • Primarily tailored for organic gardening, which may not align with all gardening practices.

FoxFarm Happy Frog Potting Soil

FoxFarm FX14047 Happy Frog pH Adjusted Organic Plant Garden Potting Soil Mix Bag, 1.5 Cubic Feet (4 Pack)

Chosen for its superior drainage capabilities, FoxFarm Happy Frog Potting Soil is perfect for container gardening, ensuring optimal moisture retention while preventing water accumulation.


  • Balanced moisture retention with perlite, forest humus, and peat moss.
  • Contains ground oyster shells for added nutrients.
  • Helps maintain suitable soil pH for tomatoes.


  • Primarily focuses on drainage, which may require additional considerations for other soil properties.

Buyer’s Guide

  • Budget:
    • Price varies based on experience in container gardening.
    • Beginners may prefer less expensive options to start.
  • pH Balance:
    • Essential for supporting plant growth.
    • Avoid soils with too low or too high pH levels.
  • Nutrient Content:
    • Check ingredients for essential vitamins and minerals.
    • Nutrient-rich soil supports healthy tomato plants.
  • Drainage Ability:
    • Choose soil with good drainage to prevent water retention.
    • Ideal soil keeps moisture without being overly wet or dry.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a potting mix different from potting soil?

The ideal choice for tomatoes in containers is a potting mix rather than pure soil. Unlike potting soil, which is just soil without added nutrients, potting mix combines potting soil with organic materials like compost and moss, ensuring the presence of essential nutrients. This distinction makes potting mix more suitable for container gardening.

Why do tomatoes grown in containers often need potting mix rather than potting soil?

Potting mix is generally favored for container gardening over potting soil for several reasons. It excels in retaining moisture and draining excess water, which is crucial in the confined space of a container to prevent root rot or other diseases. Unlike potting soil that tends to compact and restrict growth, potting mix remains looser, providing more room for tomato plants to grow.

Additionally, the varied organic materials in potting mix ensure better aeration compared to the more uniform composition of potting soil. However, high-quality potting soils like Fox Farm Happy Frog can also be effective for container tomatoes due to their similar characteristics to potting mix.

Can I make my own potting mix?

You can create your own potting mix for tomatoes in containers instead of buying one. Various recipes use organic ingredients, with a common one combining equal parts garden soil, sphagnum peat moss, perlite, and compost materials like leaves or crushed eggshells. If you’re new to container planting, starting with a pre-made mix might be easier.

Alternatively, you could experiment by growing tomatoes in both a commercial potting mix and your homemade mix to compare results and determine the best option for your container gardening.

Potting mix

Learning about the Best Soil for Tomatoes in Container

Whether you’re totally new to container planting or this is far from your first time, this list has the best soil for you! With these potting mixes, your tomatoes are sure to thrive.

If you’re interested in reading more about how to grow and care for tomatoes, check out our Tomato Plants page for more information!