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The 5 Absolute Best 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 soil for tomatoes in containers and is sure to have an option for tomato planters of all needs and experience levels!

Keep reading to find the perfect potting mix for you and your garden.

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

Our overall award for best soil for tomatoes in containers goes to the FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix! This product checks every box for the perfect potting mix.

The FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix contains all sorts of vitamins and minerals that will keep your tomato plant well nourished. For example, this soil contains organic materials like forest humus, moss, bat guano, earthworm castings, and sea-going fish & crab meal.

Not only is this soil chock full of nutrients, but it’s also great at pH balancing. It has an adjusted pH between 6.3 and 6.8, so your plants aren’t in danger of soil that’s too acidic.

The only downside is that it’s one of the more expensive soil mix options.

However, based on the huge benefits it has, it’s definitely worth the price!


Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix

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

Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix is our go-to if you’re gardening on a budget.

We rate this the best soil for tomatoes in containers for its price because it won’t hurt your wallet while still delivering everything that your tomato plants need.

This potting mix is great at holding water and expands to promote aeration. One pot of soil can also house your plant for up to six months without having to refresh it, so it will keep your plants healthy for quite a while.

Finally, The Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro Concentrated Planting Mix is easy to find online and in stores, so it’s accessible as well as inexpensive.

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

While all the potting mixes on this list contain beneficial nutrients, the Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix takes the cake for the most nutrient-rich of them all!

We’ve named this the best soil for tomatoes in containers if you’re looking for a nutrient-rich mixture because it contains so many different types of organic matter.

Importantly, 35 – 45% of Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix is made up of sphagnum peat moss, which is an essential ingredient for container gardening.

Within this percentage, there’s a huge diversity of organic materials that will maintain your tomato plant’s health.

This brand of potting mix contains alfalfa meal, limestone, earthworm castings, yucca extract, feather meal, kelp meal, and perlite, just to name a few of its natural ingredients.

Black Gold All Organic Potting Soil

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

If you’re looking for an organic option to use with your tomatoes, Black Gold All Organic Potting Soil is the one for you.

We picked this brand of potting mix as the best soil for tomatoes in containers because its top-grade ingredients and manufacturing process make it extremely well-suited for organic container gardening.

Part of what makes Black Gold All Organic Potting Soil so unique is that it’s made using non-toxic manufacturing processes. This means that this soil will keep your plants away from harmful chemicals and toxins every step of the way!

The soil itself is made up of high-quality organic ingredients that include compost and aged bark.

With the help of pumice and perlite, it also provides great aeration that will allow your tomato plant the space it needs to grow.

FoxFarm Happy Frog Potting Soil

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

Last but not least, we have our pick for the best soil for tomatoes in containers when it comes to soil drainage!

Proper soil drainage is essential when container gardening and the FoxFarm Happy Frog Potting Soil is sure to get the job done.

This potting soil strikes the tough balance of retaining enough moisture so that the plant is watered properly while still making sure that it doesn’t accumulate too much water.

Specifically, this brand of soil drains so well with the help of ingredients like perlite, forest humus, and peat moss.

One other unique feature of the FoxFarm Happy Frog Potting Soil is that it contains ground oyster shells to add a boost of nutrients and help balance pH.

What to Consider When Picking the Best Soil

Tomato plants in a container with soil similar to the best soil for tomatoes in containers

There are a variety of factors that you should probably keep in mind when picking the best soil for tomatoes in containers.

Some of these considerations, like the price of the soil, might depend on the amount of experience you have in container gardening.

For you, the best soil for tomatoes in containers might be the one that puts the smallest strain on your budget. if you’re a beginner gardener, you might not want to invest in super-pricy soil before you have a solid idea of what works for you and your plants.

As you’ll be able to see from the selections in our list, there’s a wide range of price options for potting mixes, so choose what works best for you!

Another important factor that you should keep in mind when picking soil for container growing is its ability to maintain a pH balance.

If the soil’s pH gets too low or too high, it won’t be able to support plant growth, and your tomatoes could die on the vine.

The best soil for tomatoes in containers also needs to contain nutrients that will help the tomato plant stay healthy. Pay attention to the ingredients list to make sure that your tomatoes will get the vitamins and minerals they need.

Finally, the soil mix’s drainage ability is another big characteristic to think about. A soil mix that drains well will prevent too much water retention but will keep the soil damp without drying it out completely.


Now that you’ve learned all about the best soil for tomatoes in containers, there are still a few important questions that may need answering before making your final choice.

How is a potting mix different from potting soil?

Technically, the best soil for tomatoes in containers is a mix rather than soil!

While potting mix and potting soil may sound like the same thing, they’re actually two separate substances with different make-ups.

Potting soil is often defined as “pure soil.” This means that it’s not enhanced by any other nutrients.

On the other hand, all potting mixes do include nutrients. Specifically, potting mix is a combination of potting soil and organic materials like compost and moss.

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

There are a few important differences that make potting mix better suited to container gardening.

For example, potting soil often doesn’t retain moisture or drain as well as potting mix.

Therefore, it’s important that tomatoes in containers are grown in a potting mix because it’s easy for water to get trapped in the small space of a container and create root rot or other diseases.

Potting soil also compacts more easily, which causes problems in the small growing space of a container.

Potting mix is naturally a little looser, it’s less likely to compact and gives the tomato plant more room to grow.

Similarly, a potting mix also provides better aeration than potting soil does.

Because potting mix contains different organic materials, it aerates more effectively as opposed to single-ingredient potting soil.

As a side note, the Fox Farm Happy Frog Potting Soil mentioned in this list as the overall best soil for tomatoes in containers is acceptable to use for growing tomatoes in containers because it’s so high quality that it has similar characteristics to the potting mix.

Can I make my own potting mix?

Potting mix

Yes, you can make your own potting mix if you’d rather not purchase one of our contenders for best soil for tomatoes in containers!

There are lots of different potting mix recipes out there that use a variety of organic ingredients.

One common recipe for potting mix includes equal parts of garden soil, sphagnum peat moss, perlite, and compost materials like leaves, crushed eggshells, or other food scraps.

If you’re just starting out with container planting, though, you might want to rely on one of the pre-made mixes until you get the hang of things.

You could also grow one pot with a pre-made potting mix and a second pot with your homemade potting mix to see how your own potting mix does! Then you’ll really be able to figure out what is the best soil for tomatoes in containers.

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!