There are a lot of things that only work in one, specific way. Thankfully, gardening is not one of those, especially tomato gardens!
Gardens can look a million different ways, depending on the budget, space, and time the gardener has to commit to the garden.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best tomato garden ideas out there. We’ll cover items you can plant your garden in, items with which you can keep your plants healthy, and ways to keep your tomato plants watered. Read on for 21 of the best tomato garden ideas for your backyard!
Tomato Garden Ideas: Planting
A tomato garden doesn’t have to mean perfectly manicured rows of plants in the ground. Here are some tomato garden ideas that will ensure you get to enjoy fresh tomatoes, no matter where you live!
Five Gallon Buckets
Just because you don’t have a lot of space to dedicate to your tomato garden doesn’t mean you can’t have one. We’ve got a great tomato garden idea for you!
All you need to do to your five-gallon bucket is flip it over and drill holes in the bottom for drainage. Then add some potting mix with something organic, like peat moss, added, put in your seedling, and water it well. Voila! You’ve now got a tomato garden!
Upside Down in Hanging Pot
If conventional things aren’t your cup of tea, this will be one of your favorite tomato garden ideas.
Not only does it look interesting, but growing a tomato plant upside down also helps protect it from many fungal and bacterial diseases that come from direct contact with the soil.
You can buy pre-made hanging pots on Amazon, but you can also make one yourself by drilling out a main three-inch hole in the bottom of a bucket surrounded by 5-6 other small holes to aid in circulation.
Waist-High Raised Bed
If you’re looking for a way to save your back from hurting while tending and harvesting your tomatoes, this is is the tomato garden ideas for you!
Waist-high raised beds allow you to tend to your tomato garden while standing up. No need to squat, bend, or fold to get to your delicious fruits.
If you’re handy, you can build one, but if not, you can buy this one on Amazon.
Old Storage Bin
This tomato garden idea only requires an old storage bin, like one you’d store off-season clothes in.
Simply flip it over, drill plenty of holes for drainage, and then fill it up with your organic soil mixture. The pro of this method is that you can plant up to four seedlings in an average-sized bin, since they only need about two feet of space between each plant.
If aesthetics are really important to you and the idea of having a plastic bucket sitting on your balcony or porch makes you cringe, here’s a tomato garden idea for you.
Simply get a large decorative planter, and plant your tomato plant in it!
Fabric Plant Bag
A fabric plant bag is simply a bag made out of fabric that you plant something in. It’s actually an ingenious tomato garden idea.
Not only are the bags easy to move to ensure your plants are getting the right amount of sunlight, but the fabric, which is similar to a reusable grocery bag, allows for air to circulate, leading to healthier roots on your tomato plants.
Bags are readily available at most hardware or gardening stores, or you could buy a pack of five online.
If you’ve got kids, you may have heard of a stock tank pool, but one of our tomato garden ideas is using a stock tank as a garden planter! Not only are they trendy, they’re a great size to use as a raised bed.
Simply drill holes across the bottom for drainage, then fill it up with organic potting mix, and as many seedlings as can fit while still allowing for two feet of space between each plant.
Stock tanks are available at all farming equipment stores, as well as online.
While it’s among the pricer tomato garden ideas, a hydroponic system is a fantastic solution for anyone not able or wanting to plant a garden outside. If you live somewhere with a brutal summer but love a garden-fresh tomato, this probably sounds miraculous!
A hydroponic system uses nutrient-dense water to grow plants instead of soil. Most systems also come with grow lights, ensuring the plants get exactly the right amount of light every day.
They’re available to purchase on Amazon, this one even includes some plants to get started!
Tomato Garden Ideas: Staking
Indeterminate tomatoes will grow as big as they can and require support to thrive. Even some determinate varieties need a little help. But you can get creative with what you have lying around with these ideas.
The great thing about PVC pipes is that they’re affordable and versatile.
If the tomatoes you’re growing need a full tomato cage, use 1/2″ thick pipes for a lightweight DIY cage. If the variety needs more of a trellis to help it thrive, you can arch longer pieces and attach chicken wire to them with zip ties to create a DIY trellis.
You can buy PVC at local hardware stores. Keep in mind that if you don’t have something to cut it with at home, they’ll do it for you in the store when you buy it.
Antique Wooden Ladder
Not only would an antique wooden ladder be an eye-catching addition to your tomato garden, but it could also act as a trellis for your tomato plant.
This is a tomato garden idea that will help you reuse and recycle things you’ve already got lying around. There are few things better than giving something well-loved and well-used a second life as something completely different!
Whether you’re looking for tomato garden ideas to save money or just to have a rustic look to your garden, using natural branches as tomato stakes is a great idea.
Using stakes is best when you’ve got a determinate variety that just needs a little extra help and support to stand up strong. The less the plant touches the soil, the better.
To make this idea work, simply find some branches three feet long, bury them several inches into the soil next to the base of your plant, and loosely tie the main stem to the branch with some twine as it grows.
Recycled Crib Mattress Support
If you’re through having kids (or know someone who is!) this is a great tomato garden idea to make use of a piece of your retired crib.
Place your mattress support perpendicular to the ground and pound a couple of scraps of wood (equal in height) into the ground on each side to act as support and attach the support to the wood pieces with some zip ties.
Plant your tomato seedlings in the ground on each side and use the wire of the support as a tomato cage for your growing plants.
Recycled Bicycle Wheels
This tomato garden idea works for a tomato garden that will be planted up against a fence or the side of a house.
Collect old, unneeded bicycle wheels and attach them to the solid surface at varying heights. Plant your tomato seedlings up against the wall and use the spokes of the wheels to act as a cage to give some support to your plants.
Cattle panels can create beautiful arches in gardens, giving it a Secret Garden feel at the peak of the season when the indeterminate tomatoes have grown all the way up to meet in the middle.
Though some of these tomato garden ideas can sound a bit complicated, this one is as simple as buying a long piece of cattle panel, at least 14′ long, and arching it between two raised beds or two sections of your garden. Plant your indeterminate tomato seedlings on each side and watch them grow to meet in the middle of the panel.
Small Trees and a Nylon Net
Use what you’ve already got around and string a nylon net between two nearby, small trees to create your own trellis.
This pick from my list of tomato garden ideas can easily be taken down at the end of the season and is extremely cost-effective. You can buy nylon netting on Amazon.
Spray Paint Store-Bought Cages
This tomato garden idea is solely to add a little pizazz to your tomato garden. Take a cage you bought from somewhere like Home Depot or Amazon, get some bright spray paints, and get to spraying!
This will just add a pop of color and fun to your garden.
Scrap Wood Cage
If woodwork is something you already do regularly, you’ve probably got enough scrap wood to make this tomato garden idea happen!
Simple take your scraps, strip them all down to be roughly the same size, and build a cage roughly 18-24″ tall. Tomato gardening doesn’t have to be difficult or fussy. Just use what you’ve got.
Speaking of using what you’ve got, if you’ve got a wire fence around the outside or your yard and it gets good sun, use it as a lattice and support for your tomato plants!
Simply plant your seedlings next to it and gently tie the stem to the fence as it grows.
Tomato Garden Ideas: Watering
Tomato season is over the summer, and for a lot of people, summer means vacation. Let’s talk about tomato garden ideas that will keep your plants watered, even if you’re away from home.
Recycled Soda Bottle
Before you do any planting, poke or drill 15-20 holes around the entire bottle, even the bottom. Then put a knee-high nylon sock over it to prevent dirt from getting in the bottle during the next step.
Next, dig a hole deep enough to fit the entire bottle except for the lid. Plant your tomato seedlings around the bottle.
When it’s time to water the tomatoes, simply use a funnel to fill up the bottle. It will act as an underground irrigation system and water will only come out of the holes as needed, keeping the roots nice and moist.
Large Plastic Trash Can
This is the same idea as the soda bottle on a larger scale.
Drill holes in a plastic trash can, bury it among your tomato seedlings, and let it do the watering for you. A pro of this watering solution is that it will also catch and collect rainwater, keeping your water bill lower.
Self-Watering Five-Gallon Bucket
This tomato garden idea takes a little more explaining than can happen in this post, but the idea is that you can use an old cotton towel, a couple of buckets, a sponge, and some PVC pipe to make your own self-watering container garden that will last 2-3 days between waterings.
There are a ton of tutorials out there. Simply search for a “self-watering five-gallon bucket” to find one that will work for you.
Wrapping up Tomato Garden Ideas
This isn’t the end of the ideas, only the beginning. Hopefully this sparked some amazing ideas of your own to try in your garden. Share them with us in the comments!
Excited for more tomato content? Then visit our tomato page for growing tips, comprehensive guides, and tasty recipes!