Ripening tomatoes

How to grow tomatoes in a growing bag

Find out how to grow tomatoes in a growing bag, indoors or outdoors, with the help of our step-by-step guide.

Do it:

May, Jun

Takes just:

30 minutes

At its best:

Jul, Aug, Sep

Greenhouse tomatoes and outdoor tomatoes are often planted in specialist growing bags.

Find out all you need to know about growing tomatoes in our tomato Grow Guide.

A good alternative to a growing bag is to try planting in a 60 or 75-litre sack of multipurpose compost. This will provide your plants with a larger rooting area and stop them drying out in hot weather, which is better for the plants and means less watering for you.

You can either plant the tomatoes directly into the growing or compost bag, or you can try using a growing ring to increase the amount of compost the roots sit in. This is said to increase the amount of water and nutrients available to each plant and therefore increase crops.

Follow our step-by-step guide to planting tomatoes into a growing bag or multipurpose compost.

You will need

  • Two or three tomato plants
  • 60 or 75-litre growing bag or bag of multi-purpose compost
  • Knife or scissors
  • Hand fork
  • Trowel
  • Growing ring (optional)


Soak pots of young tomato plants in a tray of water for an hour to ensure the compost is fully moistened, which will help reduce root damage during transplanting. Lay the growing bag in a sunny position and shake it to dislodge any compacted compost inside. 

Cut a slot out of the bag to expose the compost for planting into. Use a hand fork to further dislodge compacted compost if necessary.

If planting straight into the compost, use a hand trowel to create a planting hole and gently knock the plant out of its original pot. Place your tomato plant in the planting hole, replacing the compost and firming gently. Allow two plants for a 60 litre bag of compost,or three plants for a 75 litre bag. Water in well.

You can either plant the tomatoes directly into the growing or compost bag, or you can try using a growing ring.

If using a growing ring, push this into the compost before planting the tomato plant. Then plant as you would otherwise, taking care to water well and firm the compost around the plant.

It's a good idea to grow companion plants - such as French marigold, Tagetes, to deter whitefly from attacking your plants. Place one plant into the planting hole next to the tomato.

One of the benefits of using a growing ring is that when you water the plant, water is directed straight to the roots and doesn't run off the surface of the compost. Make sure you water regularly and, once flowers appear, feed weekly with a high-potash fertiliser to increase your crop.


Discover more ideas and inspiration

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