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How deep are your tomato pots?

Posted by loribee2 CA 10 (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 7, 11 at 20:53

I've started my tomato seedlings in 2.5" yogurt cups. In a couple weeks, I'll probably be looking to pot them up into something that will take them to my transplant date of mid-May. I'm wondering what size pot to order. Last year, I potted them up using 1 Quart plastic paint cans. They're about 5" in diameter and 6" deep, but they were close to a buck a piece--fine when I was only starting a few tomatoes. Now, I've got about 20, some of which I'll give away. I need a cheaper alternative.

I've found some nice plastic pots you can get on line, 100 for about $20, but the 4" pots are only 4" deep. Given that I need to "sink" my tomato seedling down in the new pot, that's not giving me much space to do so.

What do you use to pot-up your tomatoes? Am I over-thinking the depth thing, and simply going wider is fine?

Here is a link that might be useful: my blog

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How deep are your tomato pots?

Okay, so I just browsed tomato photos over on the tomato forum, and I'm seeing a lot of Solo 16 oz "kegger cups" as I call them. Buy in bunches at Costco and they're a good 5" deep. Would you all consider that the standard?

RE: How deep are your tomato pots?

I don't know if its the standard, but that's what I'm using. :)

RE: How deep are your tomato pots?

I would say those cups would be the norm for re-purposing items for cheap. Lg yogurt and cottage cheese size containers would work too. I love you paint can idea!

My largest container is 6" deep before the go into the garden, they seem happy at that depth.

I love that you called them 'kegger cups'.

I hope that helps


RE: How deep are your tomato pots?

Except for some plants like bananas, hibiscus and Angel Trumpets, I have never, ever, seen a reason to put seedlings into anything larger than a 3" wide, 2.5" deep pot. A waste of space and potting soil and when they are transplanted, a bunch of the potting mix will remain in the cup/container.

I mass sow seeds and once they get 3" or so tall, with a couple sets of true leaves, transplant them into the 3" or this year, the 2.25" nursery trays. Even if I had only 30-50 plants, I still wouldn't transplant into anything larger than an 8-ounce Dixie cup.

If you plan on selling plants to the public, then yeah, I can see transplanting into 6" wide, 4" deep pots. Start them early, get them to the stage where there is a bloom or two, stick a small stake in the pot and time the plant to it and then price them at $6.95 each and watch the fools who will buy them and maybe get a ripe tomato five days earlier than the one who buys a plant in a 2.5" cell for 75�!

If I was a retailer who didn't care about my reputation, I would start about 64 of these plants next December or early January. I may di it anyway, though!


RE: How deep are your tomato pots?

The standard size pot many pros use for tomato transplants is a square plastic pot four inches wide and 3 3/8 inch deep, and costs about 5.8 cents each wholesale, but you have to buy a case of 880 pots to get that price. The cheap skate growers use a 3.3 inch square pot that is four inches deep that cost 4.6 cents each wholesale, which gives less room for roots to grow but saves money because you don't need as much potting soil to fill it, and you can fit more of the pots in a given area.

RE: How deep are your tomato pots?

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I think I'll go with the Solo cups, since I think I can fit more of them in my tray than standard 4" pots.

RE: How deep are your tomato pots?

I have yet to buy my first pot to use in my propagation program. All my pots are salvaged from bedding plant purchases made over the years and used over and over. The regular square four inch nursery pot is as large as I ever go for tomatoes that will go in the ground very quickly as soon as the temperature allows. Al

RE: How deep are your tomato pots?

I get the 16oz plastic cups from the dollar store and use them for years or until they split, in which case I cut wedges out of them and use those for labels.

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