Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of life.
Last updated: March 15, 2022
BackyardStyle is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Do you know what it takes to be successful at growing tomatoes? Is it dedication and effort or luck? While all these could play a factor, everything starts with finding the best soil for tomatoes. That is not an easy job, which is why we decided to help you!
Our tomato soil reviews focus on presenting top-rated mixes currently available on the market. We analyzed crucial features that help to decide soil quality and suitability for users. The critical thing to consider is the choice of ingredients included in the formula and their purity. From there, you need to pick a suitable size to cover your plant’s needs. The selected soil should be an adequate choice for your desired way of growing tomatoes, such as pots, containers, etc. Stick with us to learn more about the best soil mixes for tomatoes to make sure your plants grow healthy and strong!
Content: blend of earthworm castings, bat guano, sea-going fish & crab meal, forest humus, moss & more
Pack size: 12-quart (total of 2 packs)
6.3 to 6.8 pH level
Encourages strong branching and a sturdy, healthy growth habit
More features: ideal for containerized plantings, allows for optimum fertilizer uptake, light, aerated texture
FoxFarm is a reputable brand in the soil industry, and its Ocean Forest mix might be the best soil for growing tomatoes on the market. The potting mix features a long list of carefully picked ingredients from the earth and sea.
The idea is to combine all-around nutrients. That is why the manufacturer added bat guano, earthworm castings, forest humus, and other useful compounds. Therefore, the result is a formula that supports plant development and growth.
This premium potting soil has a specific pH level, which should be suitable for everyone. Also, you can combine it with other components to suit your needs. The mixture could feel a bit chunky at times, but it features a light and aerated texture overall. The product comes in durable bags, and the two-pack combo is a true value deal.
Why did it make our list?
A premium mixture from a reputable brand
A long list of useful ingredients filled with nutrients
Ensures vibrant flowers and delicious vegetables and herbs
More features: OMRI listed for organic use, helps to retain moisture, perfect for all container gardening
Burpee made sure to acquire the certificate from the Organic Materials Review Institute to confirm this product uses only organic elements. The formula’s core is coconut coir, which is a renewable resource. That means this is an eco-friendly soil for tomato plants.
The formula includes plant food with a gradual release. It ensures your tomatoes can be fed for up to three months. The coconut coir works on maintaining optimal water control. That secures you don’t have to water the herb frequently and still have optimal moisture at all times.
The product’s price tag is quite low, especially when compared to similar mixes. However, it might lack some essential ingredients that you will want to add later. If you are buying long-term, consider that the bags are prone to puncturing, so be careful when storing them.
What are its best features?
The formula includes plant food with gradual release
The potting mix is organic and eco-friendly
Approved by the OMRI
Capable of maintaining optimal moisture for a long time
Content: all-natural potting mix with earthworm castings & Myco-tone
Pack size: 8-quart
For all indoor and outdoor containers
Improves moisture retention and reduces drought stress
More features: ensures healthy plants with deep green color, rich organic mix suitable for all potted plants
Espoma designed an organic potting mix that could be the best soil for tomatoes in pots. The formula was specifically made for potted plants, and the manufacturer carefully picked the ingredients to include. The company claims the mixture is suitable for organic gardening since it includes natural compounds like myco-tone and earthworm castings.
You can choose between multiple sizes to ensure the pack fits your needs. That means both amateur and large-scale growers could benefit from this product. The mixture could attract the ground bees, although it rarely happens.
The soil can be quite humid immediately after adding water, and its drainage is not at the highest level. That ensures to reduce drought stress and recover plants that might have been affected by it. Overall, the product features a fine value for the money.
Content: aged forest products, sphagnum peat moss, perlite, earthworm castings, bat guano, humic acid, oyster shell, and dolomite lime
Pack size: 12-quart
Nutrient-rich and pH adjusted
Dramatically expands root development
More features: ideal for container plantings, guarantees strong plant structure, vigorous vegetative growth, with enhanced fruit and flower production
Fox Farm brand is famous for its amazing products, and this is another candidate for the best soil for tomatoes in containers. The pack comes with a generous quantity of the soil, although the package bag is easy to puncture, so be careful when moving the product around.
The manufacturer added a long list of carefully picked ingredients to the mix. That includes perlite, earthworm castings, and even beneficial fungi and microbes. Therefore, the mix is an excellent source of plant nutrients. Water retention might be a bit higher than usual, but you resolve that by adding less water.
The potting soil is organic and natural and suitable for indoor and outdoor growth. The mixture will do a great job of promoting plant development and ensure your tomatoes grow properly and impress anyone who tries them.
More features: feeds your plants for months, 100% natural all-purpose mix, takes up less room in the shed, prevents all plant problems
This compressed formula might be the best soil for tomatoes in raised beds. You can use it both indoors and outdoors, as well as for containers and in-ground growing.
The price is a bit high, but the good news is that this tomato soil can feed your plants for a long time. The mixture is natural and enriched with beneficial bacteria that promote plant growth.
Once you add water to the soil, it can expand up to seven times. The instructions might be a bit off, so be careful when adding water and do it slowly. The tomato soil mix performs well and ensures the plant has optimal growing conditions. Water, air, and nutrients reach the plants easily, which is important for supporting optimal development.
Why did it make our list?
Water, air, and nutrients can reach roots easily
It helps to optimize plant growing conditions and prevent problems
The formula includes beneficial microorganisms
The soil expands up to seven times
What is not ideal about it?
It might not require as much water as the instructions specify
The price is a bit high, considering the soil amount
Content: 50-60% Canadian sphagnum peat moss, processed softwood bark, perlite, dolomite lime, a controlled-release fertilizer, and a wetting agent
Pack size: 1.5 cu. ft. (42.5 L)
Medium-weight mix with excellent air porosity and drainage
Converts into approximately 11 gallons of soil
More features: specially formulated to produce vibrant flowers and strong growth, for all outdoor gardening needs
The Proven Winners blend features carefully chosen ingredients with multiple benefits. The formula includes a combo of peat moss (at least 50%), but also a fertilizer, dolomite lime, and a wetting compound. Thanks to that, the product ensures optimal drainage and airflow. It also promotes growth and ensures your plant has all conditions for developing properly.
Since it is a professional-grade formula, there is no doubt this pack is among the best soil mixes for growing tomatoes in pots, but also raised beds and containers. Any outdoor use will exceed your expectations, and the only downside is that the soil might attract moths.
The pack might seem drier than expected once it arrives. However, you can use your hands to crumble clumps, which makes it easy to use. Water should resolve the dryness issue once you add it.
Why is it special?
A professional-grade mixture
No sticks or wood or bugs inside the product
Suitable for outdoor use
Promotes growth and features excellent drainage and airflow
Holds up to 50% more water than basic potting soil
More features: expands up to 3x when water is added, creates enough space for the air, can be used in-ground or in containers
Miracle-Gro might have the best soil for growing tomatoes in containers. It offers a unique expanding concept that makes it simple to use. The idea is to add water to this concentrated planting mix, and it will expand up to three times. However the expansion rates vary significantly, so the mixture might not expand to its max every time.
The tomato soil is noticeably light, which makes it easy to use and arrange. The moisture control is admirable, and there will be no need for amendments. Due to its lightness, it might not be as nutrient-heavy as other choices, but it secures fantastic airflow.
The manufacturer claims that this soil for tomato plants can feed them for up to six months. That makes this product a smart long-term investment since it delivers plenty of bang for the buck.
Why did it make our list?
A lightweight soil that is easy to apply
A fine moisture control that doesn’t require amendments
Content: enriched with earthworm castings, perlite, pumice and organic fertilizer (0.05-0.0-0.0)
Pack size: 16-quart
Ideal for all container-grown flowers, herbs, and vegetables
Rich, loamy mix
More features: listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute for the production of organic food and fiber, quality tested ingredients
Black Gold acquired a license from the Organic Materials Review Institute to confirm that this soil for tomato is suitable for organic produce. The manufacturer combined potting soil and fertilizer and used ingredients that promote growth like pumice and perlite. Also, you will find earthworm castings there to support the nutrients found in the soil.
The option is versatile and suitable for various herbs and vegetables. You might find some traces of undesirable components there, but that happens rarely. Overall, the tomato soil mix quality and purity are very high.
If it wouldn’t for the moisture balance, this could easily be the best soil mix for tomatoes out there. However, the mixture is water-retentive, which is why it attracts fruit flies. That is why you should be careful when adding water to this soil.
What makes it special?
Approved by the OMRI
Earthworm castings enhance the mixture quality
Perlite and pumice promote plant growth
Suitable for various vegetables and herbs
What cons did we find?
You might come across plastic particles inside
Water-retentive and capable of attracting fruit flies
Content: eat moss, wood shavings, composted green waste and perlite
Pack size: 4-quart
For all container-grown plants
Lightweight and porous
More features: made from all-natural and organic ingredients, free from animal waste, facilitates excellent root penetration, air circulation, and water drainage
The manufacturer ensured to add high-quality components to the soil mixture. It can be a great pick if you are looking for a tomato plant soil to grow outdoors. However, you will notice small sticks and rocks in the pack. That makes the purity of this mixture questionable if you are looking for premium quality soil. Since this tomato soil is available at an affordable price tag, it is hard to expect much more. The good news is that there is no animal waste in the mix.
A single bag doesn’t include plenty of soil, but it is easy to use. Also, the instructions are clear, and even beginners shouldn’t have problems using the mix. It should promote water drainage and airflow, and it can penetrate the roots well.
What are our favorite features?
An affordable price tag
Easy to use even if you are a newbie
A great choice for outdoor growing
Organic and natural compounds included in the soil
Content: organic earthworm castings, high-quality bat guano, blood meal, bone meal, fishbone meal, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, dolomite lime, azomite, Epsom salt, coconut water powder, aloe vera
Pack size: 5 pounds
Full of microorganisms
Provides nutrients to the roots over time
More features: excellent soil addition, amends 25 gallons of containers when mixed with soil
The crucial thing to note is that this is not soil, but rather an amendment. That being said, it might be one of the best soil amendments currently available. Its role is to add it to the soil to improve its characteristics. The combination added to this mixture is an excellent option for veggies and plants.
If you are a newbie to tomato growing, this is among the tricks to use to improve the odds of your plants growing successfully. It shouldn’t take more than a week to notice an enhancement in the herb’s appearance. Unfortunately, the amendment has a strong odor, but that is not uncommon for these mixes. The bag includes five pounds of the product, which is plenty of bang for the buck.
What do we love it for?
An excellent choice for vegetables and herbs
It doesn’t take long to notice an improvement in plants
Suitable for newbies to improve the odds of the growing success
A generous size of the pack
What were we disappointed with?
Not an actual soil, but an amendment
It has a strong and distinctive smell
Things to Consider
Being successful at growing plants requires effort and dedication. However, everything is pointless if you don’t find a high-quality potting mix. That is why our buying guide aims to help in finding the best potting soil for tomatoes. We will learn why you need a tomato mix designed for this plant type and how it helps to secure optimal growth conditions. You will discover everything that should affect your soil selection and learn answers to the most common questions of a newbie grower. If you are ready to find out all the basics of soil mixes for tomatoes, start reading our guide right away!
Reasons to purchase tomato soil mix
You thought of it all – the space between each tomato plant is optimal, or you got pots and containers ready. The only remaining thing is choosing the right soil. Here are the advantages of finding the best soil for tomato plants.
Improve the odds of securing optimal plant conditions – you want the tomatoes to succeed and grow well. A tomato soil mix helps them to have optimal conditions for developing.
Reduce the risk of plant issues – if you want to prevent underdevelopment, specialized soils can help you to achieve that goal.
Suitable for newbies – instead of playing around with creating your own mixture, you get a ready-to-use pack optimized for tomato growth, such as the Organic Harvest Potting Soil.
Optimal water retention – these soils will ensure that moisture control is adequate for growing tomato plants. You won’t have to water them too often to secure sufficient water delivery with products like the Miracle-Gro Expand ‘N Gro Concentrated Planting Mix.
Securing the required nutrients – many formulas are enriched with nutrients and plant foods. These can feed your plant for months and ensure it has all the components needed for development. Additionally, these mixtures ensure the nutrients reach the roots effortlessly.
Peace of mind – it will be a pleasure to grow tomatoes if you know the plants have everything they need for development.
How to pick the best soil for tomatoes?
We can’t emphasize the importance of dedicating enough time to picking a suitable potting mix. That includes reading soil for tomatoes reviews but also learning about the crucial features of these packs. What content should be added to the mixture? Do you need a small pack or a large bag because you want to be a big-scale grower? How do indoor or outdoor growing plans affect your tomato soil selection? All these are questions we aim to answer below. We listed the crucial factors for picking a suitable potting mix, so make sure to get familiar with all the details before choosing a soil!
The ingredients included in the blend are the first thing you want to consider when choosing soil for tomatoes. Many formulas have a long list of components from various sources, such as the sea and the earth. Others focus on a single main ingredient, such as the Burpee Natural & Organic Premium Potting Mix, which is eco-friendly and contains coconut coir as the formula’s base.
Earthworm castings, perlite, pumice, and peat moss are frequent additions to potting soil formulas. You will also find fertilizer, wetting agents, or beneficial bacteria and microorganisms. The task of each compound is to promote optimal plant growth and development.
It is equally important that the formula doesn’t contain a vast portion of wood sticks and other residues, such as plastic. These compromise the soil quality and could affect plant development.
Apart from pure soil, you can also consider amendments, such as the Original Living Soil Concentrate. Their task is to be added to the potting mix to promote its properties.
Tomato soils come in different packs. The amount in a single bag is determined by volume and measured in quarts. The packaging varies from four to 12 quarts or larger. Many products allow you to pick between multiple bag sizes, such as the Espoma 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix.
If you are a newbie to the tomato growing industry or purchase the soil for the first time, our advice is to start with a small bag. Once you confirm the mixture is the right choice, you can order bigger sizes if available.
While you are considering the pack size, make sure to take the price into account, too. The cost of tomato plant soils varies on the bag size. Affordable choices might not require paying more than $15 or so, but premium options could cost $25 or more.
It is critical to ensure you feel the soil provides plenty of bang for the buck. Whether that will be with the provided quantity or quality, it is up to you to decide.
Soil for indoor or outdoor use?
Before you can pick a soil for tomato plants, consider how you plan to grow them. Do you have the pots ready for indoor growth? Or you have a large backyard to utilize for planting tomatoes? Those specifics will determine which soil you need. For example, the Proven Winners Premium All Purpose Potting Soil is great for outdoor use. But if you plan on using the containers, you want to pick accordingly.
Tomatoes might require plenty of space per plant, which is why outdoor use might be a smart move. If you pick indoor growth, you might be limited to the space available. That being said, it might not be possible to use more than several pots. Large-scale growers could feel like they need more space, and that can be secured in a garden.
The pH level determines the acidity of the soil. The soils could be acidic or alkaline. When it comes to tomatoes, they appreciate soils that are a bit acidic. That means their levels should be from 6.0 to 7.0. That is why you can benefit from mixes that clearly specify their pH level, such as the Fox Farm Ocean Forest Potting Soil.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use soils that are more acidic or alkaline. If the level is higher than the specified, adding a sulfur component can lower it quickly. Alternatively, lime is the method of increasing pH levels in the potting soil.
Measuring the pH properties of your tomato soil mix requires a simple test kit. It is affordable, and you can acquire it at a local gardening store.
Many of the above-mentioned features could affect the overall quality of your soil mix for tomatoes. The first thing to consider is the capability of the soil to feed the plants. Many formulas are loaded with nutrients that can feed your tomatoes for up to six months, such as the Miracle-Gro Expand ‘N Gro Concentrated Planting Mix.
The next thing to consider is the capability to retain moisture. These properties can play an essential role in securing optimal water delivery to your plant. You want to check the porosity of your soil for tomatoes.
The porosity determines how well the potting mixture retains water. The level of porosity marks the pores, which are gaps between the soil particles. Their task is to ensure both water and air can go through and reach the root. That can be crucial for optimal plant development and securing adequate growth conditions.
The answer varies depending on the tomatoes you are planting. If you are planning to use containers, choose compact and small tomatoes. They can reach a width of about two feet, but they won’t grow particularly high in size. Most tomato types, however, require more space. The plant’s roots can become as much as six inches wide. That is why staking the roots is recommended to ensure optimal growth conditions. While you are planting tomatoes into the soil, try to put two-thirds of the entire plant under it. The only parts above the surface should be the leaves. Root development is vital for tomatoes, which is why this is the optimal way of planting them.
A loamy tomato soil includes a combination of silt and sand with a small portion of clay. Each of these elements is added for a reason. The soil can compact easily because of the silt, which acts as sediment. Also, the manufacturers include sand to promote aeration and optimize drainage. The addition of clay guarantees the plant will have sufficient nutrients. It also helps to combine sand and silt. Remember that you should ensure there is an approximately equal amount of silt and sand, and they should make most of the potting mix. That secures the ideal component balance to promote tomato growth.
It is essential that the seedlings have sufficient space to branch out, which is why thinning is an option to consider at some point. Tomatoes require plenty of light. That could include sunlight, but you can also use an artificial source to ensure at least 15 hours of light daily. Watering depends on location and tomato type. Seedlings need a tiny portion of water since airflow is critical for their development. You can consider watering tomatoes every day once they develop. Try to decide based on the temperature. The experts estimate that tomatoes grown in the garden need approximately two inches of water weekly.
At the end of our round-up, let us remind you that the FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil remains our top pick. The premium pack supports optimal plant growth and development and has a long list of useful nutrients for tomatoes. That includes components from the earth and sea, such as earthworm castings and bat guano.
The Burpee Natural & Organic Premium Potting Mix is great for those looking for an eco-friendly and organic tomato soil. Based on coconut coir, it ensures optimal moisture control and can feed your plants for months. It is also approved by OMRI for organic use, which means it has an official certificate.
The Espoma 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix is another exceptional candidate to become the best soil for tomatoes. It is available in multiple sizes and is an excellent pick for growing potted plants.
We hope that our reviews helped you to find your favorite potting soil. And remember, only a suitable potting mix improves the odds of securing optimal conditions for tomato growth.