With that being said, you now have an idea of just how large Early Girl tomato plants can get! This means only one thing: this tomato plant is going to be insatiable. It will need lots of:
Container space for root growth
High quality soil mix
Plenty of water (especially during hot days)
A very regular feeding schedule
Lots of space to grow vertically, at least 4 feet horizontally
A large trellis for stringing up vines
The video below gives you an idea of what helps tomatoes thrive, but it does vary compared to container grown tomatoes. They need a little more specialized care.
Choosing a Pot for Growing Indeterminate Tomatoes
The pot you choose needs to be large. Personally, I recommend anything 18″ or larger. The larger the pot you have, the better your tomatoes will perform.
Anything smaller, and you may wind up with a plant that outgrows its container, limiting root growth. This could stunt the plant and result in a lessened harvest.
Be sure that the pot has holes in the bottom for drainage. I recommend punching holes roughly 1/2″ up the side of the pot, around the circumference of the container, instead of punching them in the bottom. This will result in 1/2″ of water in the bottom of the pot, rather than allowing all of the water to drain out. On the hottest days, this will help to prevent water stress, as pots dry out very quickly in the broiling sun.
Choosing the Right Soil Mix for Growing Tomatoes in Pots or Buckets
Since these Early Girl tomato plants won’t be able to send their roots out freely in a traditional backyard garden, you’ll have to take extra care in making sure that the soil mix is adequate for your tomato plants.
An infertile, less-than-optimal mix could cause a wide variety of issues, including:
Stunted plant growth
Poor foliage growth
Discolored, misshapen, or small leaves
Poor or sparse blossom development
Sparse fruit development
Small or bland fruit
Plant may die back, fall victim to pests, or succumb to disease more easily
Many people choose brands like Miracle-Gro, Black Gold, and Pro-Mix. These are all excellent choices for tomato plants, but you should do your own research before purchasing your soil mix.
The mix should be fluffy (not sticky), it should drain well, and it should smell earthy. You will be adding nutrients as the season progresses, so don’t worry about getting “vegetable garden soil” or anything of the sort; those mixes are generally for in-ground use. However, some are specifically designed for container use.