When it comes to growing healthy tomatoes, you have to think about soil quality as one of the most important factors.
It doesn’t matter if you grow your plants in containers, raised beds, or your backyard – a neutral pH is essential in order to provide a quality growing environment for healthy tomatoes and other veggies.
Some of the best soil mix consisting of perlite, peat moss, a mix of soil and natural compost, and in order to grow flavorful tomatoes, you’ll need loamy soil that is rich in nutrients.
Before we move forward and present our 10 best soil for tomatoes, you should know that testing the soil before using any products is very important.
As soon as you know the soil’s pH value and nutrients it can provide, you can go ahead and purchase one of the soils we reviewed below.
There’s no doubt that our top pick potting soil is the Super Soil Organic concentrate by Nature’s Living Soil. This is a strong concentrate recommended by experienced gardeners.
It’s really easy to use and you get 25 gallons of liquid for your garden by only adding water to the 5-pound packaging.
Last but not least it’s enhanced with microorganisms that encourage healthy growth.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a big budget, because the Burpee Natural Organic Mix will come to your rescue.
This is a premium growing mix enhanced with Burpee plant food which works on developing vibrant flowers and delicious veggies.
It’s made with coconut coir which helps keep the moisture level in between watering, plus its OMRI listed for organic use.
What Types of Tomato Soils Are There?
Regardless of how easy is to grow tomatoes, you still need to use the proper type of soil in order to get the best harvest and the juiciest fruit.
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a potting soil mix for your tomato garden.
First of all, have in mind that tomatoes can grow in any type of soil except for clay-heavy mixes.
This is because clay is extremely stiff and it makes it difficult for roots to move around and grow properly. Plus, watering will become extremely difficult.
There are various types of soils that can be found in nature and below we present you some of these:
- Sandy soil is very dry, light and doesn’t contain many nutrients. It can easily warm up and drain out water really fast and has an acidic pH.
- Clay soil is heavier and it takes a while for it to warm up. Although clay soils contain a lot of nutrients they can become too dry and hard which makes them unsuitable for gardening use. It has a reddish color and can crack when too dry.
- Silt is very fertile and light and it’s made up of small particles that allow it to drain well but also hold the needed moisture. One problem with the silt soil is that its particles can be easily washed away in the rain.
- Loam soil contains organic matter plus it’s a fertile mix of sand, silt and clay. Depending on which of these ingredients it contains more, the soil can be classified as clay loam or sandy loam. This is one of the best soils to be used for tomato growing since it contains 3 different types of soils that balance themselves out and create a nurturing environment.
- Chalky soil can either be heavy or light and one of its main characteristics is the high amount of calcium carbonate or lime which gives it a grayish color and makes it alkaline. Plus, if you notice a lot of lumps you can conclude the soil is too alkaline and not the best environment for tomato growth.
- Peat is dark in color and rich in organic matters. It’s extremely fertile and has good moisture management.
The soils we presented in our article are all specially made for tomatoes, so whichever you choose it’ll work fine for your tomato garden.
What’s the Perfect pH Value?
pH value tells you the balance between how acidic and alkaline the soil is. The ranges go from 0 to 14 and the higher the number the more acidic the soil mix is.
When it comes to growing tomatoes, the ideal pH value is between 6 to 6.8 which is slightly acidic.
Furthermore, it’s essential to test your soil before you start to plant your seeds. As soon as your garden is fully grown and established you won’t have to worry about it for the next few years as long as your veggies are growing healthy.
If for some reason the pH balance of the soil becomes too low, you’d have to add something alkaline to the soil to bring it back to normal.
How to Test the pH Value?
You can easily test the soil with the help of a testing kit that you can purchase from a garden center and just follow the instructions.
However, there’s also another simple test which all gardeners use and it only requires soil, water, vinegar and baking soda.
What you have to do is collect 1 cup of soil from different areas in the garden, stir it a bit and put 2 spoons of soil in 2 different containers.
In the first container, you should add 1/5 cup of vinegar. If it starts fizzing, you can assume the pH level is between 7-8 i.e. the soil is alkaline.
Take the next container and add enough distilled water to turn the soil to mud and then add 1/5 cup of baking soda.
Again, if it starts fizzing it means the soil is acidic with a pH level between 5-6.
Finally, if neither ingredient causes a reaction in the 2 separate containers it means the soil is neutral with a pH of 7.
Why is Organic Matter Important for Tomato Growth?
As we mentioned before, tomatoes are heavy eaters and they need soil rich in nutrients in order to thrive.
Organic matter is considered to be an ingredient that originates in nature and it can either be a plant or animal by-product.
All organic matter is carbon-based, it comes from nature, and nature knows how to deal with it.
For instance, earthworms work on breaking the organic nutrients which become available for your tomato plants.
What About Soil Drainage?
Any avid gardener knows that tomatoes thrive in soils that are moist, but still able to drain well.
You can recognize well-draining soil by the fact that it holds water well but doesn’t become mushy plus it contains a moderate amount of sand.
A well-draining soil is a preferred choice when it comes to growing tomatoes because in a mushy and overwatered environment, the tomato roots will start rotting due to oxygen deficiency.
This is the reason why tomato plants don’t grow in clay soil. It doesn’t drain well and it’s too heavy for the delicate roots.
Soil for Tomato Plants Review
1. Super Soil Organic Concentrate
- Organic super soil
- Concentrated powerhouse
- Full with nutrients
- Easy to use
In order for a seed to grow like a plant and then be harvested, it’s essential to have a soil mix full of microorganisms for healthy development.
The Super Soil organic concentrate is a catalyst for living soil techniques that gardeners started using ten years ago.
Further, the idea is to mix this concentrate with any organic soil and thus improve tomato growth in terms of strength and speed.
What you need to do is add one-pound concentrate for every five gallons add organic soil until the pot is 1/3 full and then mix everything together. The rest of the container should be filled with potting soil, plant, and water.
What’s more, it’ll provide the plants with all the nutrients needed for progress and it maintains proper pH levels.
2. Espoma AP8 Organic Potting Mix
- Indoor & outdoor use
- Myco-tone enhanced
- Improves moisture
- Reduces drought stress
The Espoma potting soil mix is ideal for containers and can be used for both outdoor and indoor plants.
Its formula allows excellent water retention and draining which provides the perfect moisture for the tomato plants without the risk of root rot.
This soil mix contains peat moss which offers the essential nutrients and minerals and the perlite, peat humus and worm castings maintain the cleanliness of the soil and help with water retention.
Experienced tomato growers confirm that this is a product they can trust and it’s provided them with perfect results.
3. Black Gold All Organic Potting Soil
- All-purpose mix
- Fit for containers
- OMRI listed
- Premium quality
We’re sure you want the best for your plants and this amazing soil mix by Black Gold is just what you need.
It’s made with quality-tested organic ingredients, prepared in the USA and listed by OMRI for organic use.
This is a versatile potting soil mix that can be used in raised planting beds for your tomatoes and help them develop strong roots and provide delicious, juicy fruit.
Moreover, its main ingredients are peat moss, composted bark, perlite, pumice, and earthworm castings which provide the necessary nutrients for healthy plant growth. You can use it on its own or mix it with other soils as you please.
4. FoxFarm Happy Frog Potting Soil
- Recommended for containers
- Beneficial ingredients
- Mycorrhizae fungi
This is one of FoxFarm’s best gardening products. It’s a potting soil rich in nutrients and highly recommended for container gardens.
You’ll love it because it doesn’t require any preparation hence it’s ready to use directly from the bag.
Its pH has been adjusted to allow maximum nutrient intake and it’ll provide your plants with strong plant structure, vital vegetative growth, more fruit and flower production.
Moreover, one of its strongest features is that it’s enhanced with beneficial soil microbes and mycorrhizae fungi to encourage root growth.
5. Organic Potting Mix by Perfect Plants
- Great for tomatoes
- Enriched with mycorrhizae
- Re-sealable bag
The organic potting mix by Perfect Plants is a natural mixture of nutrients that help improve the soil conditions for your tomato plants.
You can use it both inside and outside because it has good moisture management and it’s ideal for potted fruit and veggies that you keep on your patio.
These water and moisture retention properties are maintained with the help of perlite, coconut coir and peat moss as its basic ingredients.
Moreover, the mix is enhanced with mycorrhizae fungus which protects the root system and helps in root establishment plus, you’ll get a higher yield and more fruit.
The soil comes in a re-sealable bag to store the product when not in use.
6. Miracle-Gro Concentrated Planting Mix
- Suitable for ground & containers
- 3x bigger plants
- Holds more water
- Provides more air space
Once again Miracle-Gro has a great product to satisfy your gardening needs. As the company advertisement says, it’s a small bag which offers big results.
It’s ideal for use both in-ground and in potting containers and it’ll help ensure your tomatoes are well-nourished in any environment.
Since it’s expanding soil, all you need to do is add some water and it’ll grow up to 3 times which’ll feed your plants for the next 6 months.
One of its primary ingredients is coconut coir which is able to absorb and hold water thus creating expansion.
The soil texture is airy and light which allows the roots to spread, take a good grip and grow more stable and bigger.
7. Miracle-Gro Soil for Raised Bed
- Bigger & healthier plants
- 100% organic & OMRI listed
- Ideal for raised garden beds
- Controls drainage
If you’re building your raised tomato garden, this seed-soil blend is a great choice. Its formula promotes fast root growth and your plants can develop a vibrant garden feel.
Moreover, the soil is certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute as 100 % organic plus it uses specialized mulch and soil.
Additionally, it’s good to know that the special formula doesn’t require any additional mixing and is ready for immediate use.
Finally, with the help of this amazing soil mix, your raised tomato beds will be thriving in no time and you can have fresh produce from the comfort of your backyard.
8. Burpee Natural Organic Growing Mix
- Enriched with Burpee plant food
- Perfect for raised beds
- Feeds up to 3 months
- OMRI listed
If you’re looking for a more affordable, but quality soil mix, you’ll definitely like the organic soil from Burpee.
It’s ideal for raised bed gardens and containers, so it gives you flexibility when it comes to the gardening environment.
What’s more, it works great not only with tomatoes but other vegetables and herbs and you’ll see its effect in the bright and vibrant colors of your garden.
One of the benefits is that it contains coconut coir which is not harmful to the environment, it’s sustainable and OMRI listed for organic use.
The Burpee soil mix will help you maintain proper levels of moisture and there’s no need to water your plants too often.
9. Black Gold 16-Quart Organic Potting Soil
- OMRI listed
- 16-quart bag
- Enriched with nutrients
- Versatile use
Your tomato plants will love this organic potting soil mix!
It’s ideal for different types of vegetables, flowers and herbs plus it’s listed by the organic materials review institute for the production of organic food and fiber.
It contains perlite, pumice, earthworm castings as well as organic fertilizers. Your plants will get all the needed nutrients and air space for proper root growth.
Moreover, this packaging is 16-quarts which’ll provide enough soil mix to cover more ground.
Optionally, you can always order in bulk since the seller offers packs of five or ten which might be a more affordable option.
10. Compressed Potting Soil by Organic Plant Magic
- Compressed soil mix
- Rapid hydration
- Non-toxic tonic
- Biodegradable & organic
If you’re tired of moving around big bags of potting soil, then this lightweight, compressed potting soil is just what you need.
By adding water, the soil expands up to 7 times more than its regular size and is able to feed your plants for months to come.
Moreover, this small bag will give you great results, since it contains all the beneficial bacteria and trace minerals your plants need to thrive and develop into happy and healthy tomatoes.
The Organic Plant Magic soil mix can hold up to 50% more water than other soils and it creates a haven for plant nourishment and oxygen.
I’m sure by now, you have realized how important is to have quality soil to support your tomato garden.
All of the soils we presented in our article contain enough nutrients and organic matter which guarantee a good harvest.
Nevertheless, if you have a difficult time making a decision we advise choosing the Super Soil Organic Concentrate as our top pick.
Experienced gardeners recommend this strong concentrated mixture.
On the other hand, if you want a less expensive option, the Burpee Natural Organic Mix is the perfect solution.
It’s a premium growing mix enhanced with Burpee plant food to provide you with juicy tomatoes.
If you’re an enthusiastic gardener and enjoy growing tomatoes, we’re positive you’ll choose the best soil for tomatoes and with the added ingredient of love and care, you’re definitely on the right track.