If you are getting ready for spring and summer, you might be looking at buying some tomato plants for your garden. Tomatoes are very popular to grow because they taste so good when they are homegrown, but it’s important to know how much they cost before you go and buy them.
In general, tomato plants cost between $3.50 and $6 in most large retail outlets. Some varieties are more expensive than others, and if you buy from an independent store, you will probably have to pay more. The size of the tomato plant will also make a difference in how much it costs.
In this article, we’ll look at the standard cost for tomato plants, the factors that come into the prices, and what other costs you need to take into account. This will put you in a strong position to grow tomatoes at home.
How Much Do Tomato Plants Cost?
On the whole, tomato plants cost a few dollars each when they are small. However, some of the more sought-after varieties might be more than $6 each, and a large plant will cost significantly more, even if you buy it from a big, cheap retailer.
Fully grown plants could cost between $15 and $30, depending on where you buy them from.
A few different factors will affect how much you have to pay for a tomato plant, so it’s important to think about what you need before you create a budget. Some of the factors include:
- The size of the tomato plant
- The variety of the tomato
- Whether you are buying multiple plants
- Whether the tomato is organic
- Where you purchase the tomato from
- What season you buy tomatoes in
Purchasing small tomato plants will always cost less than purchasing large ones that are ready to fruit because the retailer has had to do a lot more work to produce a large plant. If you want big tomatoes that are ready to fruit, you’ll need to pay more for them – but you will have less work to do yourself, and some of the other costs may be lower.
It’s therefore a good idea to determine how you want to grow your tomatoes and what will work best for you. Some people prefer to buy seedlings cheaply and dedicate time to growing them, while others prefer to get a ready-grown plant that they can simply water and collect fruit from. You might also want to choose something between the two.
What Are The Best Varieties?
Again, people will have different preferences when selecting their tomato plants. Some people value taste over texture, while others prefer soft skins but aren’t too concerned about the flavor. Many people want the best of both worlds, and also want to combine this with high yields.
It can be hard to choose the perfect plant, but there are some great options out there. Here are some to try:
- Mountain Merit: disease resistant and tasty
- Stupice: lots of fruit and an early start to the harvest
- Sakura: tolerant of temperature fluctuations and lots of tasty fruit
- Pozzano: ideal for long-season harvesting
- Big Beef: easy to grow and very tasty
- Celebrity: an award-winning tomato that will cope with various temperatures and is highly productive
- Sungold: beautiful yellow fruits, with a tropical flavor
- Carmello: disease resistant, with a rich, sweet flavor
- Cherokee Purple: huge plants with generous, large fruits
- Early Wonder: as the name suggests, a fast-growing tomato with impressive crops
- Black Krim: extremely rich flavor
- Virginia Sweets: sweet, tangy fruits that are fairly large
There are many, many more kinds of tomatoes that you might want to try, and it’s worth growing a few different varieties. This will mean that you get a long fruiting season and that you have backup plants if some varieties do badly in certain years. Don’t limit yourself to one kind of tomato, but grow several, and you’ll enjoy more success.
The prices of these different types can vary enormously depending on where you are located, what your local stores have in stock, and which plants have done well in any given year. It’s worth checking out which are on offer at your local store, and giving them a try even if you don’t think they’ll be your favorites.
What Other Costs Are There?
As well as the price of the tomato plants themselves, you will have to deal with other costs. It is important to remember this when you are budgeting for your tomato-growing venture. Some of these costs will be one-offs, while others will occur each year. They include:
- Buckets or containers if you aren’t going to grow the tomatoes in the ground
- Compost and/or manure to plant the tomatoes in
- A trowel for planting the tomatoes with
- Shears so you can prune the tomatoes
- Gloves to protect your hands, as tomatoes can be irritating to the skin
- Tomato feed
Not everybody will deal with all these costs (for example, if you make your own compost), but it’s important to be prepared for them and make sure you have considered prices before you buy your tomatoes. You should also think about whether you need a greenhouse to grow your plants in (which will depend on your climate).
Taking these factors into account will reduce the chances of your plants growing badly because you don’t have the resources to feed and look after them. Don’t just buy tomato plants without considering what else you’ll need. Although tomato plants are generally pretty easy to grow and don’t need a lot of care, they still do have some basic requirements in order to survive.
Tomato plants are not generally expensive, but some varieties cost around $6 even for a small plant. There are cheaper options too, but these may have a poorer flavor or reduced yields. Selecting your plants with care will help to ensure that they meet your needs.