Search here...
Arts & Crafts DIY Gardening Green Living

DIY Crafts: Make a Tomato Tub

Welcome to our DIY Crafts series! DIY Crafts is focused on crafts that we have done, crafts that we will do and crafts that others have done that I feel deserve the “Craft Spotlight“. I invite you to check back often as I share these projects with you. You can view all of the DIY Crafts by visiting our DIY and Arts & Crafts section.

In May, First Lady Michelle Obama and Better Homes and Gardens hosted Lunch on the Lawn for eight students from Washington, D.C.’s Harriet Tubman Elementary School.

On the menu were healthy, kid-friendly recipes inspired by the White House Kitchen Garden. Each child went home with a plastic tub, a tomato seedling, a packet of lettuce seeds, and a how-to booklet on growing a mini vegetable garden. Read on for step-by-step planting instructions, geared for kids, on how to make your own tomato tub.

This project is a fun way to get kids excited about vegetable gardening! This can be done if you live in a house or an apartment. You can place the tub on the patio, the porch or anywhere you see fit.

Making a tomato tub is pretty easy and requires only a few steps. Please follow along as we share with you these easy steps, brought to us by BH&G.

Pictured above is the 3 Gallen TubTrug. Can be found here for only $10.99. You can also find similar ones at Target and Walmart.

You will need:

– A Tub/Container (as pictured above)
– Small gravel/rocks, broken pot pieces.
– Potting Soil
– Tomato Plant (select a space-saving tomato variety, such ‘Tiny Tim’, ‘Cherry Gold’, ‘Red Robin’, ‘Yellow Canary’, ‘Pixie Hybrid’, ‘Patio Hybrid’, ‘Small Fry’, ‘Super Bush’, or ‘Sun Gold’.)
– Lettuce Seed Packet


1. Start with the Container: Just about any large container (at least 18 inches across) that will hold soil will do. BH&G used a 3-gallon Tubtrug. Drill 3 drainage holes in the bottom.

2. Prepare the Container: Cover the drainage holes with pieces of broken pots or gravel. This will let the excess water drain through so your tomatoes won’t drown, but keep the potting soil from escaping and making a big mess.

3. Plant Your Tomato: Fill the tub to within 1-2 inches of the top with good potting soil. (Don’t use garden soil.) Dig a hole in the center of the tub the same size as the tomato’s pot. Remove the tomato plant from its pot, and if the roots are tangled, gently loosen them.

4. Sew Lettuce Seeds: Make sure the soil is level and smooth between the tomato plant and the tub’s rim. Next, sprinkle seeds on the soil. They should be 1/2 inch apart in a ring, about 4 inches out from the tomato plant. Just about any lettuce variety will sprout quickly from seeds sown in a container.

5. Water Well: Water your tub garden until the soil is evenly moist. A gentle shower is best — use a spray nozzle on your garden hose or a watering can.

6. Grow: Set the tub outdoors in a place that gets lots of sunshine (at least six hours each day). Check the moisture of your tub garden every day. Poke the soil with a finger — if it feels dry, it’s time to water again. Remember, plants need long, deep drinks instead of quick, shallow sprinkles.

Count the days until harvest — about 45 days for lettuce and 75 days for tomatoes. Enjoy!

Image credits and details: Tomato Tub Project.

Modern Day Moms

Modern Day Moms is an award-winning publication centered around motherhood that is real and unfiltered. Basically, we don't sugarcoat anything and aren't afraid to tell you the truth. Let's be best friends, we will make you feel more normal.




  • Natalie Rios

    I love this idea! We rent our home and our landlord requested we not garden or make changes to the landscape, so I’ve always been bummed that I can’t plant a garden with the kids. This is a perfect solution for us! Thank you so much and let me know if you have any other similar ideas for a beginner gardener! ;-)

  • Meg

    There’s nothing better than growing your own food! We have a good size backyard but because of the big trees we have and our need for a lawn(since we have 2 kids and 2 dogs!) we decided to do a container veggie garden several years ago. We went to the local winery, bought full size wine barrels and cut them in half and thats what we use to grow all our veggies. Its decorative, was pretty inexpensive and they are so large you can grow big plants still. My daughter LOVES helping me pick all our fresh veggies too:)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *