I grow tomatoes all year long. As of this winter (2015) I am growing 4 varieties. I do not grow them directly into large pots. I transplant them in stages. One reason is, sometimes they might get a little leggy and the transplanting allows me to bury them deeper to compensate.

Another reason is that it cuts down on fertilizing. Each time I transplant, the plants take advantage of the nutrients in its new soil.