Growing Tomatoes in Containers

What will wick vertically 16", enough for a tomato grown in a 5 gal. pot in 100 degrees, and last 5+ years?


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December 20, 20160 found this helpful

I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to accomplish. Do you plan to wick the water from another container into the 5 gallon bucket? If so, the exposed wick would have to be encased in tubing. I have done this. You might get 5 years out of #8 cotton window sash cord. In 100 degree weather, you might have to use three.

If you want something that will last 20 years, you could plait together strips of nylon landscape fabric. I don't think it would wick as well as the cotton cord, so again, you might have to use three. I'm still digging up nylon landscape fabric I used in beds 30 years ago. Its as strong as new.


Sorry I can't be more help. Wish I knew more about how you plan to use this wicking.

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December 21, 20160 found this helpful

Cotton pyjama cord?

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December 22, 20160 found this helpful

Just so you know, a tomato grown in plastic is not a good idea. The pot leaches all nutrients that the tomato needs away from the plant, and the tomato ends up dying from the lack.

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December 24, 20160 found this helpful

I have grown 9½ ft tomato plants in 5 gallon plastic buckets and have the pictures here on ThriftyFun to prove it. They certainly didn't lack for anything. Also, the healthiest and most prolific tomato plants I have ever grown were grown in 5 gallon plastic buckets. I would like to see credible citations of your claim.

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December 27, 20160 found this helpful

If you use wicking and grow in plastic, please make sure they are food grade (PBA free) so not to leach chemicals into the food.

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December 29, 20160 found this helpful

Now this is sound advice. Thank you.

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December 31, 20160 found this helpful

Kinda sounds like you are conducting an experiment??

I have generally always used untreated cotton clothes line for wicking in my hot house but I never expected it to last 5 years.


It seems that stores selling wicking for plants recommend all varieties of material - polyester, cotton or all natural.
This would lead me to believe that whatever you use is just maybe your "preference".

Of course, in a hurry to get something done, I have used large shoe laces, string cord out of pants, cut strips of cloth and most of the time they all worked (for a few months anyway).

As for safe 5 gallon buckets - I get all of mine from a large restaurant that saves me all of their 5 gallon oil containers. I clean these well, my son drills holes in the bottom and sides and I have never had a problem using them.

Hopefully you will come back and explain just what you are trying to do and I am sure you will receive some good answers.

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