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Ideas for growing tomatoes in container gardens from the ThriftyFun community.
By Atascosa, TX
A great fertilizer for tomatoes is fish emulsion because it has a high nitrogen content. The down side of using it is that it stinks so much. I imagine that yellow pear tomatoes would do well in a container; they are incredibly hardy.
The main thing to remember about tomatoes is that they are very temperature sensitive, so they won't do well in cool weather. Even if you plan to put them in a pot, I would leave them outside during the day to harden them off before letting them stay outside for good.
My daughter planted one of the patio tomatoes in a 5 gallon bucket last year. She put some corn cobs in the bottom and all soil was from our compost pile. The plant grew to about 8 feet tall, and so many tomatoes they out lasted the growning season. It was a cherry tomato plant, must have gotten thousands from one plant. A lot were still trying when the first frost came! Needless to say, we lost the rest.
By RosaI have planted some in 5 gallon paint bucket and flower pots, they turn out great. Tomatoes and mint were my very best plants.
By Vicky Hunt
I have been planting Tiny Tim cherry tomatoes in my patio planters for the last few years with much success. They are so delicious. I live in a short summer season area. If they grow well here, they will grow well anywhere. I plant them in balcony planters available at any department store.
"Square Foot Gardening" by Bartholemew is a very good resource.
Plant from sibling as early as possible in large flower pot. When the temperature is nice set the plant outside. Bring it in before evening. A week after blossoms appear, sprinkle with a little fertilizer (do not sprinkle close to the stem) and give a lot of water.
The new tomato plants were out today, and I couldn't resist, thinking surely, I had some large planters at my apartment. You guessed it, no planters, but I do have a cat.
Take an empty clear plastic water bottle, cut off the bottom, drill a hole or bang a nail hole thru the plastic cap, and screw the cap back on to the neck of the bottle.
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What will wick vertically 16", enough for a tomato grown in a 5 gal. pot in 100 degrees, and last 5+ years?
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.
I am planning on planting in five gallon containers. Before planting my tomato plants in plastic containers should I cut holes in bottom for drainage?
Hardiness Zone: 6b
By elena sipkins from White Plains
Yes, you don't want the plants to sit in water, so you will want holes in the sides at the bottoms of the buckets. They don't need to be big holes; if they seem to clog, you can poke a wire (from a clotheshanger) in to open it back up. I use a power drill, but if you don't have one, you can heat a nail over a flame (you will need to hold it with pliers) and poke it through.
I read that to avoid your soil from escaping from your containers to place a Coffee Filter across the drainage holes. Just something I read so whether or not it works has to be experimental.
I made 'self watering' containers out of 5 gallon buckets. For me this has avoided 'rot'. I add a 'calcium tablet' and a few paper match heads to the hole where the tomatoes will go, cover them with an inch or so of soil and then insert the tomato plant. One plant per bucket. I have the best luck with cherry tomatoes for some reason. I also grow bell peppers, hot peppers, all in SWCs.
Elena, Hello! Yes you will have to drill or poke some holes in a plastic container, but may I offer something else to consider? We live in a number 7 (seven) hardiness zone and our experience with the plastic containers was that they got too hot in late summer, and eventually burned the roots of our plants. (Tomatoes and peppers, mostly.)
Over the years, we have found that five to ten gallon styrofoam containers (picnic coolers or bait containers if you are searching for them at a Wal Mart style store) actually caused less heat damage to the roots of the plants and increased the yield of each plant. We poked holes through the bottom of these containers, too, and added a very shallow layer of river rock or gravel before filling the bin with the appropriate soil/manure mix.
The only drawback with this approach was if an unsuspected virus or bacteria took hold in one of our porous, styrofoam containers we had to trash such, but truth be told, that's only happened a very few times (in single containers) in over ten years of using this method.
Hoping you find something that works well for you and yours, just wanted to alert you to the possible down side of using hard, plastic containers in the garden. Good luck and happy eats with the garden fresh foods!
The foal ice chests are a wonderful idea. You can also mix in styrofoam "peanuts" to make the weight less...
This is my first experience in growing tomato plants in a 5 gallon plastic container. Do I punch holes in the bottom for drainage? I need guidance on this project.
What size container and how much soil will I need?
By Wendy M.
Tomatoes grown in containers need the same amount of sunshine as those cultivated in the ground-at least 6-8 hours per day. They also need even amounts of water, so make sure to check the container's moisture levels daily, especially in hot weather. As for your plant getting spindly, all tomato plants benefit from regular pruning. Snap off the suckers (shoots that appear between the main stem of the plant and the petioles (stems of the leaves). Proper pruning will help channel the plants energy into producing fruit rather than leaves and improve the air circulation around the fruits. Fertilizing with too much nitrogen can also result in spindly plants.
Sounds like you need more nitrogen in the soil. Tomatoes are heavy feeders and expect supplementary fertilizer during the growing season. Be sure to provide lots of water in hot weather. Tomatoes use a lot of moisture.
Containers dry out quickly. Keep well watered and much top of container. Also fertilize often because if you are watering correctly (by watering till water is coming out of the bottom or side drain holes ). The fertilizer gets washed out. Also if you are growing a determinate variety (growth is pre determined ) you do not need to prune suckers or any other pruning other than removing dead leaves.
How often do you have to change the potting soil used to grow tomatoes in large pots on a patio?
I would do it every year. I have always been told that when you plant a garden you shouldn't plant the different veggies in the same spot every year.
Why are the tips of my plant leaves turning brown? I have my plants inside placed by a window. I have just noticed that all the leaves tips are turning brown? I do have a fan blowing on them to strengthen the stems. Could this be why the tips are turning brown or?
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I used an old bench that no one could sit on and sat my potted tomato plants on and around the bench. As they grow, I can tie them to the bench for support. I have red, yellow and black cherry plants, so I am hoping for a little color also.
By Wanda from Climax, NC