jules26
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Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 5:22 pm
Location: Newport, RI

thanks for the picture cheshirekat :D How did you get the holes in the bottom of the buckets?

My stepmom plants hers like regular hanging baskets. I think I'm going to try both ways (hanging basket and bucket), plus a 'control group' in pots in case the other two don't work out... lol

My early girls are already flowering, so I'm pretty excited... can't wait to not buy from the market!

cheshirekat
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Posts: 264
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 3:13 am
Location: Denver, CO (zone 5)

To get the holes in the buckets, I had the hubby use his power tools. I get him to put extra drainage holes in my containers and new holes for buckets and other <i>containers</i> don't already have holes. I got a few cracked containers when he rushes.
"Love all God's creatures, the animals, the plants. Love everything to perceive the divine mystery in all." -Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Rowlett Don
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Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:37 am
Location: Rowlett, Texas

buckets

I started my 1st attempt using a plastic bucket and here is what I found. I made the hole about 2" across and added several small drain holes. The main hole size was for the plant stem to grow and to prevent the dirt or root ball from working out. I added some plastic wrap between the stem and the outer sides of the hole to keep the dirt in and to allow expansion. What I found was the wind would constantly work the stem and the plants would die. I plan on trying it again when it cools down with a different filler between the stem and the outer side of the hole. I just need to find the right combination of materials. I also used the hanging plant basket with the coconut lining from Wal Mart and that is working fine.

cheshirekat
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Posts: 264
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 3:13 am
Location: Denver, CO (zone 5)

A two inch hole sounds big to me. I think mine is only slight larger than an inch. I had to work the stems gently through the holes, but didn't want to see the soil falling out without having to use filler. The filler I planned to use, if it was necessary was newspaper.

I am not seeing harm from the wind of my plants. Maybe your plants were weakened by something else? Are you fertilizing them? Was there residue in the bucket before you planted? Are you over watering? Maybe bone meal and egg shells will strengthen them? I also shake the stem a little bit - heard someone say it encourages pollination from the bees. It does seem to release the tomato scent. But that could be my imagination. I've been doing it when the main stem is as fat as my finger - I think it stimulates the circulation for stronger main stem.

Because tomatoes can be sensitive about too much sun, and gusts of wind, maybe you can try a spot where they will get a little bit of shelter or shade?

I'm not sure what else to suggest. I haven't been doing a lot of fussing with mine. I do talk to them a lot and spend time making them feel like famous stars taking their photos. I've brushed against them quite often with no damage. I'm no expert, but am planning to setup a few more of my tomato plants now that the first are doing well. I'd be interested in your solutions in case I run into problems. I love my tomatoes and it fills me with fear to think of losing them.
"Love all God's creatures, the animals, the plants. Love everything to perceive the divine mystery in all." -Fyodor Dostoyevsky

ssagona
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Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:05 pm
Location: Monessen Pa

upsode down plants

Yes I have grown upside tomatoe plants and they came out fairly well... They kind of grow toward the sun so make sure there in alot of sun and not in a shaded area..

cheshirekat
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Posts: 264
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 3:13 am
Location: Denver, CO (zone 5)

My upside-down setup is kind of unique because I can turn the buckets. That way the plants won't get too lopsided facing toward the sun all the time. There is some shade under the buckets and the tomatoes actually look more healthy with some respite from the hot, high-altitude sun we have here.

A couple of the tomatoes I have in containers on the ground seem to tilt away from the sun. They are in direct sun and planted with basil. I keep finding them leaning toward the basil and bending over. Like a low curtsy. I think I will start turning those containers more often to make the stems stronger instead of bent in one direction so much. They are all different varieties of tomatoes and basil and it doesn't matter if the basil is away from the sun or not - the tomato plants all lean toward the basil. At first I tried to position them so the tomato was always getting the direct sun until I realized they would rather lean toward the basil. Interesting relationship.

I would plant basil on each side of the tomatoes but don't want to crows the roots. In the UPD tomato setup, the basil is planted at the opening in the top end. I wonder how basil feels planted upside down - perhaps the columnar basil would be a good candidate for this.
"Love all God's creatures, the animals, the plants. Love everything to perceive the divine mystery in all." -Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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Shaggy
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Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:36 pm

Last year I made my own upside down buckets, out of kitty litter pails.
The hole was made with a hole saw . I planted them right side up through the hole, then used a hole saw one size larger to make a soft plug out of a piece of pool noodle. this made a soft gasket around the stem and stopped any soil falling out.
I grew them right side up for two weeks to make sure they were established then flipped them over and hung them from the garage.
I grew the same strain upside down and normal... both in the same soil mix , same size buckets, same ferts and watering schedule... the upside down bucket produced 4x the tomatoes the regular oned did...

I'm trying to find a pic...
Don't just Go through life
Grow through life

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