I am an old farmer and am new to technology to grow tomaoto's. I am an American living in Thailand we have high humidity, high temperature and lots of rain.
I am trying to grow the big Boy and rutgers tomatoes. They germenated in only 4 days. Now I will put in larger pot to make a big pair of each.
My questions are:
I saw a man in my home of Ark. growing a tomato plant in a 1/2 55 gallon drum with a pvc pipe to add water and a hole in the side about half way down to tell him he had enough water. Is this OK or do I need holes in the bottom of the barrel?
I mixed 50% cow dung with good black earth. How much fertilizer should I add and what kind? We don't have miracle grow in Thailand. Please help me.
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What you saw with the barrel was probably some sort of EarthTainer, self watering planter. Inside, the soil sits atop a platform above the water. The hole in the side regulates the water level. This will not work without the platform, you will get a barrel of mud and dead plants. If you do not want to put the Earthtainer type guts in the barrel, just put holes in the bottom.
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I haven't done a ton of research on the earth box, but I think the soil does come in contact with the water.gidcomb wrote:Thanks a lot for your help. I will check out the sit you suggested. I don't understand how water not in contact with the plants could help. Ist it the evaporation?
It is basically like bottom watering pots.
I have my plants growing in plastic cups with holes in the bottom. The cups are in plastic bins that I add about 3/4 to 1" of water to.
I haven't had any issues with too much water in the soil.
The soil wicks the water up, but doesn't saturate it.
My soil mix is 1/3 each of peat moss, vermiculite, and compost.
I think as long as you don't poor the water in through the dirt, provide a hole for the water to leak out of, and water from the bottom until it comes out the drainage hole, it will probably work.
The way I would do it in a 55 gal drum would be to put some gravel in the bottom, put a sheet of weed barrier over the gravel, then fill the rest with soil. Fill the water a little past the gravel level.
Some plants roots will grow soaking wet, some wont. Lettuce will, tomatos wont.
Check this site out too for a cheap way to build a self watering grow box.
A barrel poses other problems such as rolling...
Here is another interesting barrel concept. I plan to try it some day, but have just read about it so far.