gidcomb
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 12:25 am

growing tomatoes in a barrel

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.
Gary Gidcomb

TZ -OH6
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

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.

https://www.earthtainer.org/About_Us.html

Venomous_1
Cool Member
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:59 pm
Location: Murfreesboro, TN - USDA Zone 6b

Yep. You can try Goolging 'Earthbox' too. There is a whole forum out there dedicated to them.

gidcomb
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 12:25 am

More questions on growing in a barrel

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?
Gidcomb

TZ -OH6
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

There is a small basket full of soil that extends down into the water reservoir and allows water to wick into the soil above. Roots also penetrate the platform and grow into the water. It is the same basic design used by smaller self watering pots for house plants.

msuc5vette
Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:27 pm
Location: Norther Oakland County MI

Re: More questions on growing in a barrel

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?
Gidcomb
I haven't done a ton of research on the earth box, but I think the soil does come in contact with the water.

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.

https://emergencyfoodgrowing.homestead.com/untitled1.html

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.

https://www.fastonline.org/content/view/15/29/
If we all stop waiting, we will see something happen.

Return to “TOMATO FORUM”