GROW TOMATOES IN BUCKETS FOR A LONGER SEASON AND
COMFREY; IT’S MAY BENEFICIAL USES AND HOW TO GROW IT
Why in the world would one grow tomatoes in buckets one may ask. Well, here’s the thing. In my area we have had about 40 inches of rain this year and today is only July 27, 2013. Normally SW GA. is a great place for growing tomatoes (my favorite garden veggie). This year however; I have beautiful plants with a lot of rotting fruit. Tomatoes are a desert plant and don’t do well if too wet. I was thinking about this problem and remembered one year, because of time constraints, I grew a container garden. I had the best tomatoes and peppers ever that year. I grew them in five gallon buckets and earth boxes. Looking at my drowning tomatoes, I thought I will just root some of those healthy looking branches into a bucket and see what happens. The more I ponder this idea, the more I liked it… and so the research began.
The benefits of growing vegetables in containers are:
- More control over the plants when the weather is bad. As mentioned previously my reason is to dry the plants out some. They could also be put in an area to receive more water. Maybe a small area with misters. If plants need shade from the sun it an be more easily accomplished with small screens, or by moving them to a different area. When the cold weather comes they can be kept warm with a little staking and plastic sheeting.
- Prevent diseases and pests such as blight, blossom end rot, nematodes, etc. Plants can also be easily covered with row cover material to keep out pests.
- Save garden space. Tomatoes take up a LOT of space. If grown in pots, that space can grow more veggies.
- Protect from critters. Little critters would be less likely to attack when they can’t hide as well.
- No or minimal weeding.
- They can be set at a more ergonomic height. People with bad backs or in wheel chairs would have a much easier time gardening.
- They can be moved on a patio or close to the house for closer monitoring.
- More veggies can be grown in a smaller space by arranging pots in a small area such as a patio.
- Multiple pots can be arranged for beauty.
- Kids can have their own little pots and will more readily eat what they grow.
Procedure For Growing Tomatoes In Buckets
- First the BIGGER the BETTER. Tomatoes like a lot of room. Small “jellybean” type tomatoes may be grown in a 1ft square area, but a 2 ft square is better and a five gallon bucket is even better. Other plant of course can be grown in smaller containers. Grow bags can also be used. But don’t use a pot so large you are unable to move it.
- Healthy soil is needed. Tomatoes are heavy feeders. Peat moss or organic mulch can help retain moisture. The soil can be amended with compost, compost tea, manure, fish emulsion, kelp, etc. to feed those hungry tomatoes.
- Plant deep and stake. Plants can be buried right up to the first set of leaves. When you first plant them, go ahead and put in a stake or basket to support them or they will get ahead of you. The right kind of support system can also be used as a support for a row cover or plastic sheeting.
- Place in a sunny area. 8 hrs a day is great, 6 hours will do if full sun. Light can be amended with artificial lighting.
- Tomatoes will need consistent watering as they can be drowned with too much and perform poorly with too little.
- Don’t grow “upside down”. It is unnatural and doesn’t hold water well.
- Choose varieties you like. Don’t worry if they are determinate or indeterminate. If they start sprawling too much, they can be pruned and even used as starters for new plants.
If a large pot is used, companion plants can be planted alongside the tomatoes. If a 5 gallon bucket or smaller is used companion plants can still be in other pots. This could be a good thing to attract beneficial insects or for beauty.
I also talk about all the benefits and how to grow Comfrey.
Here is the link to all the information on comfrey: http://www.coescomfrey.com/comfrey.html
and their free brochre: http://www.coescomfrey.com/downloads.html
Here is where I bought mine: http://www.ebay.com/itm/111108395866?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649