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Anyone ever try this as a Tomato Container?
Old 03-19-2010, 09:35 AM   #1
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Anyone ever try this as a Tomato Container?

Thought this was interesting as I'd never heard or seen this kind of tomato container for growing before myself. Some of you tomato pros out there might have?

Doll Blog Archive tomato tutorial- making containers


Looks simple enough if you have the wire.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:49 AM   #2
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I think come fall, it will be really hard to get the T shirts clean again.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:32 PM   #3
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Anything large enough to hold a soil mix, and has good drainage, is OK for planting stuff in...tomatoes included. My only concern would be that the soil mix would dry out very quickly since air will be able to penetrate the t-shirt.

If I was going to try growing tomatoes in a rig like that, I'd line the wire fencing with a double layer of black plastic (like the big garbage bags). That would inhibit the rapid evaporation through the sides, and allow the soil mix to remain moist. Of course you'd want to have the bottom open for drainage! And the black plastic would keep the soil mix nice and warm sitting in the sun, and tomatoes loves that!
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:47 PM   #4
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I see a couple problems beyond the T-shirt cleaning issue( ).

With all that soil essentially above ground, and with the 'wicking' nature of the T-shirt, the soil is going to dry out fast. Tomatoes really like a constant moist soil (not wet though).

Also, with everything above ground, the roots are more exposed to temperature fluctuations. Some tomatoes do fine in containers, so that isn't always a problem, but a consideration.

If your temperatures are not extreme, and you can keep them evenly watered, they might work fine. But I think a less porous container would be more practical. Old T-shirts make good rags anyhow. Probably a better use for them.

edit - whoooops, I should have known this would attract a real expert like Goonie, listen to the man!

-ERD50
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:06 PM   #5
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.....edit - whoooops, I should have known this would attract a real expert like Goonie, listen to the man!

-ERD50
I'm only an expert if "trial and error" have earned me that lofty position.....actually I'm just a goofball that will try most anything at least once! Haha!

Actually, I had that same issue with a couple of hanging baskets a couple of years ago. They were the metal/wire type that used a cocoa mat liner. Those suckers had to be watered MANY times per day to keep anything but cactus alive! So the next time I used them, I lined the cocoa mat liner with a plastic grocery store bag, and poked about a half dozen small holes in the bottom of the bag so excess water could drain out.

They work fantastically that way!!! The cocoa mats look really nice, the plastic bags allow the excess water to drain away, and at the same time they keep the soil mix moist ALL day!
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:13 PM   #6
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I've not tried an unconventional type of tomato pot, but have successfully grown small tomatoes (cherry or grape varieties) in large clay pots for years.

I've read about people growing potatoes in stacks of old tires. I keep thinking I'll give that a try sometime.
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:04 AM   #7
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KSR:

What type of clay pot? How big?
How often do you have to water?
And where in the country are you located?

That sounds mighty interesting to me right now. I'm game to try most anything myself.
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:17 AM   #8
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I've read about people growing potatoes in stacks of old tires. I keep thinking I'll give that a try sometime.
Tires contain a lot of nasty chemicals designed to make the rubber last longer, stay soft, etc. I wouldn't advise using them as pots for vegetables.

I'll second the concern about rapid drying. Also, a lot of minerals/fertilizer will be leached out as you over-water to assure the soil gets thoroughly wet. I'm going exactly the opposite way--self-watering containers (like an Earthbox) with plastic over the top to prevent soil dehydration. It worked pretty well last year.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:05 PM   #9
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KSR:

What type of clay pot? How big?
How often do you have to water?
And where in the country are you located?

That sounds mighty interesting to me right now. I'm game to try most anything myself.
I just went out and measured one of the pots. It is approx. 15" diameter (at the top) and 12" tall. An ordinary pot, although I noticed that one of them is actually plastic, so I've used both clay and plastic. In general clay pots dry out faster. I water the tomatoes in pots whenever I water the other potted plants around my deck, which at the very hottest and driest part of the summer is normally every other day. I'm in Maryland - hot, humid summers.

When I plant the tomato in the pot I also place an ordinary round tomato cage in the pot at the same time. The first time I did this I waited too long to put the cage in, and ended up breaking some of the branches because the plant got big really fast and I wasn't on the ball enough to notice. So now, even though the plant is small, I put the support in right away. I also "baby" the branches and make sure they are hanging where they get good support as the plant grows.

I also grow tomatoes in raised beds but will say honestly that I get at least a good of a yield from the potted tomatoes (but I only put the smaller varieties in the pots - like cherry or grape tomatoes).

Give it a try, it's worth it!
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:07 PM   #10
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Tires contain a lot of nasty chemicals designed to make the rubber last longer, stay soft, etc. I wouldn't advise using them as pots for vegetables.
I've wondered about that. I've been careful that we avoid using pressure-treated lumber in the raised beds, so I'll want to be careful to avoid chemicals from rubber tires too! Thanks for the heads-up.
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:30 PM   #11
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I was planning on putting tomatoes in round 2 gallon black plastic pots. They are about ten inches around and maybe afoot tall. Anyone used anything like this and what success diid you have? Do you think I should go bigger? I have never grown tomatoes in pots before always in ground and I have not been happy the last two years due to dry rot and wind damage.
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:24 PM   #12
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A great trick to avoid mildew and root rot is to place about 2 inches of some small to medium size stones or gravel in the bottom of ANY container, followed by usual potting soil. Any excess water will collect there without the soil compacting down. The plants roots will eventually reach down to soak up any excess water.
I get a fair amount of rain here, so any outdoor containers, even with drain holes, tend to get soggy at the bottom unless I do the stone/gravel trick. I could never do the Tshirt method with the frequent rainfall we get here.
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