This entry is a copy from a KNOL I wrote found at Google. Google will be discontinuing the KNOL's platform and I am in the process of storing them on my blog. Please enjoy the article. I have about 50 coming over to this blog.
I have over 50 garden videos. Why not join my YouTube Garden Video Channel? A video on container gardening with peas A video on building self-wicking/watering 5 gallon containers How to grow large tomatoes in containers Not another article on tomatoes! Consider this a Knol on container gardening. I happen to enjoy growing tomatoes and this method will help others, that my not have a lot of gardening space, grow a vegetable garden. This method works with any vegetable. An 18 gallon container can easily be moved by two people. If you have lighting issues, you can move these containers around. Labor intensive but worth the reward of home grown vegetables.
How to Grow Tomatoes in an 18 Gallon Storage Container
- An 18 gallon storage container
- 2 cubic feet of garden soil per 18 gallon container
- A bail of sphagnum peat moss (the above pictured size will be enough for 10 containers)
- A bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer (the standard 40 pound bag will meet all your summer container needs)
- A bag of pulverized lime (the standard 40 pound bag will meet all your summer container needs)
- A six foot stake for tomatoes or other plants that need staking
- A tape measure
- A knife
- Plants of your choice
Preparing the Container
Preparing the Soil
|18 Gallon Container Gardening: Finishing the Soil/Room for Mulch|
There should be about 4 inches of space left in your container. The four inches of space allows you to easily water your plants and it provides space for mulching. I use grass clippings as mulch. Mulching the top 4 inches of your container will help manage moisture. Remember watering and moisture control is the key to successful container planting.
Planting the Tomato
|18 Gallon Container Gardening: Planting the Tomato|
Tending and Maintaining Your 18 Gallon Container Garden
- Water it every other day thoroughly. On consecutive 90 degree days when the tomato or vegetables are mature, you may need to water the plants daily. Soak the container until water drips out the holes on the bottom.
- You can check your plant for moisture by poking your finger into on of the holes you cut. If the soil is dry, you should water it quickly. Don't wait for it to dry out.
- You loaded the soil up with fertilizer when you filled the container. It should easily fertilize the plants 4 or 5 weeks. After that, I recommend 1 gallon of water soluble fertilizer weekly. Just 1 gallon.
- You should mulch up the container as soon as you can to help with moisture management.
- You will have to prune your tomato as it grows and tie it to the stake.
- I use a touch of Sevin dust for insect problems as needed. You can search the web for alternatives.
- I use an 18 gallon container because I can move it. If you have shade issues you can move the container around as the sun moves.
The Finished Product
|18 Gallon Container Gardening: The Planted Container|
- Two peppers per container
- One squash or one zucchini bush type plant per container
- Two bush cucumbers per container
- One vine cucumber or one vine squash per container (you will need a trellis of some sort)
- One water melon, cantaloupe or similar per container (you do need room for the vine to run)
- One pumpkin per container (you do need room for the vine to run)
- Six to eight heads of lettuce per container.
- Eight to twelve pea plants per container (you will need a trellis of some sort)
- Dozen of herbs per container