tomatoes in bags?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I started some tomatoes this spring and they are in 1 gallon containers right now. I know they will have to be moved into larger containers soon. I don't have a lot of money to buy containers. I remembered seeing somewhere people growing them in the plastic bags of soil bought at the store. Does anyone have expirence(sp?) with this?
-- Buffy in dallas (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 08, 2002
Yeah, Kurt Saxon has a site where he talks about growing stuff in garbage bags in laundry baskets. I've not done it myself, but have seen it done...
-- Gailann Schrader (email@example.com), May 08, 2002.
Tomatoes have a small, shallow root system. Why not just leave them in the one gallon pots and stake 'em as they grow? Tie the stake to the outside of the pot and you are on your way. I know this works 'cause I've done it.
-- Carol - in Virginia (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 08, 2002.
The size of the rootball is determined by the type of tomato. I grow heirloom varieties in raised beds and some of those roots are 3-5' long! Especially the cherries. I would think that any of the "patio" type or determinate varieties would do ok in a bag or pot.
-- Lynelle SO.wesVA (email@example.com), May 08, 2002.
I think what you may be remembering is growing tomatoes directly in a bag of storebought manure. Just lay the bag down where you want the tomatoes to grow, cut slits for the plants, and stick the maters in the bag. Water and stand back. I believe it may have been an article in Organic Gardening or Mother Earth News some time back, does that strike a bell?
I tried it and had to make some changes. We had lots of rain which threatened to drown the plants and lifted the manure up over the lip of the bag. So I poked tiny little holes through the bottom of the bag for drainage. Then, they started turning yellow so I treated them with a little diluted fish emulsion. Then we had a VERY big wind and found them scattered around the yard with their (very) little roots exposed.
Would have been MUCH easier to have put them in a big pot or plastic trash bin ($1.00 at Dollar General) to begin with and pour the manure in with them. And stuck a tomato stake in the bottom of the pot at planting time. LOL the things we learn as we go - just passin' the word on. Good luck.
-- Lovemygarden (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 08, 2002.
As long as they get enough nutrients, amount of soil doesn't matter other than to support the plant. Even when they have long roots, the roots will just spiral around inside the container. If you can find a source of free 5 gallon buckets, they work great for plants like tomatoes. Bakeries, restaurants, painters etc are good places to seek them out for free. Miracle-gro is a good all purpose nutrient solution to use with containers.
-- Dave (email@example.com), May 08, 2002.
Speaking of Kurt Saxon, he had a page describing a plant incubator that has gone missing. Basically, a guy build a box of 1x2's that supported 3 shop lamps, about 5' long by 4'5' tall, I believe. He nailed cardboard to cover it and painted the inside with several coats of exterior white. The plants were in soil with a lot of vermiculite. The watering-fertilization system was a 1/2" nylon rope wick in a bottom tray of Miracle-Gro or something similar. The plants used what they needed. He adjusted the lights as the plants grew. The system should work great for winter veggies and greens. It's cheap to build and run (120 watts) and needs little care.
I would think you would need a CO2 source for such intensive growth, which could be a pill bottle filled with vinegar with a string wick through the cap. Put the other end of the wick in a box of baking soda. The rate of CO2 production could be regulated by the size of the wick. The soda is also a deoderizer. Just a thought.
The guy got busted for what he was growing, not how he was growing it. I have read that a single tomato plant produced 10,000 lb of tomatoes using a similar system in Japan. Hard to believe, but fun to try.
-- MartyB (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 08, 2002.
Hi Buffy! I've grown tomatoes and bell peppers in bags and had real good luck. I bought the bags intended for this use. They had holes in the bottom. One thing I liked about them, other than the price :) was that the roots didn't bind up. The bags allowed the roots to grow in a circular way and since they weren't solid containers they had more "breathing" room even at the end of their growing season when the roots tend to become more abundant therefore I didn't feel the need to transplant like i would have with the more conventional containers. Good luck with your project!
-- DansWife (email@example.com), May 08, 2002.
My dad used to grow tomatoes and lettuce right in the bag of soil from the store. Worked great for him.
In my gardening book it says that you can grow a tomato plant in a 4 inch pot. That doesn't seem like a lot of room to me but I'm thinking of trying a gallon size container. I have lots of milk jugs I can cut down.
-- Anita in NC (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 09, 2002.