container with small opening

pandscorpJanuary 12, 2011

I have access to hundreds of heavy duty white jugs that have a 1 1/2" opening on top. Can I grow tomatoes in these without opening the tops any wider? If so, how many drain holes would I want to drill around the bottom, & what size?

The jugs range from 4 1/2 gal. to 8 1/4 gal. and formerly held a food product. Other than using a light soil, is there anything else I should know or be thinking about?

I'm hoping that by leaving the top closed except for the opening for the plant, I can slow down evaporation a little. People grow veggies in bags . . . would this be much different?

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I am guessing that these are a clear plastic. The size sounds like they would be large enough to cut them in two around the middle and make two containers, one with the drain hole already made. I would nor recommend the plant in the bottle, although I know it is done with ships. Al

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 12:26PM
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The top hole is big enough, but you will have a hard time getting the soil mix into the jug. People grow tomatoes "upside down" in containers like this with a small hole for the plant (at the bottom) A single drain hole at the bottom will suffice.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 1:17PM
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stropharia(8b louisiana)

I agree with Al on cutting them in half. Alternatively, cut off just the top if you want to maximize container size.

The main reason I would suggest against the "tiny hole at the top" part is convenience. As chadinlg mentioned, you'll have a hard time getting the media into the jug. But you'll have an even HARDER time getting it back out, once it's fully colonized by roots.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 4:53PM
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Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 11:09AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Actually, you WANT to allow evaporation from the soil surface. Soil gases (CO2) need to escape, as well. Oxygen is exchanged with CO2 at the soil essential function of a good soil system.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 4:02AM
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