Strange planter question

jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)February 15, 2011

I am planning on planting Tumbling Tom Tomatoes in some sort of trough, container or pipe along the sides of my high tunnels.

These little tomatoes are very productive and will give me earlier tomatoes for my markets. I have grown them for 3 years now in hanging baskets to sell. Here is a picture of one.

Here is a picture of two in a hanging basket

I am struggling to find what I want to plant in, a long trough. I could make one of wood, but It would be expensive to do and would rot.

So I have made a "Strawberry Tower" out of 4 inch pvc pipe and using a hole saw, cut holes in it to plant flowers. It works really well and the plants grow nice. My question is do you think could lay the pipe on it's side, drill a 2 inch hole every foot and plant these Tumbling Toms in the holes. I would plant on plant a foot.

The pipe would be filled with Al's Mix and I would run a drip tape through the pipe too. These pipe would be about 35 feet long, maybe longer.

What problems do you see? I am concerned about the root mass and not enough growing medium. I could go with a larger pipe, but that would add cost. 4 inch sewer pipe is very cheap. Also, I would fertilize through the irrigation.

Any thoughts?



Here is a link that might be useful: Picture of Strawberry tower

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What about using galvanized rain gutter?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 7:40AM
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I have seen one tomato plant fill a half barrel with roots. Al

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 8:49AM
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I used a 6x6 hollow fence post, 6 foot long in hydroponics to grow tomatoes. 3 plants (big boys). The roots would fill the chamber completely and start down to overflow tube.

After the season was over, when I pulled the system apart, The roots averaged about 4 feet long and about 6 inches around.

I would use at least 4 inch pipe. Toms use a lot of water in the warm season. Mine were averaging over a gallon per tom per day, course that was hydroponics.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 9:33AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

A rain gutter might work, I will see what I can find.

Al, These are a special small hybrid bred for hanging baskets and containers. They produce cherry sized tomatoes. I averaged 4-5 pints of cherry tomatoes off the ones that didn't sell last year.

I am not wanting these plants to produce all season long. I just want them to produce as early as possible and I will start harvesting from my "in the ground" cherry tomatoes around June 25th. I am thinking I could get them producing by early May through June.

Et14-Where did you get a 6 by 6 hollow fence post?

I also thought of using nursery pots and just make a shelf for them to sit on. It probably would be simpler. Maybe I am making this too hard.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 11:08AM
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