Growing Beefsteak Tomatoes in a 1/2 Wooden Barrel Container

joebronxApril 25, 2011

I am a New York to West Los Angeles transplant and a gardening newbie. I have a 1/2 wooden whiskey barrel in which I'd like to grow Beefsteak Tomatoes. What variety of Beefsteaks are recommended? How many plants will fit in a 1/2

barrel for a maximum yield? Have you a recommended LA Area nursery? A grateful thanks for any and all advice offered.

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

I'm not familiar with how many plants will fit in half a barrel. I can only guess and say possibly 2. As far as types of beefsteaks, two that I usually grow are Brandywine Suddeths, and Cherokee Purple. Also check over on the tomato forum and you'll get lots of suggestions.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 12:24AM
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Hmm. Los Angeles is zone 10, correct? I might be wrong, but I think you're way too late for the spring/summer tomato season. Even if your plants grow, you'll get hardly any fruit. Cherry tomatoes are really the only kind that will set blossoms in extreme heat. You can always try again in late august - many people in Houston (zone 9) get a much bigger harvest of tomatoes in the fall.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 8:58PM
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Actually we're in Sunset Zone 22 here. Tomato plants are just showing up this week in nursery and big box stores. Any thought on how many Beefsteak plants a 1/2 barrel would hold?
Thanks for your response.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 2:27AM
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Wow, sorry about the erroneous advice then. You don't mention how large it actually is... the ones sold in big box stores are usually smaller than a real half-barrel. If growing beefsteaks, particularly the Brandywine, I wouldn't try to fit a second plant in there. In my (short) experience, Brandywines appreciate plenty of room horizontally (as well as vertically), and have large, heavy stems and leaves. Many other types you could squeeze in two per barrel if you had to.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 6:48PM
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Many weren't all wrong. I'm a newbie at this.
West LA is in zone 10, but the rest is correct. Tomato plants are just arriving at local nurseries. The 1/2 barrel is a genuine wine barrel from a California winery. The nursery recommended a new Japanese variety called a Momotaro and two local container gardeners (both Brandywine types) said they planted this new variety last year and had fabulous yield and taste fruit! I just lucked into the plants, they are hard to come by. They both suggest two plants per 1/2 barrel. Many thanks for your help as I begin my grand adventure.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 9:55PM
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