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container with small opening

Posted by pandscorp (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 12, 11 at 12:46

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?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: container with small opening

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

RE: container with small opening

  • Posted by chadinlg zone 9%3B Sunset 15 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 13, 11 at 13:17

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.

RE: container with small opening

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.

RE: container with small opening

Thanks everyone!

RE: container with small opening

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.

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