Growise Home - Growise Center Locator - Who We Are - Gifts for Gardeners - Gift Certificates - Garden Guide - Wise Buys - National Gardening Sale - Fall Festival



In the Vegetable Patch: Garbage Can Tomatoes

by Nellie Neal

You’ve heard the tales and they’re true: you can grow more tomatoes than you can eat in a thirty-gallon plastic garbage can. Thanks to more than twenty-five years of exhaustive (and tasty) research by garden writer Jim Wilson, you can share the method that has delivered upwards of sixty pounds of fruit in one season from two plants. 

Pick a sunny spot near water and set the container up on four bricks. Mix a loose, soilless potting media to avoid the soil-borne diseases that plague tomatoes. Use pine bark, peat moss, and perlite in a 2:1:1 ratio and add eight ounces of pelletized dolomitic limestone for thirty gallons of mix to minimize blossom end rot. Also add a slow release fertilizer. 

Drill six holes in the bottom of the garbage can, fill it with your mix or a bagged potting soil to within two inches of the top, and plant two disease-resistant varieties such as Celebrity or Better Boy. Water well. 

Cut a piece of eight-foot tall steel reinforcing wire long enough to go around the pot plus six inches. Stand the wire on the ground around the pot to make a cage. Then secure the cage to itself with wire. Finally drive two steel posts into the ground on opposite sides of the pot. Wire the cage to the posts.

 Watch for rapid growth. Do not prune the plant, but tuck in the stems that try to escape the cage. Water the mix, but not the leaves for best results. Always water so water comes out the drain of the pot, and repeat when the soil surface begins to feel dry. When the plant begins to make fruit, you may have to water daily. Such a small price to pay for bountiful tomatoes!



Growise Home - Growise Center Locator - Who We Are - Gifts for Gardeners - Gift Certificates - Garden Guide - Wise Buys - National Gardening Sale - Fall Festival