Monday, May 12, 2014

New Container for New Tomatoes

Of all the tomato seeds I started earlier in the spring, these are what remain. The strongest of the bunch. Five opalka and two brandywine. They've been spending their nights out on the balcony for a while now and are ready for more growing space. Of these, I'll only grow half. The weather has been good and I could have planted these out last week.

I was planning to plant one of the brandywine tomato plants in this self-watering container I made several years ago from a 68 litre plastic tote but last year it started to leak so it was time for a replacement. I've used this old tote for growing watermelons, tomatoes and pumpkins. The plastic is very brittle after years of sunlight exposure.

The replacement that I built is a similar tote. I reused the inside part from the old container. For this container I used more plastic cable ties to secure the inner part to the outer container. When filled with potting soil, the walls of the tote tend to budge out so these extra ties should prevent some of that. I also cut the edge of the lid and secured it to the inside of the tote to use as a sort of tube for watering. And I installed a float switch so if and when I ever get around to wiring up a controller to refill the water reservoir in this container, it will know when the reservoir is full so it can shut off the pump.

So much more to do before I can plant though. I still need to clean out a few more big containers and I need to build some new ones for some melons I want to plant. And that means building a new trellis also.