Asked on Mar 9, 2013

Planting tomatoes in a half whiskey barrel.

Julie BDouglas HuntJeanette S


For the past couple of years, I have tried to grow cherry tomatoes in a faux (plastic from Home Depot) half whiskey barrel to no avail. I was told that I drowned the roots. It would start out pretty but then slowly died and never did bear tomatoes. I want to try it differently this year and wanted to see if someone can help me. I will ask hubby to drill some drainage holes towards the bottom, start with river rock for drainage then good soil. I believe when I watered there was nowhere for drainage so the plant suffered. Please help! I really want to be successful this year. Thanks, Julie
5 answers
  • Kimberly Barney
    on Mar 9, 2013

    You definitely needed drain holes and the rock base will help. You may find that your soil may need some lime added to the soil for tomatoes. If you are not just set to grow your tomatoes in the half barrels, bales of hay work well for tomatoes.

  • Gail Salminen
    on Mar 9, 2013

    @Julie B drainage is the definite place to start and your plan river rock, or you could use a less expensive gravel for added drainage - in large pots I use chunks of the styrofoarm planters or old pots since I already have them and want to use less dirt - is also a good idea. You will want to make sure they are in a location with the right amount of sun. You could also try a fetilizer specific for tomatoes. i wish you luck, they are so tasty fresh from the garden in the summer! Please post pics later with your results and what you actually did. Thanks for posting :)

  • Jeanette S
    on Mar 10, 2013

    All I can say is tomatoes never work for me. You have to learn about how to plant properly (size of beginning plants matters, depth to plant matters, taking off certain leaves are important, do/don't pick off "suckers", etc)...for me, they are just too complicated for the amateur gardener! HA! Plant a petunia instead.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Mar 10, 2013

    Regulating the water is probably the biggest challenge to growing tomatoes in containers and you've gotten good ideas in that regard. Make sure the containers are in a spot where they get six to eight hours of sun a day. Good luck!

  • Julie B
    on Mar 10, 2013

    Thank you all for the hints and tips. Yes Jeanette I am definitely not a green thumb, not even mint thumb at best. LOL I just love having fresh garden tomatoes and if I can keep from paying then.... I will keep trying. Thanks again.

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