I recently wrote about my “wooden vermi tomato boxes“, and mentioned the fact that I’ll be trying a number of different vermi-gardening approaches with tomato plants this year. One such approach will be bucket planters – specifically, tomato planters that also contain a (hopefully) functional worm composting system as well. Basically, this will be like a scaled-down version of the wooden box planters, and will contain only one plant.
It all started with me simply needing bigger pots for two tomato plants I’d been growing on my deck. They were doing quite well in old hanging basket pots I’d recently transferred them to, but I knew I’d need something at least a bit more substantial if I had hopes of producing a decent sized fruit-bearing plant.
I’d heard of people growing tomatoes successfully in buckets, and I ended up finding a couple of buckets with drainage holes already drilled in the bottom (from my “Manure Chard Challenge“) so that sealed the deal.
Like the wooden box systems, I decided to do a bit of a hybrid approach with these buckets, and opted to fill the lower part of the bucket with “black earth” soil. The media in the “old hanging basket pots” had been a mix of coco coir and vermicompost that I’d been using to start seedlings. The remainder of the space was simply filled with wormy vermicompost (pretty coarse stuff harvested from the bottom of my big wooden worm bin)
I thought I might try some different “food” materials – which will simply be placed on the surface, perhaps with some burlap over top – but so far I’ve only added a bit of alpaca manure.
The growth of my first two bucket plants has been fantastic so far – they are by far my largest tomato plants, and are showing no signs of slowing down their growth!
I recently set up four more tomato bucket systems for a bit of a fun experiment, but I’ll leave you in suspense (haha) until I write about that in an upcoming post!