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how big a bucket

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Pink Pandora
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Post  GWN 4/12/2013, 11:50 am

I am going to try growing a few longer season things such as winter squashes in a hoop house under plastic, in buckets and I am wondering how big a bucket various plants need.
I have grown tomatoes in buckets for years and found that 5 gallon seems to suffice, but I wonder if other crops need as big a bucket, such as peppers, squash?
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Post  plantoid 4/12/2013, 2:11 pm

I grew my peppers in the same sized containers as my tomatoes GWN I suppose it's a lot to do with how big your pepper plants will grow to . Mine only reached about 3 feet tall .
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Post  GWN 4/12/2013, 3:07 pm

plantoid, 3 feet sounds pretty good to me, that is as big as the ones I had in the ground last year and they did very well. I wonder if I could get away with a smaller pot for peppers, or maybe not?
I wonder about these exotic winter squashes
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Post  plantoid 4/13/2013, 11:13 am

Sorry GWN ,
I forgot to add the pot dimensions for the capsicum peppers and aubergenes & some of the toms cherry toms such as Sungold .

Tthey are ex florists flower containers , standing about 15 inches tall , 12 " in diameter at the top and 10 inch in diameter at the base .
I melted a 3/4" hole in the side about an inch up to allow for a bit of extra wet in the tub bottom should it get really hot one day . Any excess runs out the large hole if you use a decent MM as the growth medium.

Towards the end of the season I did use tomato feed to bring on the green toms , capsicums and small aubergnes to a better ripeness
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Post  GWN 4/13/2013, 11:40 am

thanks Plantoid, sounds like pretty standard bucket size. I put holes on the sides of the bottoms with a drill.

I tried Aubergines in smaller bucket last summer, but perhaps a bit too late. Did not do well.

It will be an interesting year. I was given about 50 5 gallon water jugs, and we cut the tops off to make them into cloches, but I really do not need that many, and so think I might just use them.
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Post  chjbr63 4/13/2013, 1:37 pm

Hey GWN,

I did melon and cucumbers in 4 1/4 self watering buckets last year. 2 in each and they did good, I top dressed with worm casting and poured worm tea in the bottom a couple of times. Got lots of cucumbers but not so many melons. If you could convert those water jugs it would save a lot of time watering as buckets need quite a bit more water.
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Post  GWN 4/13/2013, 1:48 pm

thanks chjbr63.
what were the measurements of your self watering container?
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Post  chjbr63 4/13/2013, 4:36 pm

Bucket is just about 16" tall plus 2"or so with fill tube. 12" diameter on top, 10" on bottom. There is 10" depth for mix. I was wrong about the gallons size, they are 3 1/2 gal slipped inside a 5 gal bucket. Which gives me about 4" for water and air.
how big a bucket Cuc110
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 4/13/2013, 8:56 pm

GWN, consider picking up a storage bin (or two) at, say, Wal-Mart, which currently has bins measuring 17 x 23.5 x 16 for less than $5 apiece. It's easy to drill a few holes in their bottoms, fill with MM and they become great growing boxes. The lids become "saucers" to keep the water leakage from staining the deck. Just an idea that I'm trying this year for tender plants, like peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. Nonna
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Post  Pink Pandora 4/13/2013, 10:17 pm

When you grow tomotoes in a 5 gallon bucket do you need to support them? I really like this idea. Oh & how close or far apart do they need to be?
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 4/13/2013, 10:24 pm

PinkP, Your question about spacing has a lot to do with the variety of tomato you plan to put in each 5-gal. bucket, also whether it is a determinate or indeterminate variety. Indeterminate tomatoes will bear over a much longer time, so need more space and more nutrients than a determinate variety. Whatever kind of tomato you plant in your bucket, you can prune it to keep it within the bounds you desire for where you place your bucket. So, in short, the answer to your question is: "It depends." To the SFG elders: Was it Acara who had the ultimate 5-gal.-bucket tomato garden? He had some wonderful ideas. Nonna
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Post  GWN 4/14/2013, 11:02 am

I do the same support for the bucket tomatoes as for the ones in the beds. Nonna thanks for the info, I guess we are considering similar things. I want my tender things to survive long enough to ripen, like the potamaron you gave me last year.
Smile
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Post  chjbr63 4/14/2013, 11:12 am

GWN

Two of the container from Wally World can be made into self watering too.
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Post  GWN 4/14/2013, 12:06 pm

2 years ago before we bought this land, I did not know if I would be having a garden that year, OR if we would be renting, so my husband put together a self watering pot, which is a huge bin from Fred Meyers (I boycott walmart Very Happy ) it has a false bottom in it and some pots that sit down in the area where the water sits. We got the plans off the internet. I AM going to grow a few peppers there this year.
It is sitting on the south side of our garden shed and gets tons of sun. I grew a few tomatoes there last year.
how big a bucket Dsc_0310
perhaps I need to put peppers there this year
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Post  Lillyz 4/14/2013, 1:00 pm

There is a facebook page called Container Gardening Alliance. Has alot of information from their links.

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Post  GWN 4/14/2013, 1:13 pm

wowo thanks, sounds like a great resource
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how big a bucket Empty Thanks for the info

Post  Pink Pandora 4/14/2013, 6:37 pm

Thanks for the info. I have a friend that cuts his tomatoe plants, I think before planting about halfway down & he swears by this technique. Anybody heard of this? He says they produce more & don't need alot of support this way
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Post  camprn 4/14/2013, 6:45 pm

Pink, would you please be a bit more clear about what your friend does to his tomato plants before planting. I am curious about this technique that increases fruit yield. Thanks.

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Post  FamilyGardening 4/14/2013, 6:56 pm

Pink +1 what camp said Very Happy

in regards to self watering buckets and containers ....here is our son's selfwatering container last year, with a fals bottom on it and filled with Mel's mix....and our son even put in grids using rocks Razz

it did VERY well....his cherry tom produced a ton, his green onions did well and so did his sugar snap peas.....still trying to figure out carrots as they were thin and small but still tasted good Very Happy
how big a bucket Dscf0120

and yes all was planting in this one container Very Happy here it is before the cherry tom exploded Shocked

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Post  GWN 4/14/2013, 7:08 pm

I would be interested in what cutting means as well. Rose your sons self watering container looks exactly like mine. Must have been similar instructions.....
Mine did well with mels mix as well, but it was a hard area to water and tended to get left for too long, so am looking forward to adding wood chips to the top of it as well as watering from below.
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Post  Pink Pandora 4/14/2013, 7:49 pm

Hi Camprn,
He teaches agriculture to high schoolers & every year his calss sells veggie plants & flowers to the public. What he does is cut the tomatoe plants halfway down & plants them the next day. He says the plants are more sturdy & put off bigger tomatoes.
I have no idea if it works, but am considering it. Like a Star @ heaven
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Post  camprn 4/14/2013, 8:29 pm

That just doesn't seem right to me; maybe there is more to the story?
I guess it would depend upon what type of tomato plant he does that with. I cannot imagine it would be a beneficial thing to do with indeterminate tomato plants. thinking

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Post  GWN 4/14/2013, 10:47 pm

So what you are saying is that he cuts the plants half way down the stem? Or divides the stem in half..? And how many branches does he leave, or do you mean he leaves none.
I guess I am asking if you are considering doing what he is doing, what are you going to do.
It is interesting but a bit unclear..... thanks so much
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Post  Boz 4/14/2013, 11:48 pm

Some people will cut the main stem off the tomato just about the cotyledons, first leaves and allow suckers to emerge from just above the cotyledons and let them grow. You then have two stems instead of one. You could probably cut the stem anywhere above the cotyledons and allow some suckers to grow. Trimming like this will delay the setting of fruit.
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Post  Pink Pandora 4/15/2013, 5:00 pm

Here in Oklahoma we have more warm days than most locations. I imagine this probablly wouldn't work if you had fewer warm days, also I wouldn't do this unless it was determinate. I am not exactly sure where he trims the plant, but the purpose is to strenghten the root system (pruning) to be able to put on bigger tomatos. Like I said earlier I have never done this ........my luck I would end up killing them Smile
I will try it with a few & report back. Putting my garden in this week.
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