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Globe waterer for tomatoes

oooftoooft Posts: 175
edited April 2019 in Garden design
Hello gardeners. Last year I used buckets with the bottoms cut out and inserted into grow bags. Got lots of fruit but some were kind of hollow and dry inside. This year I am doing 3 inside and 3 in a blow away grow house outside. For inside I've used the bottomless buckets again though currently inserted into plant pots so I have the option to leave them in there or take out and put in growbag. I have them sitting on hydroleca. Should this just be damp or more like pebbles in water? I've just potted them on so now is a good time to poke things in there while I know where the roots are. Is this method suitable for tomatoes? Or are they so thirsty it's a daft idea?  Also I have a tomatillo this year. Every morning there are water drops on the leaves, loads of them. Is this the way the plants evolved to condense moisture from the air or have I got a right sweaty plant? 😃 But seriously, there's so much moisture on this one plant I could believe it sweats


  • Not quite sure what you are asking but Toms are best grown in good compost with decent light.  Alternatively, use a proper hydroponic system but you will still need to provide light.
    I don't know what you mean by a Globe waterer ?
    If you want decent tasting toms, don't over water and go steady with the feed.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 2,673
    No feed until first fruit!!!!
  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 773
    I did this last year, a DIY self-watering planter system. The pots have holes in them and a capillary matting as a wick. It would be better with bigger pots and bigger reservoirs but it worked, I only needed to fill the reservoirs once or twice a week.

  • oooftoooft Posts: 175
    Thanks for the replies, particularly advice not to feed until fruit appears. Was literally planning to feed today! These are the globe waterer, I just went ahead and put them in

    Hydroleca is water retaining clay stones so I think set up v similar to edhelka which I'm pleased to hear worked well.

    Looking at your pots, Edhelka, I'm wondering if I used too small last year. Can you remember what size they are? 
  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 773
    They are 30cm Milano planters from Wilko, approx. 9l volume. Their next size, 35cm/15l would be better (at least for bigger toms) but I was gardening in a very limited space last year.
  • oooftoooft Posts: 175
    edhelka said:
    They are 30cm Milano planters from Wilko, approx. 9l volume. Their next size, 35cm/15l would be better (at least for bigger toms) but I was gardening in a very limited space last year. 
    Thanks for that, I'm defo using pots that are too small. And I never thought of wilko for pots. Looked at them online and their prices are great. 
  • REMF33REMF33 Posts: 117
    Very interested to see you post Edhelka. I have Quadgrows for my tomatoes and experimented with making my own last year. (It kind of worked, but they main problem was finding something cheap enough that would work as a tank. My prototype, using one of those lidded plastic tubs that fat balls come in, was a bit precarious on the balance/stability front.) So, I had been wondering if could stuff capillary matting strips through the bottom of pots, then sit over a gravel tray. The answer seems to be yes! Your use of planks is genius :) Was thinking of doing this for cucumbers, courgettes, cape gooseberries and Achocha Cornuti (if they arrive - Suttons have had a bit of a crop failure, I think), primarily. I cannot allow myself to grow more tomatoes than my 6 (!) Quadgrows (acummulated over several years) will accommodate... :open_mouth:
  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 773
    @REMF33 I was inspired by Quadgrow system (which is really nice and has good reviews but expensive). And had the same problems with affordable tanks. The gravel trays work but the volume of water they can hold isn't as I would like it.
  • REMF33REMF33 Posts: 117
    I will think about that aspect. I suppose pound shop washing up bowls (if such exist) might hold a little more. Anything bigger would probably get too pricey. (And I don't think my partner would be that keen on an old bath tub, even supposing I could find one.)
    The Quadgrow are very good, but also liable to topple over - or did last year while I was on holiday during the heatwave. The tomatoes were sucking up a tank of water (30 litres) every other day, and the tanks didn't always get filled when needed, so when it got windy... I am going to rig up frames with little sand bags this year.
  • REMF33REMF33 Posts: 117
    I suppose Freecycle if one wanted to go down the bathtub route...?!
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