Re: [tomato] While my tomatoes are growing.....I went to butterfly world

Orchid (
Mon, 22 Mar 1999 20:59:39 -0500

Dear Dan, welcome to the tomato list.  I'm maybe one step ahead of a
neophyte and I frequently ask many questions here as well.  I ask a
question, and I like to hear MANY people's opinions.  You say you live near
zones 22 & 24?  I don't know what zone you mean?  I live in South Florida,
Zone 10, and if you live in zone 22-24, you must live on the equator, the
Sahara Desert, or on a planet closer to the sun...    :>)        Regarding
the self watering containers, I buy them at Wal-Mart.  They come in 8 inch
and up.  Some will hang, and some are so big that they must be on the
ground.  Their design is simple, most of the bottom area of the dirt area is
ventilated for aeration, but an section in the configuration of an X goes
further down into a reservoir of what ever you decide to water with.  There
is a little lip on the front bottom of the Pot where you can directly pour
in your water or water/fertilizer mix,  however for the first 8 waterings,
they suggest that you water from the top.  This is to ensure that the
planting medium absorbs the moisture properly, and your transplants get
instant feeding.  You purposely over water the first time so that the excess
liquid will seep into the self feeding reservoir.  In South Florida, with
full sun and a full grown tomato plant, the largest container's reservoir
lasts 2-3 days, although the soil underneath the top layer is still damp.  I
would not go away for a week in warm weather without having someone else
water your veggies.  It is a simple design, and not matter of
fact their largest size is only about 10 bucks.

About my vertical planting containers.  Those are Bag-O-Berries.  Home depot
sold these planters completely filled with soil and 5 strawberry plants for
about $15.  It was a good deal, considering that they sold the bag
completely empty for about $7.  I bought some full bags, and I bought some
empty ones to experiment with.  Basically what they are  landscapers fabric
mulch, rolled and tied at the bottom with a tie strap.  the bag is filled
with soiless mix and five horizontal slits are made down the bag. The top of
the bag as a riveted hole with and "S" hook for hanging.  You then plant
your flower or vegetable seedling.  I am currently using them for
Strawberries, Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, Santa F1 "grape tomatoes",
pepperoncini  & snow peas.  The snow peas have been fair, but the cherry
tomatoes are doing great.  The pepperoncini and Grape tomatoes were started
later than the sweet 100, but all indications are of another "hit".  But!
With 5 full grown fruiting tomato plants in the planter, you must water them
at least once a day, probably twice during the summer.  I hang a half gallon
jug of water and let it seep slowly into the planter so the soil slowly
absorbs all the moisture..  Of course once a week you use a liquid
fertilizer.  I hang mine on the inside of my screened in pool enclosure.  It
cuts down on pests, and I relax watching my veggies grow as I float in the
pool.  ONE TIP....don't let your fertilizer mix drip down into your'll get an algae bloom you won't soon forget.  I also mix in a
little Superthrive  plant nutrition liquid everytime I fertilize.  The big
question is, as the fruit matures on my sweet 100, will the S hook hold up
under the strain.....PICTURES AT 11! The man who makes the complete bag
setup is PJSFARM@AOL.COM .  Give him a ring, his name is Paul and he's a
nice guy.    Well I hope I answered your questions, if I didn't, don't
hesitate to ask.


Peter White, Zone 10, South Florida
-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Gillman <>
To: <>
Date: Monday, March 22, 1999 7:09 PM
Subject: Re: [tomato] While my tomatoes are growing.....I went to butterfly

>I'm curious about self watering containers.  I'm a bit of a neophyte
>compared to some on this list, though I've managed to grow Brandywine and
>some other heirlooms here in Culver City on the westside of Los Angeles,
>which seems to border zones 22 & 24.  I also have a pool, which has
>considerably more sun than garden area. I've grown tomatos in large redwood
>tubs I built to take advantage of the sun, but am intriqued by the idea of
>self watering containers. How exactly do they work?
>Also curious about your vertical (verticle) containers for the sweet 100
>cherries. I want to grow these and was wondering what you type of container
>you use.
>Thanks in advance for any information you can send my way.
>Dan G.
>>My  planters for my sweet 100 cherry tomatoes are doing good.
>>They're full of green fruit.  The ones in the raised garden are building a
>>jungle...thank goodness tomatoes turn red when ripe (most of them).....
>>Tried some Jiffy Mix, god, the suggestions to soak that stuff in water
>>overnight was not a joke.
>I  Took some large self watering containers and put
>>them along my chain link fence.  Planted some yard long pole beans
>>variety, natch)  and some more  Santa grape tomatoes in another container.
>>The water sprinklers can reach them so I hope that will take care of them.
>>The pole beans should climb up and out over the chain link fence.....I
>>thought it would be an easy way to "extend" my raised garden.  In another
>>large self watering container, I transplanted some seedlings for SUN Gold
>>Cherries,  Santa Grape tomato, & one pepperoncini plant.  Put it in the
>>screened in area of my pool.  I like to swim and relax looking at my