Growing tomatoes in a self watering pot makes gardening easy. You can maintain even moisture and produce quality home grown tomatoes anywhere you have sun and space for a garden pot. Best of all, self watering pots help prevent blossom end rot.
Choose a self watering garden pot. There are several brands to choose from with prices ranging from $30.00 to $70.00. Read consumer reviews to help you decide which type you like best. Pay attention to how the water well is filled and how the planter handles overflow during periods of heavy rain.
Assembly is really easy and only takes a few minutes.The sections snap together and this kit arrived with a fertilizer/mulch pack included.
Place the self watering pots in a sunny location that has access to water. Tomatoes really drink a lot when the weather gets hot and they like six or more hours of sun.
Fill the garden pot with one 40-quart bag of potting soil. The soil section of the pot has two pockets that go down into the well. Make sure these are filled with soil so the roots can wick water as needed. The water well holds four gallons of water.
Purchase your tomato plants at your favorite garden center. Plan on one tomato plants per self-watering pot for best results. Tomatoes need lots of space and have less disease if not crowded. Harden off green house raised tomatoes by placing them outside on warm days and bringing them in at night or when chilly. Plant outside in your pot after the last frost date and when nights are above 50 degrees.
On planting day, carefully tip out the tomato plant. Place the surface soil level one inch below the potting soil in your planter. Gently break off any broken leaves from the bottom of the plant or leaves that will touch the soil in your garden pot. This helps prevent soil borne wilt diseases from infecting your tomato plant.
Water the tomato plants Fully saturate the soil in the planter. You will need to water from the top until the tomato plant is fully established and the roots are growing down into the self watering pot.
Fill the water reservoir in the self watering pot. The wicking action works best once the roots expand into the soil. If disease bearing mosquitoes are an issue in your area there are pellets available to kill the larvae without harm to your tomato plants.
Add a mulch. This self-watering pot included a mulch mat with slow release fertilizer attached. Other choices are shredded paper, wood chips or other bagged mulches. Mulch helps retain soil moisture and keeps weeds from sprouting in your garden pot.
Consider the optional tomato staking kit. The planter has built-in stake holes to keep the tomato cage fully secured. The cage can also support protective mesh to keep the deer away. Happy growing!
Use fresh potting soil every year and do not compost tomato plants in the fall to prevent spread of wilt diseases.
Grow companion plants in the tomato planter if desired, but remember all plants in the garden pot will compete for water and nutrients.
Know your local growing conditions. Your tomatoes may benefit from dappled shade during the hottest part of the day.
Garden pots can be moved into shelter to protect from severe weather or a short term fall freeze.
Call your county extension office to get gardening advice from a local Master Gardener.
Never spray systemic insecticides on vegetables plants as the chemicals can migrate into the fruits.