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General discussion regarding the techniques and methods used to successfully grow tomato plants in containers.

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Old February 20, 2019   #1
MuddyBuckets
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Default Canteloupe in 5 gallon buckets

Has anyone grown cantaloupe or other melon successfully in a 5 gallon bucket? If so, was it a self watering bucket? What growing medium did you use? Fertilization? Watering frequency in the summer heat with full sun? Look forward to ideas and suggestions since I have no garden space to let the plants sprawl.
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Old February 20, 2019   #2
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Not melons but I did butternut squash that way, under a cattle panel. It climbed up and gave more than a dozen squash by the end of the season.

5 gallon bucket, gallon milk jug buried with holes punched in the top and shoulders for the roots to reach through, neck above the soil line with a piece of pvc as a fill tube, straight compost in the bucket over some rocks, no extra ferts; fill jug when empty. Pretty simple but works great with peppers and summer squash too. I think the idea came from someone on YouTube growing strawberries that way and I just modified it.

As long as you give the vines something to climb and support the fruit with slings or ties, you should be good.
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Old February 20, 2019   #3
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Good solution for the watering. Did the 5 gallon bucket have drain holes at the bottom or around the lower portion to allow for heavy rain to drain?
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Old February 20, 2019   #4
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Yes, around the lower sides. When I filled the milk jug I could tell it was full because the water would be coming out of the bucket holes. This past season though, it rained so often I didn't have to fill with the hose; maybe once all season for the peppers and they performed beautifully. It's my favorite way so far to keep peppers happy.
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Old February 20, 2019   #5
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How far down do you drill the holes on the plastic jug and what size holes?
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Old February 20, 2019   #6
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Hubby did use a drill but I don't know what size bit; I'll see if he remembers. The holes are just scattered around the top of the jug, down to where it starts to curve; not so large that tons of dirt falls in or clogs the holes. If it isn't raining too hard tomorrow, I'll try to get a photo of one of the pepper buckets.
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Old February 20, 2019   #7
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You could do it, but the yield might be small. Maybe try Minnesota Midget or something like that. I've done melons in 15 gallon containers.
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Old February 21, 2019   #8
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From what I know these are pretty leafy big plants. The water requirements will be huge, so drip irrigation seems like the way to go.
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Old February 21, 2019   #9
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Okay, here's a shot of one we used last season. It's not full enough but that will be fixed at plant out. You can see the nail used to keep the PVC from falling into the jug, and the holes at the bottom of the 5 gallon. It's crude, but effective; the peppers and squash have done really well with it the past 3 seasons and I don't see why melons would have any problems. If you do it let us know how it goes!

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Old February 21, 2019   #10
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Very well done. Is that a 1 gallon milk jug or a 1/2 gallon jug?
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Old February 21, 2019   #11
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1 gallon jug. When you're putting them together it seems that it's too big but the plants do great.
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Old February 21, 2019   #12
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Another question. Do you use a fert in the water filling the milk jug or a granular fert in the planting medium?
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Old February 21, 2019   #13
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I don't use either but I'm sure you could do that successfully. There are so many ways to container grow and many of them are better than mine, I'm sure; but I like to keep things as simple and natural as I can so this is just straight compost with the soilless mix from the potted up pepper seedlings mixed in. The squash are all direct seeded into the buckets and if I was going to grow melons this way I'd direct seed those as well.

Edweather is right regarding a reduced yield, but if you need more space, vertical space, or just want to try too many varieties (my case), this is a good way to go.
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Old March 28, 2019   #14
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Thanks for the idea & pix! I like your idea, and think I'll try a milk jug in my 10-gallon gro-bags.

The gallon jug only has holes at the shoulder (none at the bottom)? So in order for the jug to provide moisture between waterings, the plants roots must grow into the holes?

If possible, could you post a pic of the jug with its holes? (Trying to get an idea of how large/how many).
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Old March 28, 2019   #15
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Wouldn't a gallon jug in a 5 gallon bucket take up too much valuable space leaving a minimal amount of soil?
What about something like a Global bucket design?


The less soil you have the quicker it can dry out.


If you use the grow bag, leave the jug out and place the grow bag in a drip pan.
You could use any large Tupperware or Rubbermaid container just measure up about an inch or two and drill an overflow hole.
You can then either top water or bottom water.


I do this with my indoor garden.








I used to grow a lot in bags but only use a few now.


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