Monday, March 15, 2010

Tomato Pot #1

I found a couple big metal tubs at Goodwill a couple months back that I knew would make great containers. They were originally from Target, the type for filling w/ice and beer bottles, and had a funky Christmas green hammered metal finish. Not so nice. I had taken a "before" pic but lost it along with my camera before I could download it. Anyway I was pretty sure they weren't galvanized so I primed it with Rustoleum, picked up a spray can of a lovely aqua blue color, and added white accents with some enamel leftover from another project. Turned out rather nice.

Oh, I put three drainage holes in the bottom before I started painted them so that rust won't work it's way in from them (at least not so quickly).

Anyway, the new containers are almost 2 feet wide so each can hold a small variety of plants unlike the ones I used for tomatoes last year. I've been looking up info about companion planting and decided on basil (Purple Petra) and carrots (Scarlet Nantes) to go with my Brandywine tomato plant. Carrots are supposed to help loosen and aerate the soil for the tomato roots, and basil is supposed to somehow help invigorate tomato. I don't mind if the carrots come out funny shaped from the tomato, it's an experiment anyway since I tried starting them in peat pots to see if they still come out crooked from transplanting. I may also tuck in some purple alyssum once those have grown in well, it attracts hoverflies whose larvae eat aphids. I put the tomato in the back so it wouldn't block the basil from getting sun and I figure once it starts getting height it can be guided toward the center of the cage.

Not bad. For the other container I might try it with marigolds, chives and parsnips. I hope I get to that this  coming weekend. Any other good tomato companion recommendations?

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