NEWPORT NEWS—1. The pickle barrels need to have screw on lids for this design to work. The barrels with snap on lids and locking tabs will not provide the void needed for the standpipe and water.
2. Measure half way up the side of the pickle barrel and mark a line around the circumference of the barrel. Cut the barrel in half around the circumference using a jig saw or other suitable tool.
- Ensure the lid is installed and the lid locking ring is screwed on tightly.
- Drill approximately 20 one-eighth inch diameter holes in the lid.
- On the top of the barrel body immediately adjacent to the lid locking ring cut a 2 inch diameter hole. Place the top half of the barrel lid side down on the floor.
- Cut a 2 inch diameter piece of PVC pipe about 3 inches longer than the barrel upper half is tall.
- Insert the PVC piping down through the 2 inch hole cut into the barrel body. Support the bottom end of the pipe so that it is about 1 inch from the floor and seal the pipe to the barrel with silicone sealant.
5. Insert the pot into the tray.
6. After filling the pot with a light potting soil you are now ready to plant your tomatoes!
7. Water the pot through the 2-inch standpipe until water runs out of the 4 holes in the tray. Top watering may be necessary for the first week or so until the roots have become established.
8. Make a cage of 2"x4" wire fencing that is 4 foot tall and fit it into the pot. To prevent the tomatoes and fencing from tipping over during high winds, tie off the wire fencing to the pot through small holes drilled near the top of the pot.
Quick, easy and inexpensive, says Dan Sherry of Smithfield.