Living Center Oregon

Sustainable Living Center Oregon

Tomatoes from your Deck, Patio, or Balcony

TomatoBarrels©  are for anybody who:

tomatobarrel_july 4….. Wants ripe Tomatoes in July

….. Desires Organically Grown Produce

….. Loves Home Grown Tomatoes

….. Desires Earlier & Later Gardens

….. Wants an Easy to keep Garden

….. Needs Back Door Convenience

….. Has Disability Challenges

….. Has water Limits

….. Wants Food for Emergencies

….. Is interested in Food Security


Self-Wicking TomatoBarrels©


The TomatoBarrel© is portable and uses the heat storing capacity of its water reservoir.  This enables a longer growing season and minimal need for watering. Tomato production on the Oregon Coast is hard because of the large amount of cold Oregon rain; the Coast’s ground is cold until usually June or early July. With a TomatoBarrel© you can start planting as soon as you build your 25-gallon growing area container barrel.

The containers are mobile and can sit anywhere – on a deck, in a yard, on a sidewalk – they can be easily located in the sunniest area throughout the season. Since they are not in contact with the ground they stay warmer. There are 30 gallons of water stored in the bottom. They also only need to have water replenished about once a week.

For more Gardening on the Deck Ideas:   Click Here


TomatoBarrel© Secret is – Wicking.

Wicking is a way of growing plants in which water is wicked up from a water reservoir. The TomatoBarrel© © has a 30 gallon water reservoir and 25 gallons of growing space.

The major advantages of the wicking are:

  1. You do not have to water every day. You can fill the water reservoir when you feel like it.
  2. Water usage is reduced by up to 50% over conventional watering.
  3. Evaporation of water is significantly reduced.
  4. Rain harvesting techniques can be used which means water at no cost.
  5. Improve soil quality when worms are introduced.
  6. Significant increase in productionJuly29tomato1

Location of TomatoBarrel©

You are invited to see this TomatoBarrel©.  This Barrel can be seen at our Sustainable Living Center at: 6349 S Highway 101 Lincoln City, OR 97367.   It is just south and next to ProBuilders on the same side of the Hwy 101.  It is across the street from Street Car Village in Taft.

Self-Wicking Secret – Wicking Material

The secret of the TomatoBarrel© © is the wicking material.  TomatoBarrel© growing varies significantly from traditional in-ground in several areas. Unlike conventional soil where worms and other insects provide “channels” for natural aeration, the growing media in TomatoBarrel© requires a loose, porous mix to replicate the aeration process with the right nutrients.

A TomatoBarrel© requires a lot of wicking material – 20 gallons.

You may purchase the raw material and mix it yourself.  Use the following:

17 gals potting mix (not SOIL), avoid brands with “Moisture Control” additives.

3 .gallons of Perlite

2 cups Dolomite (garden) Lime

¼ cup Starter fertilizer

3 cups tomato fertilizer.


You can Paint a TomatoBarrel

Normally barrels are white, blue or black.  They can be painted to look like a wooden barrel.   We did, see it at our Sustainable Living Center in Lincoln City.





Main Office – Hours noon – 9pm …. Depoe Bay, OR 97341



This entry was posted on July 8, 2015 by .