Living Center Oregon

Sustainable Living Center Oregon

Extend Growing Season for Food Security for 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 its water reservoir’s heat storage capacity.  This enables a longer growing season and minimal need for watering. Tomato production on the Oregon Coast is complex 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 – 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 where water is wicked up from a 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 the 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 82 Siletz Lincoln City, OR 97360.  

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 proper 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

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





Main Office – Hours noon – 10 pm …. Depoe Bay, OR 97341


This entry was posted on June 19, 2021 by .