|Watermelon SIPs on the Chicago rooftop of the Green Roof Growers|
We’ve featured self-irrigating pots (SIPs) in our first book and have done a lot of experiments with them over the years. One of the problems with growing tomatoes in SIPs is that the roots can get into the water chamber and cause problems and diseases. I found a nice workaround to this problem via an anonymous tip on a BoingBoing tomato post:
With tomatoes, you need to lay down a layer of high-quality landscape cloth (don’t use the cheap stuff) to keep the tomato’s roots from getting into the water chamber. You run it from the bottom of the bucket all the way up to the top of the soil line. If those roots get to the water chamber, your tomatoes will end up tasteless and watery. As long as you lay down the cloth and keep the SWC full, use good potting soil, fertilizer, etc. – you will have some damn good tomatoes, and plenty of them!
I’d also recommend growing smaller tomato varieties in SIPs.
If you’re using SIPs this season, leave a comment and let us know how it went.