The Secret to a Great Tomato Harvest

When you think of robust tomatoes, you probably think about nice healthy soil, maybe trellises or stakes, and maybe, I don’t know, hardy heirloom seeds. What probably does not come to mind right away is a garbage can.

Who knew, but a simple plastic garbage can could be the secret to growing a garden tomato crop with the most voluptuous fruits and leaves that you have ever grown. An avid gardener posted these unbelievable photos on of his secret to growing huge tomato plants. Do you want to know his secret? OK, I’ll tell you.

The DIY gardener started by buying a small, round, plastic wastebasket, which he drilled holes in. He drilled the holes around the bottom rim, and “a second row up about ten inches.” He buried the wastebasket so that the second row of holes rose just above the ground. He then filled the wastebasket with two shovels-full of compost.

Next, he planted four tomato plants around the trash can, and put up a round tomato cage around them. Every two days, he fills up the little garbage can with water. Easy, eh?

Within a month and a half, he grew five foot high tomato plants, each of which bore a lot of fruit. FYI, he was gardening in central Pennsylvania, where the climate is chilly and the growing season is shorter than in the South. So if you are getting a late start on planting tomatoes, this technique is a way to speed up the growth process for optimal yield.

More tips for growing tomatoes: A gardener in San Diego discusses preparing your tomato starter plants for transplanting.

Photo: Photo and plants by James Bryan C via

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By Chaya Kurtz, Networx


Elisa F.
Elisa F3 years ago

Thanks :)

Kay M.
.4 years ago

Thank you for the article Chaya, and thank you to the over 500 comments, it took a while to get thru, but they were enjoyable.

Valerie A.
Valerie A4 years ago


Elizabeth Sowers
Liz Sowers4 years ago

Interesting and creative! thanks

Patricia Geraldes

Thanks for sharing.

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado4 years ago

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

Tania S.
Tania S4 years ago

Yummy I am going to try this

Jeni P.
Jeni P4 years ago

had many prbs trying 2 grow my tomatoes this year...maybe this idea will resolve the issue...thanks for sharing