Wow! A lot of words to say two five gallon paint buckets put together so you have a back-up water resevoir in the bottom. Tomatoes will grow really well in containers but you can't let them dry out even for a day. I recommend a 5 gallon bucket or larger. It is really hard to ensure you don't let container tomatoes dry out. You want to give yourself three advanatages. The first is using a 5 gallon container or larger. The second is using a moisture control soil mix and the the third is using this dual container design.

Step 1: The Basic Materials: 2 Five Gallon Buckets, Stones and Moisture Control Soil

The 5 gallon buckets will cost you about $4 each from any home improvement center. Different centers have different colors. You will need a bag of pebbles, the size in the picture. They can cost anywhere from $4.99 to $6.99. It will however supply enough pebbles for 3 or more containers. The soil can be store bought or hand made. The key is a lot of peat moss or other organic matter that will hold water. Any of the commerical bags of moisture control garden mix while work well. The cost for a large bag is about $9.99 and that should be enough for 3 or more containers.
You mention standard watering and not letting the soil dry out. What would you instruct about watering?
I hate to pop anyone's bubble, but there are a couple of problems that should be pointed out with this build. I have made several self watering containers and learned some things the hard way, but some things are simply matters of physics. <br> <br>As soon as enough water is drawn into the soil, or evaporates, to create an air space between the top container and the water level the water will stop moving into the soil. While plant roots may eventually seek out the water, soil nutrients can't be transferred to plants in dry soil and your plants will suffer deficiencies. This build would, at best, make use of about 1/4 in of the available water. <br> <br>There are a couple of possible remedies for this. A couple of larger holes in the container bottom could accommodate absorbent rags to act as wicks to transfer water. These should be long enough to extend to the bottom of the holding (lower) bucket and almost to the top of the soil. One could also cut an opening in the bottom of the planting bucket and install a basket to hold soil and then adjust the drain hole to match the height of the basket. Pond plant baskets or strawberry containers work well for this. I would suggest a landscape cloth barrier between the soil and water in either case to prevent plant roots from actually reaching into the bottom container. <br> <br>Also, while fine for starting multiple plants, the 5 gal bucket is marginal for even 1 full size tomato plant. With varying sizes of storage containers available for cheap it is wise to go larger. The lower center of gravity of the storage containers may also avoid finding your plants laying down after a wind storm. In any event, secure them upright as much as possible.
Well experience for 5 years has had me grow many large and successful tomato plants. It is very effective. Wind wont plow a 5 gallon container over. This model even has stones in it. It is a water reservoir not a self water wicking system. The water system provide an excellent reservoir. Remember its not self watering system.<br><br>It will provide you several days of water if you miss a standard watering. You should also use a diluted fertilizer with all container vegetables. The tomato will also root 100% into the stone an use every drop of water. There is not gap problem. Nature takes care of it.<br><br>
Well written and a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

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