I'm using three old tires that we have stacked around, and painted them to match the buckets. I've covered the ground in a killing mulch (feed sacks from the deer corn that I've been saving) and then covering that with pea gravel. These are being set up in the garden in a full sun area, since tomatoes are sun loving plants. I cut out the mulch in the bottom of the tires, and added about 6 inches of compost, before setting in the buckets.
Next I added the soil, with a sprinkle of wood ash and tomato fertilizer at each level. I've read that tomatoes like ash, so this is another experiment. We've been adding ash to our compost pile this year, too.
Filled up the buckets and the tire below with the composted soil. Boy, did this soil smell like a cow barn! Should be good stuff.
I'm planning to plant marigolds around the tire below the tomatoes since they are "supposed" to guard against pests that like tomato plants. We'll see....
All done, complete with two tomato cages in each bucket (I wired two together before putting them in place.) In the last bucket I had to use a plastic milk container in place of a pvc pipe, since I couldn't find any more of the big pipe. Should work the same though (hope!)
Okay, now I'm ready to go! This will be one standard tomato, one plum type tomato and one cherry tomato. I'm just waiting for the safe "no frost" date! Let's see if I can beat my brother to the first tomato of the season!