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General discussion regarding the techniques and methods used to successfully grow tomato plants in containers.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #46
Worth1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobiledynamics View Post
Kellogs is a better mix - depending on which line, but I believe they use more bark than peat.

MG in general - hard to advise even on their mix as their is different regionally depending on the wholesaler that process their order.....my bag of raised bed mix or organic compost may be a different fill than yours....
There are always broken bags at the store, if not I will look anyway.
I make my determinations from looking.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #47
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Ah. Now I know who's been ripping the bags at mine ;-)
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Old 1 Week Ago   #48
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If I like it I buy it and most of the time I do.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #49
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This mix is:

64 quarts of MG Nature's Care potting mix (2 bags)
1 cu ft. of MG potting mix (Half a bag) to get it out of my barn.
2/3 of an 8 quart bag of Perlite (5.33333... quarts)



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Old 1 Week Ago   #50
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Needs ketchup.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #51
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Worth, I have half a bag left over. I'll mail you some - you can try it with ketchup on it
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Old 1 Week Ago   #52
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I usually get about 3-4 years out of my mix before it just becomes hummuss for the worms in real dirt. On the 2nd and 3rd year, I add more bark and coarse vermic. Heh, if I snapped a pic of my mix, it would look like 50% white - somewhere as it dries out over the winter, the vermiculate tends to make it's way to the top.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #53
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This thread has given me a lot to think about.

Holes in the bottom of the pot for drainage is what I learned from my elders/family.

Worth has proven to me that those holes are not necessary. He even grows in black pots. (My understanding of container growing is growing in some sort of pot.) Worth, you can grow them that way, and I will try it, but you know I have to try some in a white bucket. White reflects heat, black is the opposite.

Marsha grows in Earthboxes. I wanted to grow in those, but feeding and paying the bills for a family of 6 quickly took away that option. The little money I had for gardening needed to be spent as wisely as I could. Marsha agrees with what I learned from my Elders about the holes in the containers. How I'm going to keep RKN and Fusarium wilt out of those holes - I have an idea.

Mark told me how he professionally grows tomatoes in Alaska. I could not afford the brand of fertilizer he suggested, but I did buy the closest thing that I could afford. Mark grows inside in Alaska, and I'm growing outside in Texas.

I respect everyone replying to this thread - your advice has been very helpful and will continue to be so.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #54
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Salt, just throwing things out, but maybe you could line the pots with a fabric to keep the roots in but allow the water to seep out for drainage. Like some kind of permiable landscape fabric.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #55
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Quote:
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Salt, just throwing things out, but maybe you could line the pots with a fabric to keep the roots in but allow the water to seep out for drainage. Like some kind of permiable landscape fabric.
Trouble with anything permeable is that Root Knot Nematodes will be able to migrate through it.they are microscopic worms.

Robert- for the record, I grow in Earthboxes, I never grew in an earthtainer.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #56
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Marsha, I just saw the differences in the two. I will go back and edit the post. My mistake.
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Old 2 Days Ago   #57
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I'll try the artificial growing - it will work or not.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #58
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Salt, wishing you the best with your setup, and keep us posted! This thread is truly pretty amazing for the variety of mixes and things that can be done in containers. Pls. excuse another side trip...
SQWIBB, your "hugel pots" are blowing my mind. Please let us know how it works out for you. To answer your question most people don't replace mix that often. As you said, for organic growing, replenish with compost or well rotted manure on a yearly basis. I remove some mix in the spring (up to 1/3), add fresh compost and crushed kelp and a bit of lime as well as other ferts. I used the same container soil for 5 years that way, but then decided to cycle it outdoors due to a pest buildup in the greenhouse. Kind of regret it, because it is not that easy to rebuild what I had using commercial peat and compost, and it will need a lot of amendment before it's as good as the old stuff.
For non organic growers, the soil-less mix whether peat bark coir whatever does break down over time and loses the ideal structural properties, so afaik they also periodically change or replenish with fresh material to maintain it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SQWIBB View Post
Great thread!!!

I have been lining my pots with wood that has been soaked in a solution of 10-10-10 all winter, and Bio-Char that is charged with urea. We will see what happens.

I do have a question for the container folks, do you replace the mix every other year?
I was thinking about replenishing with my compost and growing a cover crop in the pots in the fall.
My potted plants usually get a shot of osmocote or 10-10-10 three times a season after bloom.


Wood, Charred wood, soaked in 10-10-10 solution all winter





Drip irrigation to pot.
Compost, Bio-char, Rabbit Manure and Bedding, old potting soil, some old clay soil, coffee grounds...pray for me!!

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Old 1 Day Ago   #59
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Way cool Bower!
I too sometimes use wood based materials that aren't always completely broken down. I generally add a fertilizer that is high in N (nitrogen) to the area that has the wood based materials in it. It's a offset thing because the wooden material will actually use up nitrogen as it completes its decomposition cycle. In the mean time the wood material is adding structure and helping to support the micro biology in the grow medium.
It can be kind of a "crap shot" (ie dicey) on how much of this or that to add and when, but I sometime like to play game.
Wishing you the best on your mix Bower. I find that soaking part quite interesting. Again way cool and thank you for all your posts.
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Old 1 Day Ago   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch View Post
Way cool Bower!
I too sometimes use wood based materials that aren't always completely broken down. I generally add a fertilizer that is high in N (nitrogen) to the area that has the wood based materials in it. It's a offset thing because the wooden material will actually use up nitrogen as it completes its decomposition cycle. In the mean time the wood material is adding structure and helping to support the micro biology in the grow medium.
It can be kind of a "crap shot" (ie dicey) on how much of this or that to add and when, but I sometime like to play game.
Wishing you the best on your mix Bower. I find that soaking part quite interesting. Again way cool and thank you for all your posts.
Dutch
So interested to hear about that Dutch! I haven't tried the hugel thing so I am at the 'listen and learn' stage before I may give it a go. The things that work well in one environment don't always work for another - my main concern here in the woods is that the wood based materials would attract our worst pests - ants, carpenters, slugs - and provide a habitat for them in the containers. As with mulch which is so critical in other environments, it can be deadly here. But still I feel there must be a place for hugel somewhere on my land... It is a fascinating concept to me.
Since I'm pretty much fixated on using local available organic materials my mix is always a crapshoot too. I should be testing for pH at least but don't have a kit so I'm still winging it. I think I missed the mark last year with too much peat and didn't use enough lime.
Today I divided up the last year's container mix evenly at 2/3 full and started by adding a quarter cup of wood ashes to each and a gallon watering can each to get it soaked as it's all very dry and the sun is super hot down there today. Always hesitating with the wood ashes as I've forgotten how much to use, but as usual... wingin it! I don't think a bit of lime will hurt either. Way peaty. Next will be the kelp, and maybe the bit of dry chicken manure I have left, and the compost which I still need to pick up a few more bags. Hoping to get it warm and just right moisture wise in time to plant next week.
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