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

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Old June 11, 2022   #16
Balr14
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Here's how things look today. We have had generally cold weather with a fair amount of rain, so the plants aren't growing so well. I had to replace two plants in the middle. They were doing poorly and showing signs of disease. They were from a usually reliable source that has gotten worse in recent years.
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Old June 11, 2022   #17
MrsJustice
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I haven't posted in a number of years. I moved to a different house and had to start my veggie garden over. Growing conditions and container location are not nearly as good as they were at the old house. So, it took a few years to figure out what works best.

Awhile back, somebody asked me about growing tomatoes in Earthboxes. I apologize for not responding... I just saw the message now.

Anyway, here's what I know after about 15 years of growing tomatoes in Earthboxes:

1. They are expensive ($35) but they are worth it. They last a long time. Mine are between 10 - 20 years old and show no signs of damage. I have tried other plastic containers and they get brittle and fall apart in 2 - 3 years.

2. You can grow any kind of tomato in an Earthbox and get outstanding results. The biggest issue you will have is supporting the plants. I typically grow about 60% heirlooms. But I have a variety of cherry, medium sized and large tomatoes in my containers.

3. You can grow 2 or 3 tomatoe plants in one Earthbox container. Putting 2 in an Earthbox requires no special preparation or planning. For 3, you need to plan a little. You don't want 3 high yield plants in one container. One high yield plant and two lower yield plants works pretty well.

4. Tomato plant roots will reach the water reservoir pretty quickly. I put a cap full of Miracle grow in the water every two weeks. During the most active growing period, you will need to refill the container every day.

5. Once the plants are established, if there isn't as much room in the container as they would like, they will grow vertically... a lot!

That's it for now. Feel free to comment or ask questions. Here's a picture taken in June.
I am impressed, especially since I tried to grow tomatoes in earthboxes that did not go well for me last winter. I Used natural dirt from my own farm. Maybe that was my problem.
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Old July 16, 2022   #18
Balr14
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What a year this has been for growing! After replacing 2 plants that were diseased, we had high winds and hail that destroyed all of my tomatoes on this side of my "garden" except those on each end and the right half of the plant that was second from the end on the right side. Plants on the opposite side of my garden were OK, so I lucked out there.

This was in the middle of June, so I was in a panic to find replacement plants. The garden center where I get my good plants had some leftover tomato plants they had not thrown out yet. But, they were a mess. There was like a hundred plants all clumped together, very stringy and scraggly looking and had not been watered in weeks. I dug through the mess and found about a dozen plants that looked like they were still half alive and paid $2.00 for the lot of them and took them home.

After looking them over and cleaning them up and pruning them, I found 6 that looked like they might survive and actually produce fruit. I stuck them all in the space I had in the left and middle container. I figured I'd see which ones do the best and toss the others.

Well, I got busy with other projects and didn't get a chance to play with the tomato plants again. So, here it is now...
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Old July 16, 2022   #19
ddsack
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Nice! It looks like your reject plants have taken off! Still a lot of growing time left, so I do hope that you don't get any more stormy weather set backs. I see some near ripe cherries?
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Old July 21, 2022   #20
Shrinkrap
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They look great! You fixed them up good!

It occurs to me that except for my first picture, my plants and fruit include some from previous years. I have none ripe yet this year, but here they are, July 2022. Some yellow leaves, Witty bits, and frass that I haven't been able to track back. Sigh.

Oh well. It's all part of the journey. Carry on!
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Old July 23, 2022   #21
Balr14
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Nice! It looks like your reject plants have taken off! Still a lot of growing time left, so I do hope that you don't get any more stormy weather set backs. I see some near ripe cherries?
I've been picking several kinds of cherries for two weeks already. Very early. Quite odd.
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Old July 23, 2022   #22
Balr14
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Originally Posted by Shrinkrap View Post
They look great! You fixed them up good!

It occurs to me that except for my first picture, my plants and fruit include some from previous years. I have none ripe yet this year, but here they are, July 2022. Some yellow leaves, Witty bits, and frass that I haven't been able to track back. Sigh.

Oh well. It's all part of the journey. Carry on!
It sure is! The two diseased plants I removed from my garden area, were really looking bad, leaves curled and dry, buds dropping off or just dying. But they were the only black tomatoes I had this year, so I didn't want to just toss them out. So, I stuck them in a clean container and put them off to the side on my deck. I kept pruning bad growth off of them, to see if they would survive. Here they are today, 6' tall. Who knows?
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Old July 25, 2022   #23
hl2601
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Love seeing everyone's earth box set up pics! Also fun too to see what others do to contain the plants. My system is a little different. I always put two larger tomatoes in each box. I have the staking systems on my earthboxes, but have found the trellising net to be pretty useless. Instead I insert a 6' stake beside each plant that is tied to the top of the staking system. I clip and "tidy" the tomatoes up vertically keeping 2-3 growth stems. So far this has worked well. Here are some pics from earlier in the season. I think I have about 20 or so boxes going in 2 separate areas.
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Old July 30, 2022   #24
Balr14
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Nice setup. You put a lot more effort into it than I do. I'm pretty sure I'm going to stick to 2 plants per EarthBox next year and spread them out more.
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Old July 30, 2022   #25
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Bair14 - I can't believe how well those plants recooperated. You have the magic touch for sure.

Hi2601 - My season is done (last plants pulled end of June), but I will post pictures of some of my EB.
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Old July 30, 2022   #26
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My setup - I have 40EB but this past season only used 10 for growing tomatoes, and grew broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and lettuce in the others. I also have 7 EB Jrs that are strictly for lettuce growing.

My season goes from Sept 1 - June 30 with Sept 1 just starting seeds.

I typically use a lot more EB for tomatoes, but this past year I didn't - it gets really cold some January nights and I found the tomato plants growing in Root Pouches can really handle the cold / heat better.

For ALL my tomato plants, I have to attach the cage to a T-Post to keep them from blowing over. I have tons of wind; it's not unusual to have days of 30-35 MPH sustained over several days.

For most of the growing season, I cover the outside of the EBs so the intense sun does not make the mix and reservoir too warm. This makes everything look really crappy but it really does work. I use the empty bags of Promix which really looks bad and also cut green indoor / outdoor carpet with the underneath part exposed to the sun.

When the season is over, I empty all my EB and Rootpouch (Fabric grow bags), and solarize all the mix and pressure wash everything.

My main season (winter) is during the least # of daylight hours.
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Old July 30, 2022   #27
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Having trouble uploading - I will try one at a time.
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Old July 30, 2022   #28
MrsJustice
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O K I might try Boxes next year in the Summertime. But I am still aging to try again in my Greenhouse in the Winter Times.
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Old July 31, 2022   #29
Balr14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barb_FL View Post
My setup - I have 40EB but this past season only used 10 for growing tomatoes, and grew broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and lettuce in the others. I also have 7 EB Jrs that are strictly for lettuce growing.

My season goes from Sept 1 - June 30 with Sept 1 just starting seeds.

I typically use a lot more EB for tomatoes, but this past year I didn't - it gets really cold some January nights and I found the tomato plants growing in Root Pouches can really handle the cold / heat better.

For ALL my tomato plants, I have to attach the cage to a T-Post to keep them from blowing over. I have tons of wind; it's not unusual to have days of 30-35 MPH sustained over several days.

For most of the growing season, I cover the outside of the EBs so the intense sun does not make the mix and reservoir too warm. This makes everything look really crappy but it really does work. I use the empty bags of Promix which really looks bad and also cut green indoor / outdoor carpet with the underneath part exposed to the sun.

When the season is over, I empty all my EB and Rootpouch (Fabric grow bags), and solarize all the mix and pressure wash everything.

My main season (winter) is during the least # of daylight hours.
I grow lots of peppers and herbs in my EBs. I don't have to worry about too much heat or sun. I tried carrots and cucumbers in an EB last year. That idea needs some work.
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Old August 23, 2022   #30
Balr14
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Growing season is about done and I have cut down most of my tomato plants. I still have about 50 large tomatoes hanging on the plants to ripen. I also have one white cherry tomato plant that refuses to stop producing. On the whole, it was a very good year. Despite wind and weather damage, I actually ended up with more tomatoes than I had the last several years.
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