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

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Old February 18, 2017   #16
Ricky Shaw
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Good product I'm sure, the expense is considerably more than perlite. I'm looking to get cheaper, especially because I'm not re-using media, it just goes to fill in low spots in the yard.

What hydroponic solution are you using Betta? Do you meter and pH your nutrients?
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Old February 18, 2017   #17
kurt
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@ BettaPonic,Are you asking about the company or the growstones that some old timers have been using for years?I believe in Europe I read that there is no more natural product to process said medium.Now the name Growstone is trademarked I guess.
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Old February 18, 2017   #18
BettaPonic
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I am talking about a specific company called Growstone. They make their medium from recycled glass.

I ph adjust my nutrients. I use a General Hydroponics kit for PH adjusting.
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Old February 18, 2017   #19
Barb_FL
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A couple of seasons ago, I bought a big bag of Growstones. I like chunky perlite, but the Growstones were really big.

On the Peat, do you wash/rinse it a lot? At the hydro store, the good peat stuff (washed/low salt) was really pricey. I still have a bunch of Peat Blocks that I bought from Earth Box early on; the hydro store told me just to rinse it a lot.

Ricky - I bought these once and they don't break down.
http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/p...growing-medium

I found there is a sweet spot in the shipping cost at GHM; just play around with what you are buying.

How come you don't reuse your mix? - I'm going to dump a bunch of mine in the raised beds, but solarize all the earth boxes.
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Old February 19, 2017   #20
Ricky Shaw
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Hey Barb,

Thanks for the tip on those coir chips, and I might have found some too. Stopped at my local hydro guy today, says he thinks he can get a similar product. Should be about the same price as the standard coir he stocks, GenHyd Coco-Tek $11/ 5kg.


How come you don't reuse your mix?

I think the promix had degraded, a lot of the peat was powderized, and there's the possibility of fertilizer build-up and pH imbalance. And then I'd worry some pest overwintered in it, because I didn't solarize correctly. It's my OCD as much as anything.

I saved about 20 gals of it for flower pots and the rest went into raised bed and low spots.
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Old February 20, 2017   #21
FourOaks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky Shaw View Post
Stopped at my local hydro guy today, says he thinks he can get a similar product. Should be about the same price as the standard coir he stocks, GenHyd Coco-Tek $11/ 5kg.
Ricky,

I hope its not too late to tell you that the General Hydro brick is nothing like the Plant!T Chips. I have bought a brick of the General Hydro and its almost entirely "peat-ish" with some fine strands. I am using the "Grow!T" brand which is the same as the "Plant!T" brand. Why they have 2 different brands is beyond me.

Anyways, for the GH brand, you will have to add something else to encourage drainage. A small amount of perlite or another brand of chips. But I will say for seed starting, the fine strands and peatish texture are great.
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Old February 20, 2017   #22
BigVanVader
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky Shaw View Post
Hey Barb,

Thanks for the tip on those coir chips, and I might have found some too. Stopped at my local hydro guy today, says he thinks he can get a similar product. Should be about the same price as the standard coir he stocks, GenHyd Coco-Tek $11/ 5kg.


How come you don't reuse your mix?

I think the promix had degraded, a lot of the peat was powderized, and there's the possibility of fertilizer build-up and pH imbalance. And then I'd worry some pest overwintered in it, because I didn't solarize correctly. It's my OCD as much as anything.

I saved about 20 gals of it for flower pots and the rest went into raised bed and low spots.
Just thinking out loud here but if you got you one of those compost tumblers you could essentially cook your old soil in it and reuse w/o worry of pest/disease etc. I'm OCD as well, I feel your pain.
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Old February 20, 2017   #23
Ricky Shaw
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Thank you Van, the compost tumbler is something I'm looking at getting, so this would fit well. I think I'll try to solarize and re-use it in a few containers to see if there's a difference in health and productivity.
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Old February 20, 2017   #24
Gerardo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky Shaw View Post
Thank you Van, the compost tumbler is something I'm looking at getting, so this would fit well. I think I'll try to solarize and re-use it in a few containers to see if there's a difference in health and productivity.
The sweet spot is about 60-70% recycled and the rest fresh mix. Thumbs up on solarization.
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Old February 20, 2017   #25
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I thought solarizing did make a big difference. But in Florida, the best solarizing months are the months we can't grow most things anyway.

Since we have to grow tomatoes, etc in containers, solarizing the mix keeps it contained. If we didn't keep it covered, we would have massive weeds.

I only solarize what I will want next season so can fit 2 EB of Mix in one EB. This way, I can solarize only in the EB but include what I am keeping from the Root Pouches. I also add crab shells (Neptune's Harvest) to the mix.

These are the bags I solarize in. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...00_s00?ie=UTF8

I've tried the black bags, and doubling cheaper clear bags but I've had the temps up to 140 using these.

----
Ricky - I haven't used it yet, but I bought https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

for flushing the mix.
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Old February 21, 2017   #26
Nematode
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Yup coir grower.
Still dialing in the riococo slabs.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #27
Barb_FL
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How are the Coir growers doing or is it too early in the season to tell?


I found the Plant It Coir is now sold by Walmart with free delivery to store:

I bought one of each and should get them on Weds: Will report back after I see what I actually get.

This one is the mixed brick - not sure of the difference but looks to be a pack of 3https://www.walmart.com/ip/54998380

The Hydrofarm JSCCB Coco Coir Chip Brick was $7 but Out of Stock now:

the 9 lb 14 oz one - makes 2.5 CU Gallon https://www.walmart.com/ip/54998504

----
Would you plant JUST in these for your containers? A few years back I did plant a container or 2 ONLY in the Wonder Soil and same in Wonder Soil & Perlite. Wonder Soil is out for me due to the expense.

Anybody have cheap Coir solutions where you don't have to do excessive rinsings?

Last edited by Barb_FL; 1 Week Ago at 02:15 PM.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #28
Barb_FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nematode View Post
Yup coir grower.
Still dialing in the riococo slabs.
Just saw this: Googled it - Coir and Bag all in one - do you have pictures with your plants
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Old 1 Week Ago   #29
BettaPonic
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I use air pots. I also add Growstone. The big problem is the soil drys out really fast.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #30
peebee
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BigVV, I have a compost tumbler I hardly use (I prefer to use my big Rubbermaid compost bin since I cold compost, mainly for worms). How can you heat up used soil in it like you suggest? I thought the stuff you throw in the tumbler to make compost will heat up, but that is due to the compost forming. If you throw in just old potting soil by itself, I don't see how it will heat up... Please give me more info, thanks.
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