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

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Old July 24, 2016   #16
Cole_Robbie
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I like 5-gallon buckets for dwarfs. I have grown regular indeterminates in them, but the yield is low, and the plant inevitably gets root-bound.

Part of the answer has to do with the length of one's growing season. The longer it is, the more time the plant has to become root-bound in the container.
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Old July 24, 2016   #17
xellos99
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I have 5 plants in 30 litre pots ( 6.6 gallon ). I would say that is a bare minimum because my plants in open ground treated the exact same way are much bigger and have bigger toms. The ones in the pots are clearly stunted by the pots. I would imagine 10 gallon pots would work very well though and not be far behind plants in open ground.
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Old July 26, 2016   #18
Merediana
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You can grow large indet. tomatoes in 5 gallon containers or even less (I use 12l) at least when pruned down to 1-2 stems. But it is very important to water and fertilize them properly and at least during the hot summer weeks you probably need to water them twice a day.
You'll need a really balanced fertilizer suitable for tomatoes, not one that only contains N-P-K, or you'll get some micronutrient deficiencies.

Don't chose varieties that are prone to get BER or you'll end up very frustrated...
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Old July 26, 2016   #19
Ricky Shaw
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A beautiful synopsis Merediana, and this........

"Don't chose varieties that are prone to get BER or you'll end up very frustrated..",

should be on a plaque, above the archway to every container garden.
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Old July 26, 2016   #20
nniemiec
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does anyone have a list of varieties that are prone to BER ? Sure would be good to know in the future...I'm growing in 18 gal. totes this year, and have a touch of it on several despite properly conditioning the soil, etc.
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Old July 26, 2016   #21
Ricky Shaw
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Moskvich is troublesome on the higher clusters, I suspect too much water goes to supporting a very lush leaf set. A water hog for it's size and yield.
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Old July 26, 2016   #22
zipcode
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I would say 5 is good, but 7 is quite a bit better for top manual watering. If you use drip irrigation 5 is more than enough however.
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Old July 26, 2016   #23
encore
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when i grew in just buckets, without the gutter system i had alot of problem with the roma paste tomatoes getting ber, but i also didn't have garden lime in my mix, maybe should have planted one in the gutter system this year to see the differance.
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Old July 26, 2016   #24
Ricky Shaw
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To clarify, my conditions and care are the malfunction with Moskvich. I'm sure it grows fine for a lot of people who are better pruners and gardeners, and I can only compare it to other varieties grown the same way. The BER is affecting probably 10% of the fruit currently, but it's in a garden of stand-outs. Rose de Berne and Moskvich get my limited scorn these days.
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Old July 26, 2016   #25
My Foot Smells
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small pot on deck_opt_opt.jpg

What size pot would you consider here? One is a cherry, the other looks to be a full sized tomato. Looks pretty healthy. I have no relations with the woman in the picture, but posted for reference... this type container, maybe?

potted tom_opt.jpg

Here is a picture of a tomato in a bucket, which was taken in STL in the middle of summer. THIS one looks like a no-go, imo.

Last edited by My Foot Smells; July 26, 2016 at 03:19 PM.
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Old July 26, 2016   #26
garyjr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by encore View Post
bush early girl seeds are getting trashed, two plants and the fruit is red but hard like a rock, taste store bought. just like 2 years ago, should have learned my lesson but had to give them one more chance. lol--tom
Thanks for the review on Bush early girl. I was thinking about trying that next season. My best container tomato so far has been Bush steak. Very productive, good size (avg 12 ounces) and no disease. Also, the only one I have in a container that has no blossom rot.
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Old July 26, 2016   #27
GrowingCoastal
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Bush Early Girl also had BER in 5 gal containers here. We've had wacky hot then cold weather this year and the EG seems to be very sensitive to that. As well as BER a few green tomatoes also rotted from the top! A friend who has them in ground has no problems.
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Old July 26, 2016   #28
jmsieglaff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zipcode View Post
I would say 5 is good, but 7 is quite a bit better for top manual watering. If you use drip irrigation 5 is more than enough however.
I think this is very good advice. I think the watering method dictates the minimum container size. I manually water my dwarf tomatoes (and peppers) in 5 gallon buckets. By early-mid July I need to water the plants every day otherwise they will wilt by the end of the 2nd day. Given the frequent watering, I feed every 10-14 days. On drip with nutrients I believe AKMark and others have gone even smaller than 5 gallon.
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Old July 26, 2016   #29
encore
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burpee early girl, (which are a few years older than the bush early girl seed wise) are doing great, also taste really good,
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Old July 27, 2016   #30
NarnianGarden
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I have noticed that tomatoes are highly capricious as to where and how they thrive.

One rooted Azoychka branch I planted just for tasting one or two fruits, is thriving and pumping out tomatoes in a very small pot. Probably root-bound, it doesn't seem to mind - it's flourishing and the leaves & new growth are green.
It doesn't seem to mind whether under-watering, over-watering or watering at all.

Some of my plants are in large containers, properly planted and fed, and they have been harassed with BER, blossomd drop, and they're very stingy on top of that...
Barely ten set fruits in a large pot that should give it plenty of room.

That brings me to believe that container size isn't everything... One can do their best and try to give plants ideal conditions - as good as possible within limits -, and still, there are other variables as to what happens and how much fruit the plant decides to give.

Last edited by NarnianGarden; July 27, 2016 at 05:49 AM.
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