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

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Old November 12, 2016   #1
ChefBertMor
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Default Planting medium strategies?

I'm going to get my containers ready for the season and trying to decide what mediums I should use. I used pine bark fines andProMix in the past and I had good results. Im trying to be cheap now. Could I get just plain peat at the box store and then add mychorizae purchased off of Amazon. I plan on adding some perlite and vermiculite as well. I heard Azomite might be worth adding as well. any suggestions?

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Old November 12, 2016   #2
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Boca Raton isn't all that rainy, so no need for a super-draining mix like 5-1-1 or permutations thereon. I'd just use Miracle-Gro Potting Mix, which needs no amendment and is relatively cheap.
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Old November 12, 2016   #3
Ricky Shaw
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The compromises are cost, yield, space, and they can be prioritized in a number of ways.

My costs including ferts on a 15gal pot are about $15. And for that money, I'm pretty sure I can average 25lbs of tomatoes per plant or 60 cents a pound.

I believe I could lower my costs, but I also think efficiency would suffer. So say I lower my costs to $5 a pot and my production is now 15lbs or 33 cents a pound.

I have lowered my cost of tomatoes, but I have fewer pounds in the same amount of space using approximately as much fertilizer.
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Old November 12, 2016   #4
Cole_Robbie
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There are a few do-it-yourself recipes on this site for making your own mix. I believe one is supposed to adjust for the PH of the peat when doing so. I don't think it is a big cost-saver for me. Pro Mix in the bale that expands to four cubic feet is about $15 for me at Menard's. I add mycogrow and osmocote, and that's all.
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Old November 12, 2016   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky Shaw View Post
So say I lower my costs to $5 a pot and my production is now 15lbs or 33 cents a pound.
Your point is good, but...

$15 / 25 lb = 60¢ /lb
$10 / 15 lb = 67¢ /lb


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Old November 12, 2016   #6
ChefBertMor
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Originally Posted by dmforcier View Post
Boca Raton isn't all that rainy, so no need for a super-draining mix like 5-1-1 or permutations thereon. I'd just use Miracle-Gro Potting Mix, which needs no amendment and is relatively cheap.
I used a 3-1-1 recipe. Since i"m using SIP's rain is a non factor. Thanks for your help
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Old November 12, 2016   #7
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I believe everything checks, but I'm wrong plenty and it's only a theoretical.

The example was, lower my cost to $5, not by $5.

15lbs costing $5 = .33 lb
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Old November 12, 2016   #8
ChefBertMor
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Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
There are a few do-it-yourself recipes on this site for making your own mix. I believe one is supposed to adjust for the PH of the peat when doing so. I don't think it is a big cost-saver for me. Pro Mix in the bale that expands to four cubic feet is about $15 for me at Menard's. I add mycogrow and osmocote, and that's all.
I wish I knew where you got your ProMix. it is very hard to find around here. My ProMix HP 2.8 cf bale cost $28 I think. If I buy peat and add mycorhhizae it might be a whole lot cheaper, no?
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Old November 12, 2016   #9
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Quote:
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The example was, lower my cost to $5, not by $5.
Ah! This is what happens when one goes right for the numbers. Sorry.

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I wish I knew where you got your ProMix. it is very hard to find around here. My ProMix HP 2.8 cf bale cost $28 I think. If I buy peat and add mycorhhizae it might be a whole lot cheaper, no?
I haven't seen it anywhere near that cheap. And peat itself isn't far off the cost of a pre-mix.

I take it you've had good results with mycorhhizae? I've long understood that it isn't particularly effective in containers, so haven't used it.
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Old November 12, 2016   #10
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I wish I knew where you got your ProMix. it is very hard to find around here. My ProMix HP 2.8 cf bale cost $28 I think. If I buy peat and add mycorhhizae it might be a whole lot cheaper, no?

Here's the link. It's $13.99 for the bale that expands to 4 cubic feet:
http://www.menards.com/main/outdoors...56555217217074
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Old November 12, 2016   #11
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Here's the link. It's $13.99 for the bale that expands to 4 cubic feet:
http://www.menards.com/main/outdoors...56555217217074
Thats not the package I got. Mine was the white with orange and black

This stuff https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...1SJHX9YM1Z25JR

A lot more expensive
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Old November 12, 2016   #12
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Bert - I'm in the same boat as you re: ProMix. There is one supplier close to where I live. I faithfully use it and it was $41 for a 3.x Compressed bale but since the election when growing medical marijuana was passed, it is now $48.

Miracle Grow was $14-$15 so was no cheaper; just worse mix.

I have a ton of perlite so bought a bale of peat moss from Lowes for $11. I have one empty EB so am going to try it.

----
BTW - I solarize the mix at the end of the season so do get multiple seasons with it.
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Old November 12, 2016   #13
ChefBertMor
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Originally Posted by dmforcier View Post
Ah! This is what happens when one goes right for the numbers. Sorry.



I haven't seen it anywhere near that cheap. And peat itself isn't far off the cost of a pre-mix.

I take it you've had good results with mycorhhizae? I've long understood that it isn't particularly effective in containers, so haven't used it.
The ProMix has mycorhhizae in it. Worked for me. As I understand as long as there are roots the symbiotic relationship would be unaffected if it was in the ground or in the container. YMMV
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Old November 12, 2016   #14
ChefBertMor
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Bert - I'm in the same boat as you re: ProMix. There is one supplier close to where I live. I faithfully use it and it was $41 for a 3.x Compressed bale but since the election when growing medical marijuana was passed, it is now $48.

Miracle Grow was $14-$15 so was no cheaper; just worse mix.

I have a ton of perlite so bought a bale of peat moss from Lowes for $11. I have one empty EB so am going to try it.

----
BTW - I solarize the mix at the end of the season so do get multiple seasons with it.
You mean since Wed morning they bumped the price because of Amendment #2 Legalizing Medicl Marijauna? There is going to be months and months of hearings to get the regulations in place. No real reason for such a proice increase.

Miracle Grow @$15 is no cheaper than Pro Mix? Or do you mean straight peat moss?

Im basically trying to make my own home made ProMix at a much cheaper price.

Im not counting price per pound or any of that. Just trying to minimize and do for myself instead of buying pre made.

Heck Im a chef I cook everything from scratch if I can, I even bake the Marvelous Magical Monty the Wonder Lab's doggie treats, easy peasy
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Old November 12, 2016   #15
Barb_FL
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Originally Posted by ChefBertMor View Post
You mean since Wed morning they bumped the price because of Amendment #2 Legalizing Medicl Marijauna? There is going to be months and months of hearings to get the regulations in place. No real reason for such a proice increase.

Miracle Grow @$15 is no cheaper than Pro Mix? Or do you mean straight peat moss?

Im basically trying to make my own home made ProMix at a much cheaper price.

Im not counting price per pound or any of that. Just trying to minimize and do for myself instead of buying pre made.

Heck Im a chef I cook everything from scratch if I can, I even bake the Marvelous Magical Monty the Wonder Lab's doggie treats, easy peasy
The ProMix uncompressed makes 7 Cubic Feet of mix (or fills 3.5 Earthboxes)
EB need 2 CU feet of mix.

A 50 quart bag of Miracle Grow doesn't even fill 1 Earthbox; cost $13 (HomeDepot)

So it would take over 3.5 bags to fill 3 EB = $45.5

Even at Walmart, Miracle Grow cost $7.42 for 1 Cubic Ft, so 7 Cu Ft is $51.94

----
I haven't bought Miracle Grow Mix in years but I remember it was really crappy with chunks of wood in it.

I bought 3 CU Ft compressed Peat Moss for $11.48, by the time I add a ton of Perlite, it will make over 7 CU ft of mix.

Last edited by Barb_FL; November 12, 2016 at 10:21 PM.
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