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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   #16
Ricky Shaw
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I did the $12 bale of Sunshine Sphagnum from Lowes and 10% perlite for 10gal pots of cukes and squash and in planters for flowers and it worked fine. The lack of mycorhhizae was some concern and the mix was a bit more reluctant to wet. However, I wouldn't hesitate to use it for tomatoes myself, but would add the microbes.
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Old November 12, 2016   #17
ChefBertMor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barb_FL View Post
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 ProMix in years but I remember it was really crappy with chunks of wood in it.

I think we are talking about different stuff. The ProMix Im talking about was really good stuff. No chunks of wood or other crud, just good planting material.
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.
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Old November 12, 2016   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barb_FL View Post
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 ProMix 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.

I think we are talking about different stuff. The ProMix Im talking about was really good stuff. No chunks of wood or other crud, just good planting material.
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Old November 12, 2016   #19
ginger2778
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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?
You can buy Promix BX 3.8 cu ft bale for $30 at Universal Enterprises Supply just off Blount Road. Use the Coconut Creek Parkway exit off the turnpike, go east, first light us Blount Road.
That bale fluffs to about 7 cu ft.
The BX already has tons of Perlite, and mycorrhizae.

I never saw chunks of wood in it.
I wouldn't dream of using anything else.
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Old November 12, 2016   #20
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I think we are talking about different stuff. The ProMix Im talking about was really good stuff. No chunks of wood or other crud, just good planting material.
DUHHH.... I meant Miracle Grow...I hadn't purchased MG in years. I buy at least 5 bales of ProMix a year.

The last few times it has been this one:
http://www.pthorticulture.com/en/pro...s-mycorrhizae/


If I attempt to make my own, I will use 30% perlite. I like Chunky Perlite.
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Old November 13, 2016   #21
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*If I attempt to make my own, I will use 30% perlite. I like Chunky Perlite.

This helped me, made me dig and find out what promixHP was, because I assumed it was around 15%-20%, and you're dead-on Barb, 25%-35% perlite

Which explains why my 10% perlite pots for flowers were so much more difficult to take water, less perlite to break up a mat of crusting peat.

Nice thread for facts and tidbits, thanks villians.
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Old November 13, 2016   #22
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Crusting peat is the worst. It blocks seeds from coming up. In older seedlings, it blocks the water when top-watering. Dry peat floats like a boat when trying to bottom-water.

The Fafard mix that uses pine bark fines instead of peat is far superior, in my opinion. But I still buy the peat-based pro mix because it is cheaper.
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Old November 13, 2016   #23
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Originally Posted by ginger2778 View Post
You can buy Promix BX 3.8 cu ft bale for $30 at Universal Enterprises Supply just off Blount Road. Use the Coconut Creek Parkway exit off the turnpike, go east, first light us Blount Road.
That bale fluffs to about 7 cu ft.
The BX already has tons of Perlite, and mycorrhizae.

I never saw chunks of wood in it.
I wouldn't dream of using anything else.
Thats where I got ot. I think they also have pine fines which I intend to investigate/buy.

I will be honest I dont remember exactly how much I paid for it, but I keep seeing $50 prices online and I wonder what the deal is.

KIm glad I have a local pick up, gardening would be a bit more difficult.
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Old November 13, 2016   #24
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Crusting peat is the worst. It blocks seeds from coming up. In older seedlings, it blocks the water when top-watering. Dry peat floats like a boat when trying to bottom-water.

The Fafard mix that uses pine bark fines instead of peat is far superior, in my opinion. But I still buy the peat-based pro mix because it is cheaper.
I debated using the Farfard,but I was unsure what was in it exactly. Maybe I will test my ProMix based 3-1-1 versus the Farfard.

BTW which Farfard product did you use. There are a few that might fit into 'uses pine bark fines.'
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Old November 13, 2016   #25
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I joined the coco coir crowd for my larger container grows.Pro Mix I still use for the delicates(erbs,flowers etc.)The prices are decent for a commodity(inexpensive)medium for production.A local hydro store sells bales(3.8cu.ft)at $18.00.I do not have any connection, but see below for some value engineering for larger growing regimens.

http://www.earthscapeusa.com/online-store-1
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Old November 13, 2016   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurt View Post
I joined the coco coir crowd for my larger container grows.Pro Mix I still use for the delicates(erbs,flowers etc.)The prices are decent for a commodity(inexpensive)medium for production.A local hydro store sells bales(3.8cu.ft)at $18.00.I do not have any connection, but see below for some value engineering for larger growing regimens.

http://www.earthscapeusa.com/online-store-1
Speaking of Promix, down near you, Kurt, is Diamond Fertilizer, and they sell the 3.8 cu. ft bales of PromixBX for $24. I get some every time I get down that way.
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Old November 13, 2016   #27
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Here ProMixHP runs $45 for the 3.8cu ft bale, and this year I'm planning to do a few tomato pots with the coco coir. The Hydro-Gardens/ChemGro that I presently use works well with that media and the projected cost of coir is less than half.

Tell me on the coir. Anyone. Do you amend with perlite or vermiculite? And, are plastic, poly, or fabric pots preferred? And any reasoning? Thank you

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Old November 13, 2016   #28
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The bag was black, so I think it was the 51 or 52:
https://www.hummert.com/product-deta...-growing-media

A guy not too far from me owns a flower-growing greenhouse. He is listed as a dealer for Fafard. He has the components of the mix delivered by semi-trucks, and mixes it himself. He has the conveyor apparatus that feeds mix into bags. It's all quite impressive. He sold me a few bags the first year I had my greenhouse, which he was doing just to be nice.

Hummert will deliver that mix to me by the pallet for like $12-14 a bag I think (the prices listed on their web site are not the real prices). I can get a pallet delivered for only a $35 shipping fee if I wait for the bi-monthly truck delivery. But I never have the money to buy a season's worth of mix all at once, and end up using the peat mix from Menard's.
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Old November 13, 2016   #29
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Shipping weights of these products and our distance from manufacturing point add to the cost tremendously here. These are prices from HTG Supply, the biggest hydro-grow chain in the Denver area. I've checked at garden centers and they were no cheaper on ProMixHP. I go through my local hydroponics store and he's cheapest on a cash deal and got it for $42 last year and quoted me $45 tax included and I pick it up. The store is literally 1 minute away, 2 blocks, so no big deal.

Growing media was at least 70% of my gardening costs last year. Not complaining, I get my share of tomatoes, but I am going to experiment on clean lower cost media options.
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Old November 13, 2016   #30
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The cheapest media I can buy from Hummert is rice hulls, the last time I looked.

If I were experimenting with low-budget hydro, I would try gravel, straw bales, and maybe sawdust if I could get that for free. Cost is the limitation with hydro. It's easy to spend $300 to grow $30 worth of tomatoes. Doing it to make even a small profit is the real challenge.
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