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

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Old December 21, 2016   #16
Banadoura
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKmark View Post
I grow in pro mix, and have used everything from 20 gallon down to 5 gallon, if you can keep them watered you can grow anything in a 5 gallon, maybe smaller. This year I am doing two plants in 5 gallon grow bags, about 2000 of them. The trick is keeping them fed and watered. I have a friend up the road that grows in tiny rock wool cubes, maybe a gallon or so, and he produces massive amounts of market quality tomatoes.
Maybe start with larger containers until you get a feel for growing in them, but I think when you see how much media they eat up you will down size in time.
Good luck

I will start with a dwarf in an 8 gallon grow bag for my first time.

I am guessing ProMix is a brand of premium soil? is it this one?
http://www.promixgardening.com/en/pr...egetables-herb
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Old December 21, 2016   #17
AKmark
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That will work, I just use pro mix HP, so compare the price and have a fun season. Many folks here grow in containers, so feel free to ask any questions as your grow progresses through the season.
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Old December 26, 2016   #18
righand
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Just started the next winter tomato in my new SIP bucket design....just a couple of pics....cheers.....
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Old December 27, 2016   #19
Banadoura
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Great pics Rig!

2 questions:
why the 2 orange rags? won't these develop mold given they are constantly wet?

Why didn't you remove the plant from its small container prior to transplanting into the bigger one ?

Thanks,
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Old December 27, 2016   #20
righand
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Hello, the rags are actually microfiber towels for the wicking material made of 80% polyester and 20% polyamide which should not rot like cotton and is an amazing wicking material from what I tested, stay nice and damp only....one wick would work but I moved them apart so I can fit a 4" potted plant right between them and with in 1.5" or so from the bottom....once the roots travel into reservoir the bucket system it works just like the Kratky Hydroponic bucket system...lol...changed over to 2 - 23 watt CFL bulbs which equals 2 - 100 watt....real nice....

PS....I just left the tomato plant in the 4" pot for pictures only.....cheers...
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Old January 15, 2017   #21
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Seemingly just the information I've been looking for regarding pot material and watering. As suggested by member Gerardo above and a few others elsewhere, these 'root bags' or 'fabric smart pots' can be placed into single pot saucers and watered from below by adding water to the saucers?

If this is the case, I'd love to use pictured 'root pots' and saucers below. Does one just insure saucer is say, half full all the time and check top soil by poking finger to check moisture? My concern is should there be any water remaining in saucer shortly after watering? Would that be OK?



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Old January 17, 2017   #22
MuddyToes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimchiMonger View Post
Seemingly just the information I've been looking for regarding pot material and watering. As suggested by member Gerardo above and a few others elsewhere, these 'root bags' or 'fabric smart pots' can be placed into single pot saucers and watered from below by adding water to the saucers?

If this is the case, I'd love to use pictured 'root pots' and saucers below. Does one just insure saucer is say, half full all the time and check top soil by poking finger to check moisture? My concern is should there be any water remaining in saucer shortly after watering? Would that be OK?
That's what I did for my Sun Sugar and Black Plum last year. I ended up removing the saucers part way through the summer because the water got really yucky after a couple heavy downpours. This was not easy to lift wet, heavy grow bags off the saucers. (I'm a very small person.) But then I had to water twice per day without the saucers. So this summer, I am going to try putting a cork in the bottom of the saucer so that I can drain when needed. I might try some SIP's too since I got so many new varieties to try from the MMMM.

I used 7 and 10 gallon bags for the maters. I ordered 15's but they came too late for the tomatoes last year. I ended up using 3 of them for artichokes. They sure require a lot of soil. $$$
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Old January 23, 2017   #23
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AKmark, great observation and comments on 5 gallons of mix. Let us know how two plants in one 5 gallon container does for you. It will be ground breaking news if the "2 in 1" works. I saw an article or a thread on growing tomato plants in nutrient solution only using a 6 inch net pot. The solution had to be constantly aerated, and it worked. At the end of the season, it had a beautiful pristine white root ball at least 1 cubic foot. If a tomato plant can grow in solution only, why cant it grow in 5 gallons of mix - or less?

I planted seedlings from cuttings at different times at the end of last season and they are doing well at this time. The early girl is about 7 feet tall with 4 clusters of tomatoes. Harvested two tomatoes last week. Weird for this time of year. Using the equivalent of master blend solution. Amazing how well the early girl is doing during a fall and winter growth. It has been unusually cold and wet this winter, especially over the last two weeks, but the cuttings are hanging in there. I am growing these cuttings so that I can take cuttings from them to use for this coming season. Will put these next season cuttings in cups of peat and potting mix on Feb 1, 2017 and plant the rooted seedlings in 4.5 gal drip irrigation containers and in 4.5 gallon Self-Watering Containers (3.5 gallons of mix, 1 gallon reservoir) on April 1, 2017 using my version of the Master Blend nutrient formula. I am in Orange County, Southern California. Doing my best to optimize growing in 4.5 gallon containers at the lowest cost possible. So far it costs $3.00 to $3.40 per container for grow media and ferts.

Last edited by BajaMitch; January 23, 2017 at 01:30 PM.
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Old January 23, 2017   #24
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Mitch, 2 stems per bag is totally doable. If your fert and light is right, and you are growing single stem vertical, you are good. I would also highly recommend pinching off all but 4 flowers on each truss if you want uniformity in fruit size, but more importantly, sustained and balanced production of new growth and fruit.
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Old January 25, 2017   #25
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Mitch, I highly suggest Hydro Gardens greenhouse tomato manual. I also suggest getting their catalog of products, you will drool over all the goodies in there
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Old February 5, 2017   #26
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I am going to do some grow bags this year for the first time. I am trying to balance the size to the amount of potting mix and watering needs with also an eye to the size of the plants. I will be growing large indeterminate varieties in them. At first I was going to go with 20 gallon but am considering 15 with the potting mix being 3.1 cubic feet to 2.3 cubic feet respectively. Not many options here on making your own mix as nobody carries that stuff consistently. Unless I am able to rig an auto watering system they will only get watered very early in the morning and sometimes late in the evening. So will 15 gallons get me or should I bite the bullet and go with 20 or larger?
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Old February 5, 2017   #27
Ricky Shaw
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I used 15gal fabrics and promixHP in Denver, which has twice the +90 degree days as Indianapolis with half as much humidity. I watered once a day early, except a handful of the hottest days. Last year I had mostly 15's, a few 20's on hybrids, and a couple 10's. This year, mostly 10's, some 15's and a few 7's.

*And this is all adjustable by the number of stems you're trying to feed. I believe AKMark is using a lot of 5gal pots and running one or two stem. This works conversely, a plant trimmed to 3 stems in a 15gal pot, will use less than an unpruned one. My point being, you can make the adjustment with the plant, or the container.
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Old February 5, 2017   #28
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I used 15gal fabrics and promixHP in Denver, which has twice the +90 degree days as Indianapolis with half as much humidity. I watered once a day early, except a handful of the hottest days. Last year I had mostly 15's, a few 20's on hybrids, and a couple 10's. This year, mostly 10's, some 15's and a few 7's.

*And this is all adjustable by the number of stems you're trying to feed. I believe AKMark is using a lot of 5gal pots and running one or two stem. This works conversely, a plant trimmed to 3 stems in a 15gal pot, will use less than an unpruned one. My point being, you can make the adjustment with the plant, or the container.
Thanks RS, that was exactly what I needed to know. I forgot to mention that I was going to try to prune to 3 stems.
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Old April 6, 2017   #29
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Quote:
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Are you doing drip irrigation, watering from below, or hand watering? It'll make a difference in terms of volume req.

You've chosen excellent container varieties.

I've grown C Volkov successfully in 5 gals, 7 gals is plenty for a couple of stems. It tends to be a compact plant.

Silvery FT is a compact plant also, so you could get away with 5 gals easily.

B Triumph I have not grown, but understand it is compact also.

I'm down to about 4 gals for each with pretty decent production.

Don't forget a cal-mag source. Best of luck!
4 gallon pots? I hate to sound dumb-but I am guessing that any 4 gallon container(food grade plastic) can be use also?
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Old April 7, 2017   #30
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4 gallon pots? I hate to sound dumb-but I am guessing that any 4 gallon container(food grade plastic) can be use also?
Yes, food grade plastic will do. Color matters if you're in hot sun country.

Just be aware that at that volume you have to be diligent with the fertigation.

PS Drill holes on the bottom aspect of the container and around the vertical part, for about 2 inches, it'll help with preventing anaerobic parties and won't compromise the integrity.

Last edited by Gerardo; April 7, 2017 at 10:03 PM.
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