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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 2, 2017   #16
gratefulseeder
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Crop rotation??? Using the same soil over and over with the same type of crop or plant family will give you a plethora of plant problems. Container or in the ground.
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Old July 2, 2017   #17
Worth1
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Crop rotation??? Using the same soil over and over with the same type of crop or plant family will give you a plethora of plant problems. Container or in the ground.
Some of us dont have a choice in the matter.
But I came down with chili wilt two years ago and I am doing the recommended thing of not planting peppers in that soil for at least two years.
Okra and sweet potatoes took their place.

Worth
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Old July 2, 2017   #18
RayR
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I do know about flushing containers to get rid of salts.

I had no idea the stuff was salt based.

Worth
Like the folks at Urban Farms say, it's a "Hybrid Liquid Nutrient". Organic components "Bat guanos, Sea Kelp, Mycorrhizae, Earthworm Castings, Humic Acid, Vitazyme®, Amino Acids" combined with Hydroponic-grade mineral salts.
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Old July 2, 2017   #19
Dangit
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Crop rotation is the reason that I went to containers in the first place.

I have a very small plot for the garden and I ran out of places to rotate to. I figured that it is easier to 'rotate' to different containers and even replace the soil as needed to keep everything fresh.

The first year (2 years ago) it was all new and this year the tomatoes are in new soil mix. The big beef are very healthy looking and producing a lot of fruit. They just don't do much of anything above 3 feet or so. Everything else in the garden is doing great.

I have some big beef in the ground just to see how they would do, and they are about 6 feet tall now and loaded with tomatoes. They are setting new tomatoes clear up to the top.

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Old July 2, 2017   #20
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Crop rotation is the reason that I went to containers in the first place.

I have a very small plot for the garden and I ran out of places to rotate to. I figured that it is easier to 'rotate' to different containers and even replace the soil as needed to keep everything fresh.

The first year (2 years ago) it was all new and this year the tomatoes are in new soil mix. The big beef are very healthy looking and producing a lot of fruit. They just don't do much of anything above 3 feet or so. Everything else in the garden is doing great.

I have some big beef in the ground just to see how they would do, and they are about 6 feet tall now and loaded with tomatoes. They are setting new tomatoes clear up to the top.

dangit

One of your problems is the containers are getting hotter than the ones in the ground.
This will slow down growth tremendously.
This seems to be playing out with the summer heat setting in and stronger sun light.
The other is they are in containers and require a ton of extra care water and nutrients.
Much of which I dont know anything about or dont claim to anyway.

Worth
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Old July 2, 2017   #21
Dangit
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One of your problems is the containers are getting hotter than the ones in the ground.
This will slow down growth tremendously.
This seems to be playing out with the summer heat setting in and stronger sun light.
The other is they are in containers and require a ton of extra care water and nutrients.
Much of which I dont know anything about or dont claim to anyway.

Worth
Thermworks digital probe thermometer.

Soil temps taken at 12:30 PM today.

Containers : 71.4 degrees.

soil at base of in ground plants : 74.4 degrees.

Nope. I think the soil temp is OK. My whole garden is covered with 30% shade cloth, so I haven't had that problem. (see pictures in post #1)

Almost the entire garden is in SIPs, as are these 2 problem plants, and all are working fine, so water is not the issue.

As far as nutrients go... well that is what I'm trying to figure out. This is the 'Growing in containers' section. I'm here hoping that some one has plants in containers that are 10 feet tall and producing like mad and that you will set me straight

That would be great.

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Old July 2, 2017   #22
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I grow in containers, my big beef as well as a few other varieties are easily 8 ft. And setting fruit nicely at the top although I will at some point have to top them. I am certain I look ridiculous standing on a ladder and also I worry I might lose my balance.

I haven't responded in this thread as I see that you are using TTF and I am not familiar at all with that product though I see on here that lots of folks are very pleased with it.
Also not sure what your potting mix consists of.
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Old July 2, 2017   #23
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I grow in containers, my big beef as well as a few other varieties are easily 8 ft. And setting fruit nicely at the top although I will at some point have to top them. I am certain I look ridiculous standing on a ladder and also I worry I might lose my balance.

I haven't responded in this thread as I see that you are using TTF and I am not familiar at all with that product though I see on here that lots of folks are very pleased with it.
Also not sure what your potting mix consists of.
Hello Jillian,

Yes I do use TTF, but I'm not committed to it. If a better fertilizer or system comes up I will drop it like a hot rock!

My mix is a pretty standard peat, bark, pearlite thing with a bit of added compost. It wicks well stays moist, and the plants dig it.

Please tell me how often you feed your tomatoes, with what, and anything else you are doing differently than me.

I currently feed twice a week with TTF at the standard dilution, and flush with water once a week. All from the top down. The SIP keeps things hydrated between feedings. The rest of the garden is doing great. Just the height of the indeterminate plants is gone screwy.

I have a ladder and don't mind climbing it if I've got a reason to.

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Old July 2, 2017   #24
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This is how I grow, it works well for me and I am sure there are many different methods that would give you successful results.

Container size is important. I grow larger indeterminate varieties in 15 to 20 gallon containers, I like the fabric pots but you will need to water those more often.

I start with the standard potting mix and amend with my own homemade compost, worm castings, espoma garden tone and a small amount of dolomite lime. For the 15-20 gallon pots I add 2 to 3 shovelfuls compost, about 3 cups worm castings, a handful or 2 of lime and 5 cups garden tone.

When I plant the tomato I put a handful each of Epsom salt and worm castings into planting hole. After a month or so I scratch in more garden tone, worm castings and compost if I have it, along with Epsom salt occasionally.

I also water every couple of weeks with fish emulsion, for 10-12 weeks after that i don't bother.

Of course growing in containers requires mulching heavily.

I try to grow as organic as possible but this year I am trying the shake and feed MG, it's just difficult to scratch in the garden tone all throughout the season. I use about half of the recommended amount. This product does contain kelp, bone meal, feather meal and castings as well as microbes to feed the soil so I can at least feel good about that. So far so good!

https://www.amazon.com/Miracle-Gro-3...shake+and+feed

This is pretty much all I do, I know there are some that say no you can't use compost or worm castings in containers etc. etc., but this is what I do and it works for me.
You will probably have a lot of advice and you will pick and choose and through trial and error you will find what works best for you.
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Old July 2, 2017   #25
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Hi jillian,

Thanks for that detailed answer.

There is a lot to look over and compare to my current method. Mainly it looks like you begin with a much more nutrient rich soil mix than I do. Are your buckets self watering, or do you top water? I ask because of the shake and feed. It seems that would only work well by top watering. It looks like it is a 10-5-15, which is a higher N that what I use.

I currently use a 5 gallon container, but last year it was a 15 gallon and I had the same issue.

My mix includes dolomite lime, blood meal, rock phosphate, green sand, azomite, Garden Tone, and compost. Then a handful of Garden Tone at planting. I do mulch heavily.

I'll re-read this several times to extract all the tomato growing goodness I can.
Again thanks for the info.

dangit
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Old July 2, 2017   #26
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I think you need more nutrients provided from the top.
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Old July 2, 2017   #27
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Yes I top water. And the MG shake and feed, I have applied it 3 or 4 times so far and only use half recommended amount for containers.

I don't mind watering, until about mid August lol.
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Old July 2, 2017   #28
Dangit
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Yes I top water. And the MG shake and feed, I have applied it 3 or 4 times so far and only use half recommended amount for containers.

I don't mind watering, until about mid August lol.
So if I'm reading this right, it looks like you are feeding less than I am now, but really jack up the ferts at planting. Getting the plants off to a good start makes sense. I guess I've been too cautious about over fertilizing for some reason, but will definitely get over that now.

Once again, thanks jillian, you've been a big help.

Is there anyone else out there with tall plants that can throw in? Every little bit of info can make a difference to everyone reading this.

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Old July 2, 2017   #29
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I will add that I would never try to grow a tomato plant in a 5 gallon pot, unless a dwarf or very compact variety. I did it one year and had to pot up to larger container. I know there are some that have done so successfully, but I would think it be very time consuming to provide it with the nutrients needed and since I top water, well it just wouldn't work for me. IMO, the bigger container the better especially for taller indeterminate tomatoes.
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