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

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Old May 29, 2016   #31
Bulldog
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I think everyone is just in awe of your hard work. Wow.
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Old May 29, 2016   #32
AKmark
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Ricky, the red tomatoes are a cross we did with Brandywine a few years ago. They are very early, produce great, and the taste is 9/10. We call it the Mat-Su Express, I have F5's of the line going now.
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Old May 31, 2016   #33
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Really beautiful work Mark.
I took the HG tomato recommendations for "dutch" tomatoes, entered them into Hydrobuddy by Daniel Fernandez, and came up with the following nutrient levels.
The comparison is to the Cornell recommended levels for hydroponic tomato.

If you want to post your exact mix I would be happy to enter it and post results.


My motivation was to see what you are doing different than me, and how to make my tomatoes produce like yours. Looks like I have been pumping them with too much N as you pointed out last season. Sungolds and cucumbers loved it but the heirlooms lagged in production. I find it interesting that you are getting such outstanding results at low N levels.


(the second screenshot says grams but its really ounces)
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File Type: jpg chem gro tomato2.jpg (212.0 KB, 209 views)
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Old May 31, 2016   #34
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Beautiful.. Beautiful work and tomatoes Mark. I'm in awe of what you have accomplished. Keep sharing!
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Old May 31, 2016   #35
AKmark
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Nematode, for 500 gallons. 4-18-38 (68oz) CaNO3 (68OZ) MgSO4 (48oz) KNO3 (8oz)
My length of day is different than yours, this mix is about 2.45 EC and is tested on two different meters, pH 6.2
This is my current mix. The high MgSO4 got rid of the deficiency I fight on some heirlooms, I am sending in a leaf sample next week to let the lab tell me where to go with it. Production is looking good, even Aker's WV is producing good, it and Richardson start slow for me.
I think when you add the 4-18-38 and CaNO3 together N is not that low, the N is second in abundance like it should be.
Good luck this season
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Old May 31, 2016   #36
Ricky Shaw
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I was wondering that too, if it factors the:

Calcium Nitrate - NPK 15-0-0


And... is that 18 cents a gallon Nema?
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Old May 31, 2016   #37
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Nutrient levels for your mix Mark.

Thanks for sharing, those look much more like what i run with your P and Mg quite a bit higher. i think i blew a decimal on Boron..

The calculated EC is never right on, its an estimate from what I understand, and you would have to subtract your base water EC.
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Old May 31, 2016   #38
Nematode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky Shaw View Post
I was wondering that too, if it factors the:

Calcium Nitrate - NPK 15-0-0


And... is that 18 cents a gallon Nema?
i didn't enter cost... its pretty cheap with commercial nutrients instead of the hobby stuff. I use pool acid for Ph adjustment. 25ml in 2 liters of water is enough to adjust 800 gallons of nutrient.

Just a guess i am thinking $50 or less per year in nutrients for my whole garden.
maybe half that i dont know.??
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Old May 31, 2016   #39
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AK, how many of hours of sunlight per day do your tomato plants get? Also, are they pretty much in direct sunlight?
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Old May 31, 2016   #40
AKmark
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Hey Mitch, I think we are over 19 now, at least 16-17 direct

I hope that helped Nematode

Last edited by AKmark; May 31, 2016 at 01:27 PM.
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Old June 1, 2016   #41
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AK, I have 19 containers going where I am conducting 16 different experiments. One thing that I didn't initially test for was direct sunlight time per day.

I planted my 8" seedlings in containers on May 5, 2016 among self-watering containers and top watering containers that drain. Based on my observations, all my plants get about the same amount of daylight, but they differ on hours per day of direct sunlight. I am tracking plant size and other characteristics and, so far, there is a substantial difference between those plants with more daily direct sunlight than others.

For my plants, the least amount of direct sunlight is 4 hours and the most is 9.25 hrs while total day light for all the plants is about 12 hours here in Southern California. Plants with 50% more direct sunlight are growing about 30% to 60% more in plant mass.

Last edited by BajaMitch; June 1, 2016 at 09:59 AM.
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Old June 1, 2016   #42
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Mark, others, here is a link to the photo page here of my updated grow bag set up.
I am running 25 ounces 4-13-38, 25 ounces CaNO3, and 12.5 ounces of MgSO4 in 250 gallons of water.

http://tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=39819&page=6
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Old June 1, 2016   #43
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AK, I know this may be a really stupid question, but, are you growing your plants strictly hydroponically which are planted in hydroponic grow media (such as perlite) or are you using hydroponic solutions to fertigate your plants that have been planted in traditional potting mix?

When I look at your photos of your plants, it looks like your tomato plants are planted in black plastic bags that are sitting on a trough that looks very similar to a self-watering system that has a net pot inserted at the bottom of grow bags where the net pot dips into a trough that contains water for wicked sub-irrigation or, maybe in your case, wicked sub-irrigation of hydroponic nutrient solution.

I apologize in advance for my stupid question.
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Old June 1, 2016   #44
AKmark
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Not stupid questions at all Mitch. Those are grow bags filled with pro mix HP, and are feed by drip emitters, 3.2GPH. The bags are setting on plastic grates to keep them off of the cold ground.
They are fruit setting machines now.

The difference in light sure does make a difference.

PH, your plants look great, it looks like your mix is spot on.

Last edited by AKmark; June 1, 2016 at 11:28 AM.
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Old June 1, 2016   #45
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Mark, do you have a 500 gallon tank? How do you move your water/ferts to your plants?...gravity or pump or something else?
Thanks
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