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

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Old June 25, 2017   #1
Starlight
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Default Oh Snap, I goofed! : (

I need some advice, please. This is a learning year for sure. I've learned a valuable lesson this year and now I am running into problems.

For years I have always grown in 3 gallon buckets. Had beautiful plants and loads of fruit. With this year being I am growing all these bigger fruited heirlooms, I have discovered I pretty stupid. For those growing in containers, if they bigger than a cherry and folks here say use big and bigger containers, please listen to them. They right!

Now I have all these huge and beautiful plants and today when I was out TT and doing more tie up, I knocked one pot sideways and got a shock. The plants, and most are well over 8' and still growing are now growing roots out of the bottom of the pot.

Due to my stupidity, I know wondering what I can do. I have a few 5 and 7 gallon containers or some good size totes, can I try and transplant some of the worst root bound plants into the bigger containers without to much shock or losing my fruits?

If that not possible, lots of the secondary leaders all have starts of roots on them, can I remove those leaders and plant to help the main leader survive?

There no way, I have enough soil or pots, to transplant 80 plants right now. Our season will be over in about 2 months.

Any suggestions on how to keep them going good in the 3 gallon, if possible? More food?

Living and learning the hard way, one tomato type plant at a time.
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Old June 25, 2017   #2
Worth1
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Last year I grew two huge tomato plants in one gallon pots by sinking them a wee bit in the soil.
I would leave them alone and continue to do as you are and let the roots grow into the soil.
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Old June 25, 2017   #3
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Worth is right -- leave them be. Just stick with your watering and feeding schedule and they should be fine. My grow bag plants always send roots out the bottom of the bags.

This year my husband has some of my leftover plants in 7 gallon grow bags and 5 gallon buckets. With regular watering and weekly feedings of TTF, there is so far no difference between the bucket and bag plants. These are mostly ones that are grafted onto rootstock, and I'm expecting the root systems to go out of control on these!
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Old June 25, 2017   #4
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I agree with Worth, just leave them in place and let the roots grow out the bottoms into the soil as they have started. Your water and fertilizer should move on through the pot so the outside roots can get at it too. At 8' tall, I think you would damage both plant and root trying to transplant now.
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Old June 25, 2017   #5
Starlight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worth1 View Post
Last year I grew two huge tomato plants in one gallon pots by sinking them a wee bit in the soil.
I would leave them alone and continue to do as you are and let the roots grow into the soil.
Worth
All my plants are up a foot on wooden pallets or sitting up on milk crates. Have RKN and Nematodes here too bad, so sinking out of the question. Iwish I could just dig a trench and drop them in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Father'sDaughter View Post
Worth is right -- leave them be. Just stick with your watering and feeding schedule and they should be fine. My grow bag plants always send roots out the bottom of the bags.

This year my husband has some of my leftover plants in 7 gallon grow bags and 5 gallon buckets. With regular watering and weekly feedings of TTF, there is so far no difference between the bucket and bag plants. These are mostly ones that are grafted onto rootstock, and I'm expecting the root systems to go out of control on these!
I have noticed in another post you mentioned feeding your plants once a week with TTF. I using TT and have been doing every other week. Do you use the same amount of TT every week or less? I been giving mine 2TBS of TT and @ TBS of Epsom Salt at each feeding. What should I use now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddsack View Post
I agree with Worth, just leave them in place and let the roots grow out the bottoms into the soil as they have started. Your water and fertilizer should move on through the pot so the outside roots can get at it too. At 8' tall, I think you would damage both plant and root trying to transplant now.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I was doing a minor freak out. I so OCD with my tomato plants my neighbors laugh. They'll change their tune when it comes harvest time for sure. I watch their cars go up and down the road now where they watching for ripe fruits.

Depending on weather and for next year, will definitely get me some bigger containers.
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Old June 25, 2017   #6
Father'sDaughter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
All my plants are up a foot on wooden pallets or sitting up on milk crates. Have RKN and Nematodes here too bad, so sinking out of the question. Iwish I could just dig a trench and drop them in.



I have noticed in another post you mentioned feeding your plants once a week with TTF. I using TT and have been doing every other week. Do you use the same amount of TT every week or less? I been giving mine 2TBS of TT and @ TBS of Epsom Salt at each feeding. What should I use now?

If they're doing well, no need to change unless you want to. The TT, being dry, is slower releasing which means you can stretch out applications.

I feed the containers the same rate as my in ground plants, which I think is 2 tablespoons/gallon (the jug is outside, so going by memory). The only time I might give them more is after a stretch of heavy rain as any residual nutrients would have been flushed right out of the containers.
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Old June 25, 2017   #7
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I have a Winter planted RemyRouge on the deck in a one gallon plastic pot pumping out fruit right
now. I did top it, cut off the growing tip, early April to slow it down a bit. Non of my Winter grown
tomatoes were meant to continue outside yet all are thriving in small 1-2 gallon pots/grow bags.

They just need a bit more attention than in-ground plants to keep fed and not drying out.

If one or two seem stressed i wonder if you could not set it down into a larger grow bag and add soil
around it giving those roots somewhere to go since you are off the ground. Though i doubt you need
to do anything like mentioned.
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Old June 25, 2017   #8
Rockporter
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What about getting some kiddie pools and putting a little bit of mix into those to set the plants in?
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Old June 25, 2017   #9
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I had a like idea as Rockporter, but was thinking an 8' tall tomato plant is going to be pretty heavy and not easy to move.
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Old June 25, 2017   #10
jillian
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When I started growing tomatoes in containers I put them in 5 gallon pots. They became top heavy and toppled over often. I didn't have the CRW cages at that time. I transplanted 3 of them into 15 gallon containers, when I took them out of their pots I couldn't believe how root bound they were. Those plants took off like crazy and grew much larger and produced way more than the ones I left be.

Just my experience, worked well for me.
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Old June 26, 2017   #11
Starlight
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Thanks folks! Kiddie pools way to expensive if you could even find any down here. They go fast in our heat, but the concept and Oakley's suggestion, gave me the idea for those who need it bad of doing a pot-in-pot kinda transplant. Instead of trying to transplant the whole things into a larger pot, I'm going to put some soil into the larger pots I have, just lift up my pot and drop it in the bigger ones and add more dirt around the sides.

Got to thinking and besides the height and tons of string tie up issue, if I tried to move them from where they at now, I would have to build some new gr frames to tie them up. Getting to close to end of season and way to hot to try and do that.

I think the pot -in-pot idea might work. Thanks for giving it to me. : )
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Old June 27, 2017   #12
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Considering that next year you'll probably want to use the bigger ones anyway, so you need all those materials, you might as well start this year. Pot up your favourites if you don't have everything at once. The potting mix can be reused next year.
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