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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 30, 2017   #1
elight
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Default Fertilizers revisited

Wondering if anyone has any updates or new opinions on granular fertilizers for their containers/EarthTainers/SWCs.

I don't see a lot of attractive products available locally, and there doesn't seem to be much selection online either. The stuff I do see typically doesn't have micros. Honestly the best locally available granular fert, based on the label, would be Miracle Gro Shake n Feed, which is a 3-1-2 ratio and has all of the micros.

Also considering going purely liquid, with Foliage Pro until fruiting stage, then switching to TTF. Not sure what the downside to this would be versus a fertilizer strip.

Thoughts appreciated!
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Old July 30, 2017   #2
Cole_Robbie
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I learned this spring that using Osmocote Plus, which is higher in N and includes minors, rather than the Osmocote Flower and Vegetable, 14-14-14 I think, will make my seedlings look great for about a week, then they get too tall and fall over.
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Old July 30, 2017   #3
Shrinkrap
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This summer I started with Garden Tone strips in my Earthboxes, and have been supplementing with Maxigrow, then Maxibloom. I also use General Hydroponics Calimagic, and have Foxfarm Grow Big, Neptune's Harvest 2-3-1, and Foliage Pro 9-3-6 liquids which I mostly use on my peppers.

First time in ten plus years I had a plant suddenly wilt and die in less than. 48 hours. Might not be related, but this is the first time I've done anything other than the Garden tone strip. I cut off branches and put them in water and they recovered nice!y, so I'm thinking it was a root thing.
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Old August 1, 2017   #4
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There don't seem to be that many 'all in one fertilizers' besides TTF. I'm actually surprised the price is quite low compared to other liquid fertilizers. I see many liquid ferts don't contain Mg and basically none that contain Ca. Same goes for powders. You're supposed to add them separately, but for the average person that's just more needless work and more stuff to buy, when sometimes you just need some small amount. Here in Europe it's even worse (big reason for it is there aren't many marijuana growers, which make the bulk of small scale hydro growers), and the very few complete fertilizers come in 25kilo bags (55 lbs).
Ca is not just for BER, it has major role in taste, and plant growth. At least most ferts do contain the microelements.
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Old August 1, 2017   #5
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We don't have access to Texas Tomato Food here in Canada, which gets such good reviews.
This year I did a top dressing with a chicken manure product 5-4-3 and compost, and immediately saw results - fruit growth taking a jump etc. - but had the same problem as always, of roots coming to the surface.
I went looking for liquid fert and found a Promix soluble product that is 9-16-16 "organic-based" with mycos and trace elements, so have been using that, tried half strength and full strength depending on how hot and dry it is (warning on the package!). The plants are looking okay but TBH I couldn't say that I noticed any changes I could attribute to the ferts. At least they're staying healthy.
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Old August 1, 2017   #6
Ricky Shaw
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Hiya bower. Could you post that warning? I see the product online and says Canada only, but I don't see literature. I'm very interested in factoring evaporation and nutrient application. Thank you.
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Old August 2, 2017   #7
elight
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Well, I guess this highlights the lack of good (and easy) options. Really surprising that there aren't some better options for average gardeners.

I still have some Tomato-tone leftover from last year so I suppose I'll finish it off, and then continue with my regular regimen of calcium nitrate and Foliage-Pro alternated weekly until fruiting, and then switching to TTF.

I have discovered a regional product called Southern Ag which appears to have some very good ferts, but I haven't seen it in stores locally.

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Old August 2, 2017   #8
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hey, Ricky.

Says " CAUTION: Do not apply during very hot or very dry conditions"
also that it is a concentrated fertilizer that must be mixed with water. A small scoop (couple tablespoons?) does 5 liters or about a gallon.

It annoys me that they say "organic based" but don't tell what is in it. Proprietary info I guess. Likewise the mycos are kept a trade secret.
Given the choice, I would ALWAYS choose a product that discloses the ingredients. But there wasn't anything else available that isn't granular.
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Old August 2, 2017   #9
RayR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
hey, Ricky.

Says " CAUTION: Do not apply during very hot or very dry conditions"
also that it is a concentrated fertilizer that must be mixed with water. A small scoop (couple tablespoons?) does 5 liters or about a gallon.

It annoys me that they say "organic based" but don't tell what is in it. Proprietary info I guess. Likewise the mycos are kept a trade secret.
Given the choice, I would ALWAYS choose a product that discloses the ingredients. But there wasn't anything else available that isn't granular.
There's nothing listed on the label on the back of the package? You would think they would list what the fertilizer is derived from, both inorganic and organic ingredients. The only thing organic listed on the web site is "Organic Matter 29%". That's not helpful.
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Old August 3, 2017   #10
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Well, pretty sure that NPK is not organic, the values are too high. I'm guessing some chelated microelements, humic acids, and what else? 29% is quite a lot. On bags of dry manure I saw something like 40-60% organic matter.
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Old August 3, 2017   #11
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Well it certainly would suck to pack mycos with chemical ferts.
They say it's "concentrated" so some processing obviously went into making it both strong and soluble.
The N-P values are not impossible from organic sources - mix of blood meal and bone meal, or fish product - the liquid can be reduced and concentrated... it is doable IMO.
As for the K, I wonder if molasses could be concentrated to triple the value.. wood ash is also possible as a source of K (and what the heck is "rabbitbrush"???)
http://www.lundproduce.com/N-P-K-Val...verything.html

I think a lot of commercial preps don't want to announce "molasses" on the side of the package, which is much cheaper to buy as 'molasses' than it is as 'fancy organic ferts'. Nor "wood ash" either. Which is easy to get for nothing.
On the other hand, if they were using kelp as a source of K and micronutrients, they'd be far more likely to announce it on the package - why not it's a selling point. Only the coastal diehards are up for getting their own.
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Old August 3, 2017   #12
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The only thing that is critical to germination of mycorrhizal spores is the amount of plant available P as one of the phosphate forms the soil water. I'm sure Premier knows this because they produce mycorrhizal fungi. So I think they figured how many PPM's of available P is released from their fertilizer so it's not too high to inhibit mycorrhizal spore germination. We can't discern that from the GUARANTEED MINIMUM ANALYSIS.
Well we can't discern much of anything relating to the sources of NPK, secondary nutrients or micros whether organic or inorganic.
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Old August 3, 2017   #13
bower
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I'm just automatically suspicious of anything that doesn't list the ingredients.
Seems like the mycos will have to be tolerating really high P though in this one.
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Old August 4, 2017   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
I'm just automatically suspicious of anything that doesn't list the ingredients.
Seems like the mycos will have to be tolerating really high P though in this one.
I doubt the available P levels are really that high but the best thing to do is e-mail Premier, tell them your concerns and ask them for more information about the product.
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Old August 4, 2017   #15
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I have to make fertilizer choices, as I'm running out of the hydrogardens tomato formula and given its price I probably won't buy it again.

For containers not on RGGS I'll be using Haifa's Multicote Agri 6 22-8-13 and I'm also trying a 20-20-20.

For RGGS I'll be using Haifa's Polyfeed GG with Micros, 11-8-34 + 2MgO.

I'll be able to buy all of those with the same amount of loot I paid for the Chemgro 2 gal pail + shipping.
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