Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old February 6, 2022   #16
Greatgardens
Tomatovillian™
 
Greatgardens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,101
Default Consider an EarthBox!

I'm a hobby gardener -- so I'm not really interested in how many pounds of tomatoes I can get per square foot or per unit of inputs. It's a hobby, and I'm older, so I want it easy! I've been growing in containers for about 20 years. I got started with containers because I have Verticillium in my garden soil, and could not grow eggplants reliably. But then I moved on to growing tomatoes in them. My first containers were about 15-gallon totes with holes drilled in the bottoms of the side walls for drainage. Worked OK for several years.

Then after pooh-poohing EarthBoxes, I tried a couple. Wow, what an improvement over my totes! Smaller, much more durable (against UV degradation), and with a nice reservoir so that I didn't need to a) have a huge container, or b) keep watering all the time due to a small container. I definitely recommend you try one or two. For me, I can grow 2 dwarfs or (crowding) 2 determinates. I have grown two indeterminates, but I find that for most varieties, one ind. works better. I water no more than once a day -- and much of the season once every two days -- or less.

There are of course, knock-offs. Tried one, and found it had poor construction. And do avoid the "EB Junior" model -- they are not really suitable for most tomatoes. I now have 9 of the original EarthBoxes (many have far more boxes than me). I am also experimenting with grow-bags, but they get back to the watering issue -- or my plants suffer from BER. I have not found it practical to set up a drip system. Drip irrigation would solve most of the issues of small containers. But having said that, a 10-15 gallon grow-bag works pretty well for most varieties.

www.Earthbox.com
Greatgardens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 6, 2022   #17
T0mat0stevek
Tomatovillian™
 
T0mat0stevek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 39
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yak54 View Post
All I can say is AKmark knows his stuff and speaks from considerable experience. I have tried to emulate his directions for my backyard grow bag garden using master blend in 15 gal grow bags filled with Promix. After growing tomatoes in the ground for more than 40 years I've never had the productivity like I do now using his suggestions. Last season my Dester plant produced 80 tomatoes. In 2020 my German Head plant produced 63 tomatoes and my Odoriko plant produced 101 tomatoes. Never had anywhere close to this growing them in the ground. It's labor intensive since I have to water (feed) them twice a day in July and August but that is what us old retired gardeners like to do.

Dan
Dan,
I have a couple questions about how you use master blend mix.
How often does a tomato plant receive a feeding of the master blend mix?
What is the volume of master blend mix applied to a plant at each feeding?
Thanks, Steve
T0mat0stevek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 8, 2022   #18
AKmark
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Wasilla Alaska
Posts: 2,004
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hl2601 View Post
Wow @AKmark! Just saw your detailed fert routine above. Thanks for taking the time to write it all out. I grow a few in containers so off I go to find some of your "close" mixes or the MAsterblend mix. Call me silly, but I never thought to do it for the containers ( just a few of them) until now....Plus another revelation-my containers are too big. I do some dwarfs in them. They are whisky barrel sized. Maybe I can actually do 2 plants per container...what?! Squeezing more varieties in next summer??!! What a gift. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
Finally back in AK for the season, we have property in Kentucky and like those Winters over AK Winters. LOL With any inderminate we plant two plants, pruned to a single stem, in five gallon containers. Like I said somewhere, we put them close together to maximize yield. Its pretty much the standard for people who grow for money, especially in a greenhouse where space is limited. I forgot to mention that 200ppm Potassium Nitrate in addition to the masterblend mix works well.1500 to 1700 ppm. If you look up a site called Haifa and find their tomato grow guide, they have some real nice charts that breakdown elements usage throughout the plants life. That stuff really helps if one is trying to find the genetic potential of yield with the tomato plant. We do what the really big operations do because they have to make a profit. What we dont do is grow commercial varieties that are grown to be shipped, good shelf life, etc, we grow for flavor, then yield, then sell at farmers markets. We water two- three times a day on hot days. The bigger containers are friendly in that regard, but I like to water because we feed when we do. I hope that makes sense? Good luck
AKmark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 8, 2022   #19
Yak54
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Madison, OH, zone 6
Posts: 388
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by T0mat0stevek View Post
Dan,
I have a couple questions about how you use master blend mix.
How often does a tomato plant receive a feeding of the master blend mix?
What is the volume of master blend mix applied to a plant at each feeding?
Thanks, Steve
Hi Steve

Most of what I know about using MB I either learned from AKmark or the literature he suggested I get and read. I've only been using it for 5 yrs. But here are some answers for you.
The tomato plants receive a feeding of the MB mix EVERY TIME YOU WATER THEM. How often you water them depends on the container and the mix you are using to grow them in. Also the weather conditions as well as their environment (greenhouse or outdoors). Maintaining an even moisture level of the container mix is important. The concentration strength of the MB mix increases as the plants grow and mature. I start out with half strength concentration after I transplant to pots. Then after I put them into their grow bags I slowly increase the fertilizer strength as the plants mature. By the peak of the season the fertilizer strength is about 2.3 EC (electrical conductivity) or approx. 1700 PPM (parts per million) as measured with a nutrient meter. I mix my nutrient mix in a plastic 55 gal. drum and check each mix for PH and nutrient strength. Then water the grow bags with it. In the warmer months (July & august) I have to water the containers twice per day due to the sun and heat drying out the bags. So the volume of the MB mix applied to the plants at each feeding starts out low for young plants and steadily increases for mature plants.

Hope I answered your questions.
Dan
__________________
Dan
Yak54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 9, 2022   #20
T0mat0stevek
Tomatovillian™
 
T0mat0stevek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 39
Default

Dan,
Just two more questions. About how many tomatoes do you grow each season? About how many pounds of 4-18-38 do you use each season?
Thanks! Steve
T0mat0stevek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 9, 2022   #21
Yak54
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Madison, OH, zone 6
Posts: 388
Default

Steve

These days I only grow 8 or 9 plants and use about 10 lbs of M/B.
Best Regards,
Dan
__________________
Dan
Yak54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 10, 2022   #22
MrsJustice
Tomatovillian™
 
MrsJustice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hampton, Virginia
Posts: 928
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatgardens View Post
I'm a hobby gardener -- so I'm not really interested in how many pounds of tomatoes I can get per square foot or per unit of inputs. It's a hobby, and I'm older, so I want it easy! I've been growing in containers for about 20 years. I got started with containers because I have Verticillium in my garden soil, and could not grow eggplants reliably. But then I moved on to growing tomatoes in them. My first containers were about 15-gallon totes with holes drilled in the bottoms of the side walls for drainage. Worked OK for several years.

Then after pooh-poohing EarthBoxes, I tried a couple. Wow, what an improvement over my totes! Smaller, much more durable (against UV degradation), and with a nice reservoir so that I didn't need to a) have a huge container, or b) keep watering all the time due to a small container. I definitely recommend you try one or two. For me, I can grow 2 dwarfs or (crowding) 2 determinates. I have grown two indeterminates, but I find that for most varieties, one ind. works better. I water no more than once a day -- and much of the season once every two days -- or less.

There are of course, knock-offs. Tried one, and found it had poor construction. And do avoid the "EB Junior" model -- they are not really suitable for most tomatoes. I now have 9 of the original EarthBoxes (many have far more boxes than me). I am also experimenting with grow-bags, but they get back to the watering issue -- or my plants suffer from BER. I have not found it practical to set up a drip system. Drip irrigation would solve most of the issues of small containers. But having said that, a 10-15 gallon grow-bag works pretty well for most varieties.

www.Earthbox.com
So sorry to hear about your soil suffering from Verticillium! Amen!!

If I was you: I would try to correct your soil as Verticillium wilts often have the same symptoms of Fusarium wilts. To me, it's like the Covid of the soil. My research shows it can survive up to 15 years. Even the Cold cannot kill it. "Verticillium can survive cold weather and winters much better than Fusarium, which prefers warmer climates". The resting structures of Verticillium are able to survive freezing, thawing, heat shock, dehydration, and many other factors and are quite robust and difficult to get rid of. ""Please talk to native Americans to get the secrets of destroying this fungus" as can't tolerate extended periods of anaerobic conditions such as during flooding.


Show me a picture of the planting pots you usese.
__________________
May God Bless you and my Garden, Amen
https://www.angelfieldfarms.com
MrsJustice as Farmer Joyce Beggs
MrsJustice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12, 2022   #23
Greatgardens
Tomatovillian™
 
Greatgardens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,101
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsJustice View Post
So sorry to hear about your soil suffering from Verticillium! Amen!!
...
Show me a picture of the planting pots you usese.
Here's a link. I started with 10 gallon, but moved to 15 gallon. I'm on year 4 (this coming season), so they are reasonably durable, but not like a good UV-resistant grade of plastic.

https://smile.amazon.com/s?k=grow+ba..._ts-doa-p_1_10

The EarthBoxes are linked above, and are the original version.
Greatgardens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12, 2022   #24
MrsJustice
Tomatovillian™
 
MrsJustice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hampton, Virginia
Posts: 928
Default

That is a good quality growing box to keep your plants protected from any fungus from the ground.

Trust me, Native Americans have a way of containing or destroying that fungus, maybe they will trust you with the information.
__________________
May God Bless you and my Garden, Amen
https://www.angelfieldfarms.com
MrsJustice as Farmer Joyce Beggs
MrsJustice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24, 2022   #25
Shrinkrap
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: N. California
Posts: 692
Default

Interesting. This is about my seventh year growing Dwarf Project Tomatoes in Earth Boxes. I'm learning so much about nutrition.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PXL_20220612_175836789.jpg (191.6 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg PXL_20220613_150540419.jpg (311.6 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg PXL_20220612_175824704.jpg (320.4 KB, 54 views)

Last edited by Shrinkrap; June 24, 2022 at 02:02 AM.
Shrinkrap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 24, 2022   #26
MrsJustice
Tomatovillian™
 
MrsJustice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hampton, Virginia
Posts: 928
Default

Looking Good Amen!!!!
__________________
May God Bless you and my Garden, Amen
https://www.angelfieldfarms.com
MrsJustice as Farmer Joyce Beggs
MrsJustice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 27, 2022   #27
Balr14
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 112
Default

I don't know a lot about what is considered a paste tomato, but the Health Kick Roma is the best Roma I have grown. Plants are extremely hardy, disease resistant and high yield. Fruit is on the large size for a roma and very meaty with low seed count. I grow two plants every year in an Earthbox.
Balr14 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 27, 2022   #28
MrsJustice
Tomatovillian™
 
MrsJustice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hampton, Virginia
Posts: 928
Default

My Diener Heirloom Tomatoes are doing wonderfully Great too. All plants are full of Tomatoes but still green and growing wider each day. These Diener Heirloom Tomatoes are shorter than the "Tall Heirloom Tomato Plants". This is the year for the short tomatoes plants, Amen!!
__________________
May God Bless you and my Garden, Amen
https://www.angelfieldfarms.com
MrsJustice as Farmer Joyce Beggs
MrsJustice is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:24 PM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2022 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★