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

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Old March 28, 2017   #16
Barb_FL
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I think the key to coir is getting the best brand you can afford, always using that brand, rinsing, and of course getting the perlite ratio dialed in.

Also Sun City Linda, I wanted to start using masterblend too and was thinking of putting the EB up on blocks to drain into buckets every once in a while to rinse salts out but as I type, it's sounding less and less appealing.

Barb, is the loaf to run rainwater off the EB so it doesn't pool?
Yes that I what the loaf is for but since I've been using the compactor bags as covers with tucking them in, pooling water isn't a problem. I've been just using the masterblend formula for months so what difference does it make if they got rain water since the fertilizer strip is long gone.

I already bought the bags for solarizing the mix in the summer and bought this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._o04_s00?ie=UT to eliminate the salts, but that is sounding like too much work.
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Old March 28, 2017   #17
ginger2778
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Yes that I what the loaf is for but since I've been using the compactor bags as covers with tucking them in, pooling water isn't a problem. I've been just using the masterblend formula for months so what difference does it make if they got rain water since the fertilizer strip is long gone.

I already bought the bags for solarizing the mix in the summer and bought this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._o04_s00?ie=UT to eliminate the salts, but that is sounding like too much work.
Barb what bags for you use for solarizing? I get the clear ones from HD, but they are kind of thin.
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Old March 28, 2017   #18
Barb_FL
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I use these and have never seen them at that low price. Usually $34+

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old March 29, 2017   #19
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Barb, thanks for that link, I just ordered 2. Is the 3 mil thickness good enough to not disintegrate? You should put that in the Florida thread too.
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Old March 29, 2017   #20
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Been reading this thread - Just replanted my earthboxes yesterday. Never occured to me to use bags for covers. I will try that next time - Thanks!
Right now I use Garden Docs method heavy construction plastic - it is kind of a pain to wrestle it on and tie it around, but it does last a long time.
On an interesting note - Garden Doc gave an hour long lecture on his earth boxes here a few weeks ago ( he said he has 133 of them in his back yard).
He said he stopped using the tuck method because here in Mississippi it give a place for weeds to accumulate and grow. I did like the idea of rain water collection, which was his original goal.
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Old April 1, 2017   #21
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Interesting thread here...I never knew the potting mix in EBs could be reused! I'll have to try that. But does it really have to be solarized each year before reusing?
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Old April 1, 2017   #22
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Interesting thread here...I never knew the potting mix in EBs could be reused! I'll have to try that. But does it really have to be solarized each year before reusing?
It's safer to do that. But Solarizing is super easy. Just take off the plastic cover, and wrap the whole thing in a well sealed heavy duty CLEAR plastic bag. Barb_FL, our resident scientific trailer, experimented with temps on clear vs black plastic solarization, the clear got about 20 degrees hotter. Clear let's the light through, black absorbs it. Classic greenhouse effect.

Barb is one of my hero gurus.
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Old April 1, 2017   #23
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Has anyone used 13-13-13 in EB's?
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Old April 1, 2017   #24
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They tell you not to go higher than a 10-10-10.
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Old April 1, 2017   #25
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It's safer to do that. But Solarizing is super easy. Just take off the plastic cover, and wrap the whole thing in a well sealed heavy duty CLEAR plastic bag. Barb_FL, our resident scientific trailer, experimented with temps on clear vs black plastic solarization, the clear got about 20 degrees hotter. Clear let's the light through, black absorbs it. Classic greenhouse effect.

Barb is one of my hero gurus.
So, then it has to be solarized the whole summer. I would need
more earth boxes for that, to be able to rotate them.
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Old April 1, 2017   #26
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So, then it has to be solarized the whole summer. I would need
more earth boxes for that, to be able to rotate them.
4 weeks minimum, up to 6 weeks. It's not a have to, just a highly recommended thing.
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Old April 1, 2017   #27
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Just seeing this thread again. Marsha - That 3 ply plastic lasts throughout the summer. Most bags were in such great shape afterwards, I tried using them again the next year. Then they split but still lasted over a month.

Ropper - I can solarize 2 EB contents in 1 EB. I don't solarize anything I'm going to remove afterwards; I press down really hard to fill up the EB - way more than I do when I use them for growing. I have a HUGE loaf going. I also grow in Root Pouches and found solarizing ONLY in the EB is a lot cleaner and easier.

Marsha - we do have an advantage re: solarizing since we don't grow anyway in the hottest months.
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Old April 2, 2017   #28
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I've solarized my garden beds 2 years in a row, so doing the EB will be a lot easier. Only thing is, I would hate to cook the earthworms I find in the bottom of the mix, so I think I will dump it all into a large clear thick bag and remove the worms first. By solarizing in a bag rather than in the EB will be simple for me as I only have 1 to do, and I can flatten it out and that would mean it might work in as little as 2 weeks of constant hot sun right?
I have 3 new EBs that I will have to fill now, so I will solarize the 4th old one and plant some eggplants around the end of this month. Busy busy busy.
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Old April 3, 2017   #29
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I've never solarized my EBs either. Maybe give it a try.
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Old April 3, 2017   #30
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50 lbs dog food bags work for solarization too.
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