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

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Old 1 Week Ago   #166
zipcode
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Well, not quiet the same, the earthboxoes don't have the soil going below the water level, but the water wicks upwards, this way there's way less water logging while still being consistently moist. There are various ways on youtube how you can build yourself one using two containers, in case that is cheap for you, or one container and make a fake bottom. Imagine two cilindrical containers put on top of each other (and glued together) and you pour water into the bottom one, and from the bottom of the top one there is a wicking material (like a rope of sorts) going down into the bottom one and wicking water up.

Last edited by zipcode; 1 Week Ago at 03:40 AM.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #167
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Quote:
I still want to put a decorative stone boarder around the small garden without concrete and mortar.
Salt, when you do get that done please post pictures. I'd love to see Texas rocks. I love stones and rocks. really Born under an Earth sign.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #168
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Salt, when you do get that done please post pictures. I'd love to see Texas rocks. I love stones and rocks. really Born under an Earth sign.
I sure will. I love them too.

This picture is a retainer wall made with cut limestone that comes from about 20 miles to our south. The area on the right side of the picture is a flood control ditch that we dug. Otherwise, the garden couldn't be where it is because the flood water used to flow there. One of our water lines is way under the garden area.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #169
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Good reading. And something to consider.
Deficit Irrigation
Deficit irrigation is a widely used practice in horticulture. It’s particularly useful in soil-based systems, but also has application in hydroponic systems for certain crops. Deficit irrigation is the careful restriction of water flow, so plants experience slight moisture stress. While this has several physiological effects on plants, it is largely practiced to enhance the compositional quality of fruits like tomatoes or grapes. With restricted water uptake, more sugars and other compounds concentrate in fruit tissue, thus giving an improved flavor profile. In herbs, this practice can also result in higher levels of volatiles which contribute to their distinctive flavors and aromas.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #170
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Salt, your container garden looks great! Very neat, nice job.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #171
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Nutrient solution temperature can build up surprisingly fast and become excessive under hot lights and in systems with limited root zones. Research shows that even a short duration of root zone heat buildup can have harsh effects that cannot be compensated by having a low daily temperature average. Just a few minutes a day of root zone temperatures above 86˚F can retard the growth of some heat-sensitive crops like lettuce and parsley.
While regular checks ensure roots don’t get cooked, growers can more actively manipulate root zone temperatures to fool many plants into handling higher-than-optimal air temperatures. Root zone chilling is a well-known technique used by many commercial growers in warm or tropical climates for cool-season crops like butter head lettuce, herbs, and other vegetables. Research shows chilling the nutrient solution down to as low as 61-64˚F allows these crops to grow and produce well at ambient air temperatures of 82-97˚F, which are above optimal. Other researchers report that chilling the nutrient solution of lettuce crops reduces the occurrence of the fungal root disease Pythium aphanidermatum. Without chilling, the root zone could warm up to the level of the air, creating numerous problems like slow growth, lack of heart formation, bolting, tip burn, and low marketable yields. However, trials show that root zone chilling must be applied soon after early crop establishment and maintained for the life of the crop for maximum effect.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #172
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Today I realized I've been overwatering my fishtub tomatoes. I was reading SueCT's thread last night, and there was a link to another thread where overwatering + high UV I think was discussed as cause of curling leaves. Well my toms have been a bit curly topped and I just put it down to general stress... until I read that, I never thought too much water could be part of the problem. So this morning I didn't water, left em to warm up and dry out a bit - voila! Tops uncurled.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #173
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I am wondering if you would have more chance of contamination with that set-up. You are trying minimize splash up from the ground and that low container might be more susceptible to ground contamination from splash back. Even if you are careful, it would seem to be possible even from a hard rain. the rim isn't that high off the ground.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #174
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Sue, you're right. That's the overthinking it part kicking in lol.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #175
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Jillian, thank you. It is a work in progress.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #176
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It's always a work in progress for me lol. But that's part of it right, what fun would it be without the challenge? I think you will be very successful with container gardening, you have done your homework and them some.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #177
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Jillian, thank you again. Yes, it is always a work in progress and it's fun.

I did get the cages started today. Besides enjoying using cages for years, I can't use a system that needs poles put into the ground because I laid that waterline 25 years ago (1993) and I don't remember 'exactly' where that waterline is. I know it is about in the middle of the new container garden though.

When I used to grow in ground, I used 4' cages that were tall enough for most tomato plants like Sungold. I used 4' tall fencing because that's what I have. Now that I'm growing tomato plants in containers/5 gallon buckets - the 4' cages are too short. I have some shorter cages that will need some amending to add to the new cages I built today. I'm not using those shorter cages for anything anyway. I'm going to anchor them using rebar. I know I can safely drive the rebar at least 10" to a foot without getting close to the waterline.

I am hoping to share pictures tomorrow (Friday) - it just depends on how my body reacts to all I did today out in the 93F heat and moderate humidity. I was out in dappled shade most of the time and I drank lots of water and a quart bottle of PowerAde. However I was outside from 8am to 6pm doing things including mowing. I also write a lot when I have very busy days. I have way too many downtime days - so useful busy days excite me.

The reason/s I write all of the details is to show/tell what its like growing in my part of Texas for me, and what I explained in the paragraph above. I really like to read the details where you all are growing and how you adjust your gardening needs and other things like that. Those are my favorite threads to read.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #178
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I was able to do a little this morning (1 hour). I watered the plants well before the sun gets to them. I was also able to separate the old pepper cages into two stacks. The ones I will use to make the cages taller - and one stack that needs to be squashed and put into our scrap iron trailer. Then my body told me it's time to go in. At least I got the materials near the table where I will work on them.

I don't know how long it will take to get them assembled? It all depends on how the nerve disease reacts and my body recovers from yesterday.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bower View Post
Today I realized I've been overwatering my fishtub tomatoes. I was reading SueCT's thread last night, and there was a link to another thread where overwatering + high UV I think was discussed as cause of curling leaves. Well my toms have been a bit curly topped and I just put it down to general stress... until I read that, I never thought too much water could be part of the problem. So this morning I didn't water, left em to warm up and dry out a bit - voila! Tops uncurled.
Oh it's such a fine balance! Too much water = gutation, what looks like dew drops at leaf margins & curly tops while not enough water always gives me a few varieties with blossom end rot. Early in the season with cooler nights it is sometimes hard to get it right.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #180
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The reason/s I write all of the details is to show/tell what its like growing in my part of Texas for me, and what I explained in the paragraph above. I really like to read the details where you all are growing and how you adjust your gardening needs and other things like that. Those are my favorite threads to read.
Imagine, I used to think that Texas was always hot and dry!
I have enjoyed reading how you and others in different parts of the world cope with your particular circumstances in growing tomatoes or anything. Almost a form of armchair travel, I am learning lots.
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