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

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Old January 9, 2009   #1
Moonglow
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Default 2009 Tomatoes: What are you growing in containers?

Hello, everyone! I have limited space and grow plants in containers. I like self-watering planters like Gardener's Tomato Success Kit (TSK) and EarthBox (EB). One of these days I would like to try Ray's self-watering planter.

Please share what you're growing this year. Thank you!

Sincerely,

Annapet
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Old January 9, 2009   #2
newatthiskat
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I am making a few containers. Putting Costal Pride Orange, Orange-1, Texas wild Cherry, and Citron Compact in them. I have on container made at this time. Working on more this weekend when I am off.
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Old January 9, 2009   #3
Barbee
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I have a TSK I put on the deck. I'm going to try Black Cherry in it this year.
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Old January 9, 2009   #4
Nightshade
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For me, the question is more like "What am I NOT growing in containers?"

So far, I'm planning to put currant tomatoes (Spoon and White Current) in the ground and let them run wild and to use some trellised Cherries as a privacy screen. Everything else will be in a pot or tub.

Jan
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Old January 9, 2009   #5
Gobig_or_Gohome_toms
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I grow everything in large pots but my upper level deck that gets so hot and dries out so fast I am wondering about doing earth boxes or somthing similar. I Probably could fit two earthtainers on it (small deck) but I am not sure I want to build them but now I have allot of thinking to do over the weekend and I have until May to figure it out.
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Old January 9, 2009   #6
dice
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In a biggish homemade earthbox (say 15-gallon or larger),
you can probably grow most any tomato successfully
(see Ray's pictures where he had two full-size indeterminates
in 31-gal Earthtainers, no problem). I grew two compact
determinates (usually only get 2' tall) or 1 indeterminate
in 18-gal HEBs last year, no problems with them being cramped.

In non-self-watering containers, however, keeping them
sufficiently watered in hot weather is a common problem.
5-gallon buckets can easily dry out more-or-less completely
twice a day with big plants in them. BER (blossom end rot)
tends to be more of a problem in this case. When the soil
is dry, the plant can't take up sufficient calcium even if there
is plenty there. Unless I have more-or-less constant drip
irrigation going, I try to avoid putting big indeterminates
in containers less than 20 gallon.

If all that you have is 5-gallon buckets or similar, one idea
is to cut the bottoms off of them and set them out in the
yard or garden. The bucket contains all of the "good stuff"
(compost, container mix, fertilizer, etc), and the plants will
root down past the bottoms of the containers to get more
water in dry weather. Of course the lawn will have a bucket
sized patch with no grass by the end of the summer, but hey,
sprinkle some bark on it, it will probably grow back. Or put a
little bark and a stepping stone there or whatever. (Make it
look like this was part of the plan all along.:-)
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Old January 9, 2009   #7
mdvpc
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Everything

09 outside tomatoes

1.casey’s pure yellow

2.dwarf project grizzly

3.dwarf project nosey

4.moreton hybrid

5.goliath hybrid

6.jet star

7.supersonic

8.Ramapo

9.chalks early jewel

10.fence row cherry

11.tel-aviv train

12.black cherry/black pearl-2 plants each

13.camp joy

14.Israeli survivor

15.wuhib/heidi-2 plants each

16.black pear, black prince, black-1 plant each

17.sibirskaya troika

18.kocoleva elizaveta

19.dragotsennost 341

20.dwarf ch 15

21.dwarf champion improved

22.dwarf champion

23.dwarf stone

24.Kimberly

25.matina

26.stupice

27.mcghee

28.porter/porter improved 2 plants each

29.Bulgarian 7

30.buckbees new 50 day

31.lime green salad/coastal pride orange

32.millets Dakota

33.dr Carolyn pink

34.nbd

35.rouge d’irak

36.Russian red

37.red brandywine potato leaf

38.landis

39.red brandywine rl

40.brandy boy

41.bucks county


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Old January 9, 2009   #8
amideutch
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I love it when people say you need 18 gal to 30+ gal containers to grow Ind. heirlooms tomatoes. A few pictures from last year and containers were 5-7 gal including the 26 Qt. foam ice chests. All were watered by hand once or twice daily, no BER and lots of maters. BTW, the fence they are growing against is 2 meters tall. Ami
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Old January 9, 2009   #9
gssgarden
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Wow Ami !! Man those are great looking !! Great job.

I'm growing the following in containers:

Shannon's
KBX
Toms Yellow Wonder

Possibly three dwarfs

Cossack Pineapple Tomatillo

I never grow large varieties in containers but I'm doing a little comparison this year. And hopefully avoid diseases from my soil.

Greg
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Old January 9, 2009   #10
Moonglow
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Thank you for all the replies!

Kat - this weekend I will start my seeds, and will venture into making homemade self-watering planters when all the seeds are taken care of.

Barbee - I am looking forward to growing "Black Cherry" as well. I have one (1) coming from Laurel's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
For me, the question is more like "What am I NOT growing in containers?"
Jan - Good point! I grow most everything in containers, too. Mainly because of limited space and the little space I have is under construction (remodel).

Gobig_or_Gohome_toms - Last year was my first taste of homegrown tomatoes. I picked up four (4) seedlings at HD and potted them up in 2-gallon containers. Not smart. I had to repot them of course. The amazing thing was I still had more than enough tomatoes to feed the office. I have one (1) EB and I like the ease of set-up. I like that it's UV-protected for years of use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dice View Post
If all that you have is 5-gallon buckets or similar, one idea is to cut the bottoms off of them and set them out in the
yard or garden.
Dice - I'm going for this one as well since I cannot afford all the EBs I need.

Michael - EVERYTHING! I love that. I'm so new to this I have to Google the varieties you listed to see what they look like. I must admit my Tomato Love is still on a very superficial level since I haven't tasted many tomatoes, really. "Black Prince" is also coming from Laurel's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amideutch View Post
I love it when people say you need 18 gal to 30+ gal containers to grow Ind. heirlooms tomatoes. A few pictures from last year and containers were 5-7 gal including the 26 Qt. foam ice chests. All were watered by hand once or twice daily, no BER and lots of maters. BTW, the fence they are growing against is 2 meters tall. Ami
Ami - Thanks for the photos! That's very inspiring. I know that 5-7 gallon containers will work for me, too. Corte Madera has quite a temperate weather.

Toni - I will look into growing a few determinates this year. Now, I'm wondering why I do not have "Jaune Flamme" on my list...

Greg - I have yet to pick the dwarf tomatoes for the office patio!

Have a great weekend, everyone!
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Old January 10, 2009   #11
amideutch
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Greg, grew TYW last year and it reached 9 feet and really punched out the tomatoes. Grew KBX the year before in a foam ice chest and the production and taste was excellent. You won't be disappointed with either. Ami
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Old January 10, 2009   #12
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...fess up Ami, It is not about the type of containers you are using - - - but rather your nightly midnight trips out to "water" the garden..

Ray
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Old January 10, 2009   #13
newatthiskat
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OK Ray I seem to remember in a post you made that you were actually the one making the "special ingredient" as I call it in your Earth Tainers. Don't tell me it is what all the guys use! My Dh will do alot for me but I think he will draw the line on that. I am excited though. I have built 1 and going to work on 4 more this weekend. I am using a smaller size so I will only have one plant in them. I use what others will buy me! I am cheap
Kat
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Old January 10, 2009   #14
geeboss
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My understanding was that the Micros only worked when this is done in the rain.

George
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Old January 10, 2009   #15
rnewste
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Hey Kat,

Nothing wrong with being cheap! Go for it.

Tell DH that evening "watering" is for a good cause and he needs to contribute. After all, read the ingredients of an organic fertilizer and he should "volunteer" to do his part.....

and yes, truth be told - - I got the original idea from Ami.

Ray
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