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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 12, 2018   #46
ginger2778
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One thing to note about the cost of Pro mix, is that if you solarize it or sterilize it otherwise like in trays in very low oven, you can use it year after year after year after year. So you're only spending the once, plus a little bit to replenish the supply every year.
I guess another thing would be that since it comes in a very compressed Bale, it fluffs up to twice its size, so it's really not any more expensive than something like Lambert's or horrible awful yucky Miracle-Gro
And as to Mark's comment about mycorrhizae, you can buy that very cheaply online and just dip your plants into a bucket euth it mixed in before you put them into the Pro mix. And a little of that goes a long long ways, especially since they are live colonies and they will reproduce into the quantity that's needed once they're in the potting mix.
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Old March 12, 2018   #47
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Thanks Marsha. I did look up Mycorrhizae. I also looked at a lot of different Pro Mixes with it in it. The prices were all over the place I even found some on .com that were over $200 a bag.

This is what I have and I saw a pallet of them the other day at Walmart for $17.XX (18 bucks)
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Old March 12, 2018   #48
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That is really a good price since it fluffs up to double. Yes if you are using Promix, it does already have what you need for mycos, also for dolomite, at least mine, the Promix BX has it.
Edited, I see yours has the dolomite lime also.
I pay $24 for a 3.8 cubic foot bail.
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Old March 12, 2018   #49
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I used that last year when WM started selling it and had no problems. I would've used it this year too if they had it when I needed to plant. I think I had plants in the ground before they started getting pallets of all the soil in.
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Old March 12, 2018   #50
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Google search: RTI Xtreme Gardening Mykos

At Amazon and pure Mycorrhizol inoculant. It's what I used last year, $25 for a kilo or $8 for two 100gram bars.


I dipped the seedlings roots in it when I potted up and sprinkled a pinch or two in the hole. I bought the kilo and it was way overkill, you could probably do 50 seedlings on 200 grams.
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Old March 12, 2018   #51
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That is good to read. I will be able to stay in my budget. I watched this video when I looked up Mycorrhizae https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWlrKAK5Jro

Would you also add some Osmocote Smart-Release fertilizer? I will be using the HG or MasterBlend.
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Old March 12, 2018   #52
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Not used the Masterblend and wouldn't use it if they gave it to me. Mike at HG, who I've talked with at length about using his product, formulated 4-18-38 through years of working with professional growers. Morgan County copied it and markets it cheaper without knowing diddly about usage or the work of years coming up with those ratios and quantities of mag and calcium to make a balanced formula.

I wouldn't bother with the Osmocote if your using the 4-18-38.

Also keep in mind, the Chemgro 4-18-38 is meant to be used in a highly porous media of peat/perlite or coir/perlite in pots or bags, and not in-ground or with soil amendments like compost or manure. Not saying it won't work to some degree or another, but not what is recommended.

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Old March 12, 2018   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlittleSalt View Post
This is what I have and I saw a pallet of them the other day at Walmart for $17.XX (18 bucks)
If that is the exact bag you saw (the 56.6 L / 2 cubic ft bag), be aware that it is an uncompressed bag and you'll only get 2 cubic feet. For that price, it isn't a very good deal.

I get my 3.8 cubic ft compressed bales for $25 and it ends up fluffing up to 7 cubic feet. Most of the typical gardening places around here sell the 3.8 cu. ft. bales for $45+, but I was able to scour the internet for local hydroponic shops and found one that sells it for a very reasonable price. It appears to me that the competition among the small, independent hydro shops is much more intense than the normal garden shops and I'm consistently able to find some good deals on certain items at those places.
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Old March 12, 2018   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koala Doug View Post
If that is the exact bag you saw (the 56.6 L / 2 cubic ft bag), be aware that it is an uncompressed bag and you'll only get 2 cubic feet. For that price, it isn't a very good deal.

I get my 3.8 cubic ft compressed bales for $25 and it ends up fluffing up to 7 cubic feet. Most of the typical gardening places around here sell the 3.8 cu. ft. bales for $45+, but I was able to scour the internet for local hydroponic shops and found one that sells it for a very reasonable price. It appears to me that the competition among the small, independent hydro shops is much more intense than the normal garden shops and I'm consistently able to find some good deals on certain items at those places.
The one I have is compressed. I'm not sure about the ones I saw on the pallet because the pallet was a long way from me. I called the garden center but it didn't show up on their book. It's Walmart - things are always changing there and they are way understaffed. I will look Wednesday. There is also a hydroponics store nearby - along with several feed and seeds, TSC, Lowes, Home Depot, etc.
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Old March 13, 2018   #55
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I would like to say, "Thank you" for all who have participated in this thread. I do hope this thread continues growing. I had almost no idea of what I was doing when I started this thread and I have learned a lot from it.
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Old March 13, 2018   #56
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Not everyone lives near a Menard's, especially in Texas, but there I pay $13.99 for the 2 ft compressed bag that expands to 4 ft. I had the thought today that it probably expands to 4 ft when dry and fluffy, but then contracts quite a bit in size again when it gets wet. So it doesn't exactly double in size.

Menard's also sells vermiculite as insulation, which is less than half the price of what they charge for Burpee's "horticultural" vermiculite. The funny part is that the insulation is made by 'Sun-Gro Horticulture Company.' I've been using it for years.
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Old March 13, 2018   #57
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I used this wm version of Pro Mix last year. It's a not crumbly like BX. It reminds me of a bag pf peat moss, very dense. It didn't double in size for me either. I bought it for a new raised bed. The top dries out quickly. With diligent watering and fertilizing the greens did well so there is some hope, at least for shallow rooted crops.

If this is your best option, try to cut with pine bark fines and compost for a more tomato friendly soil..

- Lisa
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Old March 13, 2018   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
Not everyone lives near a Menard's, especially in Texas, but there I pay $13.99 for the 2 ft compressed bag that expands to 4 ft. I had the thought today that it probably expands to 4 ft when dry and fluffy, but then contracts quite a bit in size again when it gets wet. So it doesn't exactly double in size.

Menard's also sells vermiculite as insulation, which is less than half the price of what they charge for Burpee's "horticultural" vermiculite. The funny part is that the insulation is made by 'Sun-Gro Horticulture Company.' I've been using it for years.
That's true it does compact again after adding water(Promix)
Interesting about insulation vermiculite. I never knew it was used in anything but gardening. Does it absorb water from the air?
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Old March 13, 2018   #59
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Vermiculite holds water when wet, and holds air when dry. Anything that holds air can be used as insulation. It is loose-fill, so it can be poured into existing walls from the top.
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Old March 13, 2018   #60
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I used one 5 gallon bucket of the pro mix last year. The rest of the bag filled 3 more 5 gallon buckets packing it as I scooped it in. That is dry though, and I haven't seen any kind of mix that didn't shrink in volume when wet. It looks like I need to buy two more bags to fill all 7 buckets.

When I was handling it, I wondered if it might need some more perlite or vermiculite?
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