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

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Old February 3, 2019   #1
Heyyou
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Default Fertilizing self watering container plants

Question is for those actually using self watering containers.

Do you:

1. Mix fertilizer with soil in container
2. Add fertilizer to top and water in to container
3. Add fertilizer to the water you are adding
4. Combination of these

And why are you using the method that you use?

Thanks!
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Old February 3, 2019   #2
Dark Rumor
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Default City Picker containers

I have mixed garden fertilizer, time released fertilizer and lime into my peat moss/ perlite mixture. I got fair to good results with this method.

What surprised me was after 2 years the fertilizers are building up according to a soil test. At this point all I have to add this year is small amount of lime and nitrogen.

I plan on adding nitrogen when I plant the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes set fruit I will add Texas Tomato Food, which is something I have not tried before. I plan on dripping the TTF onto the peat moss/pearlite growing media. I am hopeful the Texas Tomato Food will improve fruit set and overall production.
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Old February 3, 2019   #3
edweather
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About 5 years ago I made a couple of 5 gal SWCs like these Global Buckets.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/s...838b6ef69f762d

I put a lot of fertilizer in the top like they did, and I used white plastic to keep the heat down. I probably used a little water soluble fert in the feeding water too. They worked ok, but I had a pretty severe BER problem.
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Old February 3, 2019   #4
Tomzhawaii
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Heyyou,
Your in the correct website to find great answers to your questions. I have found that there is no one way to grow anything. The choices are as vast as the sky.
I am now growing in coco coir with hydroton , with a timed recirculating liquid nutrient system. I am also running a NFT (rail ) system for growing greens.
The biggest challenge has been the buildup of salts and unused nutrients causing lockout. I made a earthbox style container. I grew great peppers that year. The next grow was a failure. The problem was not flushing properly. I have learned the hard way. If you question your soil, get it tested. Leaf testing and water testing are also a good way to go. Getting a baseline was a key point to me finding my direction.
Good luck, Aloha & Happy gardening,
Tom
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Old February 7, 2019   #5
Goodloe
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Default City Picker/Patio Picker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Rumor View Post
I have mixed garden fertilizer, time released fertilizer and lime into my peat moss/ perlite mixture. I got fair to good results with this method.

What surprised me was after 2 years the fertilizers are building up according to a soil test. At this point all I have to add this year is small amount of lime and nitrogen.

I plan on adding nitrogen when I plant the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes set fruit I will add Texas Tomato Food, which is something I have not tried before. I plan on dripping the TTF onto the peat moss/pearlite growing media. I am hopeful the Texas Tomato Food will improve fruit set and overall production.
I acquired 6 "Patio Pickers" last year. Has the company changed the name to "City Pickers"? Just curious, as I can't find "Patio Pickers" on their website. Mine look identical to the City Picker....
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Old February 7, 2019   #6
Greatgardens
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As I see it, the problem is to provide my plants with adequate nutrients over (hopefully) a long growing period from May to October. In order to do this with my EarthBoxes, I mix organic fertilizer into the growing media, provide a small chemical fertilizer strip (which is the standard method suggested for EarthBoxes), and if needed later in the season, add "blue water" to the reservoir every other week. Normally, only one or two doses of blue water is required. Another addition suggested by some EB users is "the snack" -- addition of calcium nitrate for both for fertilization and stopping BER. Since I rarely have BER issues, I'm not really an advocate of "the snack." However, it's a pretty popular addition. Look on YouTube for videos of its use. Just an opinion, but I find expensive "micro-nutrient" fertilizers and other additions not worth the cost. I do like Jobes Organic Vegetable and Tomato fertilizer -- a little over a dollar per pound in a 16# bag at Lowes.

Last edited by Greatgardens; February 7, 2019 at 09:30 PM.
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Old February 24, 2019   #7
Shrinkrap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodloe View Post
I acquired 6 "Patio Pickers" last year. Has the company changed the name to "City Pickers"? Just curious, as I can't find "Patio Pickers" on their website. Mine look identical to the City Picker....
I thought Patio Pickers was smaller, but I just found a you tube that suggested the difference was a plastic vs felt cover.

I use those, as well as old Gardener's Supply self watering planters, Earthboxes, and DIY double buckets.

For years I did great with Garden or Tomato Tone, but then I read that won't work, and started adding liquids.

Last edited by Shrinkrap; February 24, 2019 at 11:04 PM.
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Old February 27, 2019   #8
Heyyou
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Thanks everyone for your inputs. I had success with cherry tomatoes last year in buckets but the others not so much.
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Old February 28, 2019   #9
AKmark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatgardens View Post
As I see it, the problem is to provide my plants with adequate nutrients over (hopefully) a long growing period from May to October. In order to do this with my EarthBoxes, I mix organic fertilizer into the growing media, provide a small chemical fertilizer strip (which is the standard method suggested for EarthBoxes), and if needed later in the season, add "blue water" to the reservoir every other week. Normally, only one or two doses of blue water is required. Another addition suggested by some EB users is "the snack" -- addition of calcium nitrate for both for fertilization and stopping BER. Since I rarely have BER issues, I'm not really an advocate of "the snack." However, it's a pretty popular addition. Look on YouTube for videos of its use. Just an opinion, but I find expensive "micro-nutrient" fertilizers and other additions not worth the cost. I do like Jobes Organic Vegetable and Tomato fertilizer -- a little over a dollar per pound in a 16# bag at Lowes.
Calcium Nitrate is not a snack, it contains large amounts of the second and third most important elements in growing tomatoes. When growers are using a medium which contains few or no fertilizer components, Calcium Nitrate is generally added in an equal amount as a fertilizer that is tailored for tomatoes.
How do they know what to add and how much? Leaf samples determine the perfect balance and strength of elements used to find the genetic potential of any given variety.
3. I suggest a reservoir, and drips to feed. You can mix your fertilizer into the tank then plumb it out from there, many possibilities. If you are not using injectors I think two tanks plumbed together with a small pump is better than one because of P precipitation with Ca in stock form.
Good luck this season

Last edited by AKmark; February 28, 2019 at 12:33 AM.
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