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

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Old April 4, 2017   #31
ginger2778
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50 lbs dog food bags work for solarization too.
Does your dog food come in clear plastic?
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Old April 4, 2017   #32
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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.
Barb, do you put 2 EB contents into 1 bag to save on the bag expenses?

You are right, we do have a full summer free to solarizing vs the rest of the country. It's going up to 91F today, and it's just the 1st few days in April! It's getting hot so early now.

The 3 ply plastic is very good beds for me, I thank you so much for posting the link. I love the idea of bags not disintegrating.
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Old April 4, 2017   #33
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Barb, do you put 2 EB contents into 1 bag to save on the bag expenses?
No, I do it to save on space. I ditch the top part (fertilizer strip and above) and then I compact it really well so I can fit another EB media. By doing it this way, all the Root Pouch media that I'm saving will also fit in the EBs.

I also add Neptune's Harvest Crab Shells to the mix and then it bakes it for months.

When I reuse it, I usually start with some Root Pouches first, so I start using the loafs for them and work downward.
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Old April 4, 2017   #34
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Does your dog food come in clear plastic?
No clear plastic, just regular dog food bags. They seem to deteriorate more with age than with sun, so far it's been 6+ weeks. They hold a good volume I can shape into a long pancake that bakes in our sun. I've flipped them twice and they seem to hold out well, nonetheless I will probably toss them, lots of 'em on hand. My black contractor bags can practically swallow me whole, I usually use them for moving. Sold by weight (about a dozen bags per kilo) last time it worked out to about 50 cents USD per bag. I'll try those because I have a bunch of them too. What's a few degrees at our latitudes.
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Old April 15, 2017   #35
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Fertilizer in an EarthBox is a murky thing. I use granular based on 2 cups 5-5-5, like 1 cup 10-10-10 and so on. This year I'm trying an idea I picked up after speaking and visiting the tomato farm in FL that originated the EB idea. This year I'm strictly using Miracle Gro, 1 tsp weekly and 1 tsp of snack every other week.
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Old April 15, 2017   #36
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.... This year I'm trying an idea I picked up after speaking and visiting the tomato farm in FL that originated the EB idea. This year I'm strictly using Miracle Gro, 1 tsp weekly and 1 tsp of snack every other week.
Is Miracle Grow what they use? Tell us about your visit there. What plants were they growing? How did they look?
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Old April 20, 2017   #37
Sun City Linda
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Originally Posted by gardendoc View Post
Fertilizer in an EarthBox is a murky thing. I use granular based on 2 cups 5-5-5, like 1 cup 10-10-10 and so on. This year I'm trying an idea I picked up after speaking and visiting the tomato farm in FL that originated the EB idea. This year I'm strictly using Miracle Gro, 1 tsp weekly and 1 tsp of snack every other week.
LOVE the shirt GardenDoc! Are you using the blue stuff or the tomato version?
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Old May 1, 2017   #38
lindaray
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Thought numbers were supposed to be between 5 and 15. So bought 13-13-13. Guess I'll find out if its too strong!
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Old April 21, 2019   #39
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Originally Posted by shatbox View Post
Earthbox's faq says

"What kind of fertilizer does the EarthBox need?
Each time you plant in the EarthBox, use 2 cups of a dry, granular fertilizer or plant food for vegetables (use 3 cups if the fertilizer is organic). The three numbers of the elements making up the fertilizer content (NPK) should be in the range of 5 to 15 (i.e.12-8-10, 10-10-10, 6-8-10) for non-organic fertilizers. "


and

"Can I use organic fertilizer?
Absolutely! Many EarthBox gardeners prefer growing their plants organically. We have recommended several brands of dry, granular organic fertilizers that can be used by placing 3 cups of organic fertilizer, in the form of a strip, in the EarthBox."


I use whatever fertilizer is on sale with the appropriate NPK (which happens to be Ecoscraps' Rose and flower food, lower N level and was on clearance). We need to keep in mind that the NPK numbers are what is immediately available to the plant, so when they say two (or three) cups, and a cup is mostly around a pound; then we are just taking the numbers up to the conventional fert numbers.

I agree, Promix is expensive and I regret using peat (mixed my own). I have used the Just Natural but as regular in planter potting mix. With hand watering, I think the plants didn't get the aeration they needed.

If I could start again I would buy a Coco Coir brick and get pearlite from Home Depot. No more adjusting pH with lime

Need to find this later.
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Old May 18, 2019   #40
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This year's boxes!
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