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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 30, 2019   #1
peebee
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Default Earthbox soil fall-thru prevention

I notice lots of the lot potting mix falls thru the screen holes as I'm filling the Earthboxes. Had an idea: how about putting a couple of paper towels down first? I figure they will still let water thru and will melt away by the time roots start to form. Your thoughts please.
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Old March 30, 2019   #2
ginger2778
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peebee View Post
I notice lots of the lot potting mix falls thru the screen holes as I'm filling the Earthboxes. Had an idea: how about putting a couple of paper towels down first? I figure they will still let water thru and will melt away by the time roots start to form. Your thoughts please.
I've never done it. It's biodegradable, might work. I just let my potting mix fall through a little.
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Old March 30, 2019   #3
Worth1
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Gauze would work.
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Old March 30, 2019   #4
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I used micrfibre towels, for my homemade one. The yellow ones for cleaning a car. The roots became part of the towel.
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Old March 30, 2019   #5
rhines81
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I use burlap fabric at the base of all my planters. When I bought this house 14 years ago, the people left behind a big roll of it (I think it's 3' wide, never measured it) and I still have plenty left. Works great.
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Old March 30, 2019   #6
Barb_FL
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When I didn't have so many EB, I use to cut some of my shade cloth. It holds up season after season.

For the past 2 years, I bought a roll of screen from Lowes and use that.

Both work well.
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Old March 31, 2019   #7
Nan_PA_6b
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Seems you're not alone, Peebee.
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Old April 1, 2019   #8
peebee
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Well I went ahead & used paper towels & I think they'll work great. Thanks for the feedback and suggestions everyone.
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Old May 29, 2019   #9
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I use landscape cloth. Same thing I use for my net cups in my grow bags for my hybrid rain gutter grow system.
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Old May 29, 2019   #10
Gardadore
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I remember mentioning to someone that I was going to use landscape cloth to keep the dirt from falling through. The reply was that then the roots would not go through the cloth. The roots are supposed to go through the holes. So the paper towels seem an ideal solution. But it is all much easier if one waters the soil thoroughly so it compacts better.
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Old May 29, 2019   #11
Shrinkrap
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I don't usually do anything special, but a video I saw showed someone using moist soil and pressing down the first few inches to reduce it falling through. Is there some reason to think what falls through is a problem?

Last edited by Shrinkrap; May 30, 2019 at 12:34 AM.
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Old May 29, 2019   #12
peebee
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Well Shrinkrap, in some of my EBs when I emptied them, there was lots of yucky mud/sludge in the bottom so I thought I'd prevent that in the future. I suppose using very moist medium would work ok but the paper towels seemed so much simpler & neater.
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Old May 30, 2019   #13
Shrinkrap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peebee View Post
Well Shrinkrap, in some of my EBs when I emptied them, there was lots of yucky mud/sludge in the bottom so I thought I'd prevent that in the future. I suppose using very moist medium would work ok but the paper towels seemed so much simpler & neater.
I see. Well I have two more boxes to fill, so maybe I'll try it. I have some old Gardener's Supply sub-irrigation planters where that is an issue.
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Old May 30, 2019   #14
AlittleSalt
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I've never used an EB, and that's why I haven't posted anything. It sounds like using paper towels would work though.

I know this sounds completely different, but it might be of some use? I had a few buckets that I didn't drill holes near the bottom last year. The mix sat in water from a lot of rain. Earlier this year, I dumped out the buckets. The mix looked sort of okay, but there was slimy green mold or whatever on the inside of the buckets. I got rid of the mix and bleached the buckets heavily - letting them soak for a few days. It seems to have worked well. I don't know if EBs can get that mold/green slime in them or not?
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Old May 30, 2019   #15
Shrinkrap
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I've never had mold or green slime in my Earthboxes, and sometimes I use them year round without emptying them. I've had some container mix in the reservoir, but never the anaerobic odor I've had with my old Gardener's Supply Sub-irrigation planters. I believe those originally came with some sort of soil block, but I've had them for more than 20 years now, and haven't figured out a replacement.
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