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

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Old June 25, 2019   #1
slugworth
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Default open bottom vs. closed bottom

I have good soil,so if I grow in containers it's to elevate the plants
or to give the plants a boost early with extra heat.
A couple of the plants are in 2 gallon containers bottoms cut out
partially sunk in the ground.I was just wondering if anybody else
uses the container type planting bottomless.
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Old June 25, 2019   #2
greenthumbomaha
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I do the same as you, slugworth. I start a few early varieties in pots to get a jump on the season, and fit in a a few left over plants here and there when everything else is planted in the regular garden. I have not cut the bottoms out, but the roots grow through the drainage holes and form a large network in the natural soil. It makes a huge difference over a pot growing on the deck even though there are no fertilizers added to the soil under the pot.

When I tried to move the pots, I could here the roots tearing and they were huge when I persisted. After that experience, no more moving they just stay put no matter how awkward the spot they were left at.

- Lisa
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Old June 26, 2019   #3
slugworth
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I was given some tomato plants 3 weeks ago and I kept them under lights
for 2 weeks to get over the initial transplant shock (they were still in the seed
starting cells and rootbound).
So they have been in the ground for 1 week now.
2 days ago I was given more plants from the same guy same batch,even tho
they were rootbound this batch has blossoms vs no blossoms from the planted
ones.So just that extra bit of heat from still being in trays got the plants to bloom.
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Old June 26, 2019   #4
Notostraca
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I do the same when I'm growing outdoors (unless it's on a balcony of course). I like to get the plants settled into their final large pots indoors with good compost/soil and I'll (sometimes very awkwardly) cut a larger hole/s in the bottom of the pots before placing them on a patch of prepared ground outside.

The main reason I started doing this was just to give the plants access to moisture in the ground for the rare long hot summer days where the pots would otherwise dry out, which has tragically happened to me a few times when growing on a balcony - I usually remember to give my plants a reserve of water before leaving for work on a sunny day now .

I feel that this gives the plants a significant head start due to the extra heat and less damage to the roots vs. planting directly in the ground. Also, even in poor soil, I believe the native mycorrhizal fungi in the soil help provide some extra disease resistance and nutrients.

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Old June 26, 2019   #5
jtjmartin
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I do that too in my plants that aren't affected by soil diseases. I think of them as mini-raised beds!
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Old June 26, 2019   #6
slugworth
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I grew tiny tim tomatoes 2 years ago but in the ground instead of confined to a closed container.
The plants were bigger and I got 2 crops of tomatoes before the end of the season.
I think giving them more earth had a positive effect on productivity.Before frost hit I
tried to dig them up but they don't like to have their roots disrupted and they never made
the transition to indoors for the winter.
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