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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
ScottinAtlanta
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Default New tomato strategy: all containers. Thoughts?

Folks, I have seen much higher productivity in all my container tomatoes, so I am moving this year to 100% container, even for the large tomatoes such as Cherokee Purple and Ozark Orange. I am using 8 Earthboxes and 12 other containers. Are there risks here that I should think about?

I have not yet decided on my fertilizing schedule.

I built 5 nine foot bamboo teepees which will function as tomato supports - plants will grow up each side, and by June they will be a mass of green leaves and tomatoes, if the squirrels leave us alone this year. (Bamboo grows all over Atlanta, lucky for gardeners.)

Peppers and eggplants will go into the pots on the shelf, which is southward facing and gets the most sunlight.

I will use a timed irrigation system again this year - drip feed lines to each pot and plant - that I can control from my phone, meaning I can water my tomatoes from Bangkok or Atlanta.

Appreciate any feedback on this system, particularly on weekly fertilizing.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
Tomzhawaii
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ScottinAtlanta,
Aloha.
In theory, you have a great plan. The variables will determine your future. It took me almost 3 years to grow a decent tomato, using a hydroponic container system. It's not that easy. Time will show that.
I wish you good luck and keep posting.
Tom
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
peebee
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How many tomatoes are you planning in each Earthbox?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
PlainJane
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I found that for anything susceptible to nematodes (most veggies) containers was definitely the way to go. I went the way of fabric grow bags instead of Earthboxes, but the was more a cost and practicality decision.
If the pots I see for your peppers are clay you’ll be watering them a lot. They’ll also accumulate algae/moss over time ...
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
ScottinAtlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peebee View Post
How many tomatoes are you planning in each Earthbox?

Two tomatoes.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
peebee
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I'm in the same boat you're in Scott. Switching to mostly EBs, 2 to each, not decided on fertilizer schedule yet. Will try pruning to 1 or 2 stems.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #7
AKmark
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You will not be disappointed if your fertilizer is dialed, I think you should think about your fertilizer feeding schedule though.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
JaxRmrJmr
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I grow in 5 gallon buckets. I use about 1/2 gallon of liquid fertilizer per plant per week - it depends on how much rain we have that washes it out.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
korney19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottinAtlanta View Post
Folks, I have seen much higher productivity in all my container tomatoes, so I am moving this year to 100% container, even for the large tomatoes such as Cherokee Purple and Ozark Orange. I am using 8 Earthboxes and 12 other containers. Are there risks here that I should think about?

I have not yet decided on my fertilizing schedule.

I built 5 nine foot bamboo teepees which will function as tomato supports - plants will grow up each side, and by June they will be a mass of green leaves and tomatoes, if the squirrels leave us alone this year. (Bamboo grows all over Atlanta, lucky for gardeners.)

Peppers and eggplants will go into the pots on the shelf, which is southward facing and gets the most sunlight.

I will use a timed irrigation system again this year - drip feed lines to each pot and plant - that I can control from my phone, meaning I can water my tomatoes from Bangkok or Atlanta.

Appreciate any feedback on this system, particularly on weekly fertilizing.
Scott, who's timer & software program are you using? I've been on drip for over 15 years but haven't had a smartphone/controller yet... I did buy one 2 years ago but haven't installed it yet--I'm just using a Netafim 6-station timer and an EZ-FLO fertilizer injector. I got tired of having it rain while in a cycle so bought a WiFi Irrigation Caddy controller (I think...) so I can turn it off whenever it rains during a cycle...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
edweather
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I'm in south Georgia, and grow tomatoes exclusively in containers. Anything from a 5 gal bucket, to 15 gallon totes, and even a food grade plastic barrel, cut in half to make 2/25 gal containers. Tomatoes grow faster and large in containers. I initially add a little CRF to the mix as back-up, but generally fertilize at 1/4 strength with every watering. Am using Texas Tomato food. Last year I pruned quite a few branches to keep them airy, and the centers open for fast drying. Had very little disease, and the plants lasted almost a year, all the way through winter, if you can believe it.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #11
MikeInCypress
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I grow about 40 plants in Earthboxes and 6 in the ground. The yield is better in the ground but it is still good in the Earthboxes. This year I am growing Big Beef in both locations so I will be able to give a better report in July.

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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
ScottinAtlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by korney19 View Post
Scott, who's timer & software program are you using? I've been on drip for over 15 years but haven't had a smartphone/controller yet... I did buy one 2 years ago but haven't installed it yet--I'm just using a Netafim 6-station timer and an EZ-FLO fertilizer injector. I got tired of having it rain while in a cycle so bought a WiFi Irrigation Caddy controller (I think...) so I can turn it off whenever it rains during a cycle...

https://my.orbitbhyve.com
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Old 1 Week Ago   #13
NarnianGarden
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Great! I have grown all my tomatoes in containers for the last 5 years. No worries about soil diseases, it is easier to control watering, and you can always move them around if needed (in the beginning that is, not later when they have become a jungle..)
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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
b54red
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Good luck with container growing. I wasn't too lucky but then I didn't have drip irrigation which down here is nearly a necessity due to the heat and unexpected rainfall. My problem was not being consistent enough with the watering then over-watering to make up for it but that just isn't how it works. I found myself with plants dropping far too many blooms without setting when I would forget to water regularly during those high heat and windy days when plants need a lot of water. When I over-watered I got split fruit or bland fruit. I was just about to go to all container planting for tomatoes when I found grafting and that solved the ever present fusarium problem and saved me a lot of work setting up or building good containers and a watering system for them. I never got as good a production from container growing even when I did things right as what I get in the raised beds with grafted plants and for a lot of plants like I grow it is far cheaper. If I were only growing a dozen or so plants I would probably have opted for the container route. I wish you luck and it seems you are headed in the right direction.

Bill
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Old 1 Week Ago   #15
AlittleSalt
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I'm growing 10 tomato plants in 5 gallon buckets. That number could rise to 14 plants depending on how some new seedlings progress. Last year was my first attempt. I experimented with several brands like MG and the other half were grown in Pro Mix.

This year, I dumped the buckets in a large plastic wading pool for children and tossed in some 10-10-10 and more chunky perlite. The buckets are filled with doctored-up mixes (No soil). Watering/fertilizing will be done with the same stuff AKmark uses.
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