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Old April 5, 2020   #1
tanstaafl72555
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Default All my tomatoes are in buckets this year.....

Let's hope I am actually growing a crop instead of just killing plants.

Sorry, the table I posted has some squash.
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Old April 6, 2020   #2
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Seems good. Are those 5 gal?
Make sure you have a good support system planned (maybe also drip irrigation, as it will take a lot of time watering every day in the summer).
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Old April 6, 2020   #3
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With good drainage and regular watering and fertilizing they should do great. I used to put extras I did not have room in my beds for in either buckets or bags. As was mentioned, you will need a good support system for the plants as well as a way to anchor the buckets -- they can start getting top heavy and prone to falling over.
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Old April 6, 2020   #4
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Thank you both. There is a whole BUNCH of bamboo just down the street for trellising as well as a bunch of t posts needing to be relocated. I think next year I might run a bunch of pvc thru the buckets with needle holes in them (you can use a butane torch on a needle ... in pliers, of course.... and it will slide right thru pvc) for a watering system. This year I think I will just mulch and water in the morning. I talk to them. Weird, I know, but I do.
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Old April 6, 2020   #5
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Originally Posted by tanstaafl72555 View Post
Thank you both. There is a whole BUNCH of bamboo just down the street for trellising as well as a bunch of t posts needing to be relocated. I think next year I might run a bunch of pvc thru the buckets with needle holes in them (you can use a butane torch on a needle ... in pliers, of course.... and it will slide right thru pvc) for a watering system. This year I think I will just mulch and water in the morning. I talk to them. Weird, I know, but I do.
Do your buckets talk back? That would be weird...
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Old April 8, 2020   #6
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Do your buckets talk back? That would be weird...
I think so. This morning they said "YOU IDIOT! YOU ARE OVERWATERING!" I hung my head in shame and went inside.

Seriously, though. How much is overwatering? I try to let water "stand" about a quarter inch and then quit, but I do that every morning. I am totally clueless here
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Old April 8, 2020   #7
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I think so. This morning they said "YOU IDIOT! YOU ARE OVERWATERING!" I hung my head in shame and went inside.

Seriously, though. How much is overwatering? I try to let water "stand" about a quarter inch and then quit, but I do that every morning. I am totally clueless here

Over watering (issues) can be caused by poor soil also.
For instance if you are using a 5-1-1 mix, over-watering would be tough to do unless you were watering heavily every day.
But lets say you have a soil that retains a lot of moisture and drains very slowly you can easily over-water.


You have to find your balance.
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Old April 9, 2020   #8
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I think so. This morning they said "YOU IDIOT! YOU ARE OVERWATERING!" I hung my head in shame and went inside.

Seriously, though. How much is overwatering? I try to let water "stand" about a quarter inch and then quit, but I do that every morning. I am totally clueless here

That seems like overwatering at this stage.

Once the plants grow, luckily you pretty much can't overwater anymore.
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Old April 9, 2020   #9
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Seriously, though. How much is overwatering? I try to let water "stand" about a quarter inch and then quit, but I do that every morning. I am totally clueless here
To get an index on the current water situation, STOP watering and time how long it takes for the plants to wilt. They wilt when they are out of water.** It won't hurt them; they'll pop right back. Then start watering much as you do now, but space out waterings over some fraction of the wilt time. Say it took the plant 7 days to use all the water in the pot. Water every 5 or 6 days.

As the plants grow and it gets hotter, the wilt time will decrease, but you will see this quickly as they will have wilted by the scheduled watering time, and you can adjust accordingly.

At the height of summer, my thirstier plants want water at least twice a day! But if I watered that often now they'd never live until summer. Figure out where on the schedule yours are.

This is all part of learning your plants - knowing how they are doing by how they look.


** They also wilt when the roots drown and can't take up enough water to supply the foliage, but assume you're not there yet.
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Old April 10, 2020   #10
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How many drainage holes did you drill in your buckets and how large are they? If the buckets are not able to drain well, you may end up with a swampy stagnant muck at the bottom of the buckets either from overwatering or heavy rains. If you have adequate drainage and a well draining mix, then watering when needed just until you see water starting to run out the bottoms is enough.

And remember to put them on a regular fertilizing schedule as with rain and watering, nutrients will get regularly washed out of the buckets.
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Old April 10, 2020   #11
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I grow in 5 gallon buckets for years. My best results were with a high porosity soil and drip emitters water once a day. Always a couple weeks earlier then in the soil.
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Old April 12, 2020   #12
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Rx7 Rudy-- what kind of growing media do you use for your buckets? Also what type of fertilizer program do you use, is it organic or synthetic?
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Old April 15, 2020   #13
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I love the method of using a finger, or better yet a wooden skewer, to poke into the soil to check the moisture. Or you could get a moisture meter. You will need more and more water as the year progresses, they may not need daily watering right now.
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