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

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Old October 17, 2017   #1
ChefBert
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Default Using TTF in containers

What is the best way to use Texas Tomato Food in containers? I am using a wick system instead of a net cup filled with mix, and my concern is will it be better to water it in from the top or not? Directions are 1 tbs per gallon, can't I just add a tbs or three directly into the reservoir instead of diluting?

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Old October 17, 2017   #2
zipcode
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If you only keep wicking, you will have massive imbalance after a while (or maybe less massive, depends on many factors including your water).
If that happens, you can still flush the containers with (preferably) rain water, and it should bring them back in line. How fast this imbalance will happen... it's hard to say, for me, using tap water (which is hard water), in occurred in about 2 months, and I got worse results then using my trusty organics (I was trying to do the opposite, obviously). This imbalance can be both nutrient or pH. Which is why starting water pH as well as its alkalinity matter a lot, as well as the actual content of the fertilizer (based on the label, I'm inclined to say the pH will go upwards after the contents are being absorbed by the plants again and again).

Last edited by zipcode; October 17, 2017 at 11:03 AM.
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Old October 17, 2017   #3
ChefBert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zipcode View Post
If you only keep wicking, you will have massive imbalance after a while (or maybe less massive, depends on many factors including your water).
If that happens, you can still flush the containers with (preferably) rain water, and it should bring them back in line. How fast this imbalance will happen... it's hard to say, for me, using tap water (which is hard water), in occurred in about 2 months, and I got worse results then using my trusty organics (I was trying to do the opposite, obviously). This imbalance can be both nutrient or pH. Which is why starting water pH as well as its alkalinity matter a lot, as well as the actual content of the fertilizer (based on the label, I'm inclined to say the pH will go upwards after the contents are being absorbed by the plants again and again).
So your opinion is water the containers from the top. Either way you are going to eventually get salt build up and need to flush.

What I'm asking, is it better to add the TTF to the reservoir on the bottom or will I be wasting it? Is the top watering feeding the plant better?
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Old October 17, 2017   #4
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TTF precipitates when it is concentrated. If you use it in your reservoir you will probably just get a concentration of it sitting on the bottom of your reservoir. You can't stir it so it will most likely settle.
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Old October 17, 2017   #5
nancyruhl
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You will probably get some exact opposite information here. I always water it in on the top, feeling that for sure it will reach the roots. I have never had a problem doing it that way.
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Old October 17, 2017   #6
ChefBert
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I think the consensus is in from the top
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Old October 17, 2017   #7
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4-18-38 is the best fertilizer for growing tomatoes in containers that I have found. Everything is formulated based on leaf samples analysis in a lab. Haifa has good blends too. They can be used in concentrate tanks, or mixed by the gallon and poured into the container. You must add CaNO3 and MgSO4 the instructions are on the bag.
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Old October 18, 2017   #8
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You may want to call the folks at TTF-they are very experienced and helpful.
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Old October 18, 2017   #9
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I have 16 Earth Boxes (they have 3 gallon reservoirs), and have added the TTF (1-3 Tablespoons) directly to the reservoir and then added water from a hose.

I have also premixed the TTF in gallon containers and added it that way.

The direct way is much easier and faster. Ginny (Fiishergurl) gets unbelievable results with adding the TTF directly.

I also plant in Root Pouches and pour from the top.

--
Fall '16/Spring '17 I went the Masterblend route and had amazing results, but it was so time consuming since I was manually mixing the solution and then pouring it onto each individual plant or into the reservoir.

BTW - I have way less plants this year, by design, hurricane, being away.
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Old October 18, 2017   #10
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I may have asked this question before I dont remember if I did or got an answer.
What color is Texas tomato food?
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Old October 18, 2017   #11
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I would call it between light tan and beige, and opaque if it is mixed up well. If it has settled and you do not spend the recommended minute or two shaking it, it has a more watery almost green tinge to it.
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Old October 18, 2017   #12
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Thanks I was trying to compare it to a local product that is about the same but looks like tar almost.
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Old October 19, 2017   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barb_FL View Post
--
Fall '16/Spring '17 I went the Masterblend route and had amazing results, but it was so time consuming since I was manually mixing the solution and then pouring it onto each individual plant or into the reservoir.

BTW - I have way less plants this year, by design, hurricane, being away.
Well, the masterblend is about twice cheaper if you take into consideration the strength etc, you can actually go even lower if you go the haifa/yara route and buy in 25 kilo sacs.
You can do stock solutions with masterblend, after all TTF does have same base ingredients (they are probably using some trade tricks to do it that concentrated however).
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Old October 19, 2017   #14
ChefBert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKmark View Post
4-18-38 is the best fertilizer for growing tomatoes in containers that I have found. Everything is formulated based on leaf samples analysis in a lab. Haifa has good blends too. They can be used in concentrate tanks, or mixed by the gallon and poured into the container. You must add CaNO3 and MgSO4 the instructions are on the bag.
What brand is 4-18-38? Masterblend?
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Old October 19, 2017   #15
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Quote:
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What brand is 4-18-38? Masterblend?
Hey Chef, Hydrogardens sells it, they also claim it is superior to other knockoffs. I buy it in 25lb bags, one does 2500 gallons of water at 1500PPM. I am pretty sure you can buy it in 5lb containers too.
Dry ferts are much more concentrated than any liquids could be, you don't buy the water. When you look at money spent versus what you get, it becomes clear. However, they are more complicated to use, you cannot mix P and Ca in concentrates, so you must have two stock tanks.
Look on HG website it is good stuff.
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