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

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Old May 18, 2022   #1
Balr14
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Default Earthboxes for tomatoes

I haven't posted in a number of years. I moved to a different house and had to start my veggie garden over. Growing conditions and container location are not nearly as good as they were at the old house. So, it took a few years to figure out what works best.

Awhile back, somebody asked me about growing tomatoes in Earthboxes. I apologize for not responding... I just saw the message now.

Anyway, here's what I know after about 15 years of growing tomatoes in Earthboxes:

1. They are expensive ($35) but they are worth it. They last a long time. Mine are between 10 - 20 years old and show no signs of damage. I have tried other plastic containers and they get brittle and fall apart in 2 - 3 years.

2. You can grow any kind of tomato in an Earthbox and get outstanding results. The biggest issue you will have is supporting the plants. I typically grow about 60% heirlooms. But I have a variety of cherry, medium sized and large tomatoes in my containers.

3. You can grow 2 or 3 tomatoe plants in one Earthbox container. Putting 2 in an Earthbox requires no special preparation or planning. For 3, you need to plan a little. You don't want 3 high yield plants in one container. One high yield plant and two lower yield plants works pretty well.

4. Tomato plant roots will reach the water reservoir pretty quickly. I put a cap full of Miracle grow in the water every two weeks. During the most active growing period, you will need to refill the container every day.

5. Once the plants are established, if there isn't as much room in the container as they would like, they will grow vertically... a lot!

That's it for now. Feel free to comment or ask questions. Here's a picture taken in June.
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Old May 18, 2022   #2
ScottinAtlanta
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THanks! Do you add the granular Miracle Grow, or the blue water soluble version?
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Old May 18, 2022   #3
Balr14
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I add a cap full of the liquid, right out of the bottle, to the reservoir every two weeks. The reservoir contains 2.5 - 3 gallons of water, so that dilutes it nicely. Because the tomatoes grow extremely fast with this setup, they need a little extra calcium to prevent blossom end rot. So, I add lime pellets to the soil.

Last edited by Balr14; May 18, 2022 at 07:53 PM.
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Old May 19, 2022   #4
ScottinAtlanta
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I am not familiar with liquid Miracle grow - can you post a link? Best, Scott
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Old May 19, 2022   #5
Balr14
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Here you go -

https://www.amazon.com/Miracle-Gro-L...7&sr=1-12&th=1

Previous pictures were from the old house with a great place to put containers. Here's the current setup. Not as good as the old one, but still good for more than normal yields.
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Old May 19, 2022   #6
ScottinAtlanta
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Thanks! You find that 12-4-8 works well for the whole season?
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Old May 19, 2022   #7
Balr14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottinAtlanta View Post
Thanks! You find that 12-4-8 works well for the whole season?
It works just fine. This is Wisconsin. The season is only about 3 months long... June through August. If I get any actual growing weather in May, it's a bonus. Some plants are still going strong in September, but by then, I have all the tomatoes I can possibly use and can't give more away to anyone. So I don't do anything to encourage the plants. We still have tomato sauce from last years tomatoes.

Last year I planted 19 tomato plants, (8 cherries and 6 medium and 5 large, mostly heirloom). This year I am doing 13 plants with only 4 cherry varieties and few new large varieties.
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Old May 19, 2022   #8
PaulF
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For container gardening I have switched from higher N plant food to the "bloom booster" formula ( like 8-45-12, each brand has its own ratio it seems). The more and stronger blossoms the better the flowers in flower boxes and more production in vegetables. No real proof but it seems to work here.
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Old May 19, 2022   #9
Balr14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulF View Post
For container gardening I have switched from higher N plant food to the "bloom booster" formula ( like 8-45-12, each brand has its own ratio it seems). The more and stronger blossoms the better the flowers in flower boxes and more production in vegetables. No real proof but it seems to work here.
I have tried other liquid plant foods including the "bloom booster" formula. Also, feeding weekly, instead of every two weeks does wonders. You are right, it does produce a lot. I have tried to slow down plant growth and produce less in the last few years. I just can't use any more unless I buy another freezer. I still get more production than you get from normal gardens.
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Old May 19, 2022   #10
ScottinAtlanta
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Thanks. We have a 9 month season here - but I will the liquid version a try.
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Old May 20, 2022   #11
ddsack
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Thanks for the pictures, Balr14, I do like your idea of raising the containers up onto the cement blocks for ease of tending in the early season. Looks like you've already covered the problem of high vines with the surrounding frames for support. What are you growing in the center containers covered with screening? Would love to see pictures again later in the season!
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Old May 20, 2022   #12
Balr14
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Thanks for the pictures, Balr14, I do like your idea of raising the containers up onto the cement blocks for ease of tending in the early season. Looks like you've already covered the problem of high vines with the surrounding frames for support. What are you growing in the center containers covered with screening? Would love to see pictures again later in the season!
The covered containers have lettuce in them. We have chipmunks that like to dig in my containers. Once my plants are well established, they don't bother them. Coffee grounds tend to discourage the little pests after awhile. But, they raise hell with newly planted stuff. I'll remove the screening in another week or two.

The frames you see are actually the shipping containers that screened in gazebo (or whatever you call it) came in. I had this metal framing left over and couldn't figure out what to do with it. Then I got the bright idea to use it to support my plants. It works great!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #13
Shrinkrap
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Well done! Your plants look amazing! I've never tried full sized indeterminate tomatoes.

Here's mine, almost all Dwarf Tomato Project. I use tomato tone, and often supplement with chemical fertilizers from
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #14
kurt
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Default Some info from the archives.

There are some massive Earthbox gardens here in Florida.Check ginger2778.

http://tomatoville.com/showthread.ph...light=Earthbox
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #15
Balr14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrinkrap View Post
Well done! Your plants look amazing! I've never tried full sized indeterminate tomatoes.

Here's mine, almost all Dwarf Tomato Project. I use tomato tone, and often supplement with chemical fertilizers from
Very nice! That's a lot of tomatoes!
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