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

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Old December 15, 2020   #61
greenthumbomaha
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Refreshing this Coir topic for any updates.


I dug up dahlias and replanted in peat which caused an explosion of fungus gnats indoors, something I had eliminated from my home for the past few years.


I've hydrated Wondersoil amended with small amounts of perlite and vermiculite for a long awaited micro tomato grow out. They are about an inch tall and at first leaf stage. I hope to keep them in 6 packs for a few weeks after separating from their seed starting flats this afternoon.



Considering using the Espoma Start liquid fertilizer in the blur bottle mentioned above. Thoughts on using an organic fertilizer in coir? I also have liquid Kelp and Cal Mag at the ready but no idea how to use with micros, or with coir.



- Lisa
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Old December 15, 2020   #62
KarenO
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Hi Lisa, for myself and my personal preferences, I find coir stays too wet. I don't have experience with using organic fertilizers in it indoors but all nutrients will need to be supplied as coir contains essentially none. I really think A bag of promix would sure make your life easier, especially indoors in winter where there are already big challenges with air flow, insufficient light and cooler than ideal temperatures? all depends on how much experimentation and risk you are ok with?
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Old December 15, 2020   #63
greenthumbomaha
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Hi Karen,

I hear you on the coir. I've used it in the past and it was fine for seed starting, but once the plants , mostly peppers , were settled in I feel it compacted down and was either too dry or too wet. In mature plantings is was the opposite of what many describe as a good draining medium for me.

Like most of us here I am space challenged during the winter. I have a large sunny south facing window in the dining room original hi-e glass and plants do well. I set my "Costco" light shelf in the window so days or nights there is light available. A greenhouse like yours is still a far off dream, given my age not one that has much time left to fulfill !

I have two new sealed bags of potting soil, but with the recent gnat population invasion from using an open dry bag of soil from the garage I am taking small steps to getting back to normal growing. I think it was two years ago that spider mites took down my winter micro tomato and lettuce plants. Aphids also hitchhiked in with overwintering peppers; ugh first time for everything.

The coir is certainly a gamble as some are the last seeds I have of many varieties. I ended up planting one row of the 6 pack in coir (which I went over the top with adding perlite and vermiculite and it is VERY light in weight) and one row in Miracle Gro seed starter mix which I will carefully monitor for any fungus gnats invading. The limiting factors will be my memory in feeding the micros, or knowing how much or little Espoma to use, and when to switch over to another fertilizer or repot to a heavier mix.

I have tiny hosta babies growing in Miracle Gro seed starter mix, and they need to be kept wet. Prime conditions for these darn gnats. Otherwise, I would have absolutely used ProMix!

Thanks for your reply. I always enjoy following your grow outs. Even if the micros aren't sweet like the short 'n sweet, it will be something to eat in winter doused with tons of dressing.

- Lisa
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Old December 15, 2020   #64
KarenO
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Sounds exactly like my winter grow, down to the shelf from Costco. I learned hard lessons many years ago regarding bringing outdoor plants inside and tempting as it can be I don’t do it at all anymore due to the inevitable hitchhikers.
I also always only use new sealed bags of anything indoors. Part bag that has spent five minutes outdoors will have fungus gnats from my sad buggy experience and so only brand new sealed planting medium products allowed in the house. Lesson learned the hard way as is usually the case
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Old December 16, 2020   #65
natural
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I have not used coir before but am considering it.

I have researched several brands and some companies have several blends with different pith-to-chunk ratios. I've seen 70/30, 50/50 and 30/70. I wonder if a blend that has more chunk and less pith would be better for tomatoes and peppers.

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Old December 16, 2020   #66
kurt
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We use a mix of 1 coarse vermiculite per brick of coir.We mis in some granulated fertilizer,in the tray plugs some ASOS,Micos,for root inoculation.Bottom tray watering is easier to control,the plants take water as needed.We get two tubs of mix per brick.
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Old December 17, 2020   #67
natural
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Nice setup Kurt.
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Old December 17, 2020   #68
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We tried Wonder soil,Mother Earth but graduated to CocoBliss.A finer material,cost is manageable.Amazon carries it.

https://www.plantonix.com/10lbs-brick.php
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Old December 17, 2020   #69
greenthumbomaha
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Envious of your set up and scenery, Kirt !
The view out my grow window - about 3 inches of snow fell a week ago still unmelted, keeping night time temps very cold!
Lantana, figs with Miss S. flower self sowed in container, micro tomatoes, baby hostas, lavender seedlings, parsley seedlings, lavender rosemary and rosemary trying to root , salvia and agastache brought in from outside clinging to life. Lettuce seeds soaking in the small condiment cups.
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Old December 17, 2020   #70
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Fortunately we have a 365 days of growing.Friends up north in Pa have the same conditions.Remember they need the oxy/carbon exchange,per day.Warming trays,maybe?Some alternate lighting source?
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Old December 22, 2020   #71
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I've used a lot of the blocks and rinse, rinse, rinse them all.

Mother Earth is the worst I've tried; the texture is fine but it smells like petroleum even after lots of rinsing. I dedicate 2 Earthboxes for the rinsing and sometimes will leave it for 6+ months - first with me rinsing then rain.

Besides, Wonder Soil, I like the Roots Organic's bricks the best and purchase the Roots Organic Chips and you can make any of them the exact consistency you want. The price for Roots Organic is much lower at the hydro store than Amazon.

Thanks for the heads up on Coco Bliss.



----
I also have found the coir in the grow slabs is great; it expands in the bag and doesn't require rinsing. I've dumped at the end of the season, removed the roots and reused and it was still great.
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Old December 25, 2020   #72
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I'm still using coir for indoor up potting and still having success with it. Wondersoil disappeared off the market for a while then came back with new packaging and a $10/block price increase. I've gone to the Cocobliss which has required no rinsing, has no off odors, and is coarse and fibrous so it doesn't pack down.
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