Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old June 13, 2021   #31
paradajky
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Coastal Southern CA
Posts: 43
Default

Apologies in bumping this older thread, I was searching for something to do with buckets and came across this, and wanted to share in case others in the future find the thread: the 5-1-1 mix is great for top-down watering, but it did not work in my SWC bucket setup last year. Theory: not enough peat, too many bark fines, unable to actually wick. It was really disappointing after all that work making buckets and sourcing the the bark fines! i.e. read up carefully on a good mix that will actually wick


I'm going to try again this year with something closer to a 1-1-1 mix.
paradajky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 13, 2021   #32
Fred Hempel
Tomatovillian™
 
Fred Hempel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Sunol, CA
Posts: 2,586
Default

I don't know how anyone grows productive tomatoes in pots less than 20 gallons.

Even then we end up trimming off alot of the plant to keep them happy. Except when we use determinate plants, and even a good determinate plant seems to need 20 gallons.
__________________
Artisan Seeds -- www.growartisan.com
Fred Hempel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 13, 2021   #33
JRinPA
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: SE PA
Posts: 890
Default

I just washed my hands from resetting my rain gutter buckets for the year.

I dumped the old out into the wheelbarrow for each bucket, then discard any top stuff with roots and the packed cup and bottom screen contents. Discard will go to compost pile. That leaves about 3/4 of the contents. With my coffee can scoop (~30 oz maxwell house blue plastic) I added 1 scoop finished compost, 1 scoop perlite, 1 scoop peat, a tablespoon of lime and a 2 tbsp of 10-10-10. Mix that up with a rake. Separately I mixed 50/50 peat and perlite for the wick and wet that well to pack the wick tight. This is the most perlite I have used. With wick in, I laid the screen back in (I use window screen atop the wick) and repacked the bucket most of the way. Then I set in the peppers and eggplant and laid a ring of 10-10-10 around the top rim, covered with a little more compost, and that was it. It did take a good 2-3 hours to redo the 18 buckets but it was straightforward.

At this point I must be approaching 20%-25% perlite in the mix. It always works great. I haven't done horse manure since the 2nd year, and last June I think I repacked about the same way as I did today. If I was starting new ones today, I would not hesitate to start them just like I repacked today at 1/3 each peat/perlite/compost as the main mix.

By the fall and last harvest, the mix drops down from the rim to about 1-1.5" lower. That is when I remove buckets and dump move the gutter for the winter. I replace the pots on the stand and add shredded leaves on top to protect the soil for winter. End of February, it is compacted a bit more. I scrape off the leaves, throw lettuce and spinach seed there, and replace a 1/2" or so of leaves. Those are easy, no work starts. They come up when they come up, natural like. This year they were up well by end of March, but then stalled. It was very dry and then hot and now finally wet but cool. The spinach didn't do much there after April except want to bolt so I dug many of them for transplants, but the lettuce took off fine and we have had a lot of cut lettuce from there. (EDIT: my point is this is an easy way to start lettuce and spinach for transplanting by heavily seeding the bucket and thinning them out by transplanting elsewhere. To transplant just dig out the start and the chunk of soil under it and put it in the new spot with more room. Can probably do other cool weather crops as well. The buckets heat up sooner than the ground.)

This evening's 2-3 hours is the only real work needed for the year for those buckets - that is what I really like about them. I picked up some float controlled drippers that I mounted on 5 gal buckets so all I have to do this summer is ferry water 20 feet from the rain barrel to the 5 gal fill buckets and throw in some mosquito bits every couple weeks for good measure. I will string up the peppers and eggplant but that needs done the same anywhere.

I've still never tried tomatoes in buckets though...I planted something like 106 tomatoes in the ground and I can't see messing with a good thing.

Last edited by JRinPA; June 13, 2021 at 10:40 PM.
JRinPA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 13, 2021   #34
Fred Hempel
Tomatovillian™
 
Fred Hempel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Sunol, CA
Posts: 2,586
Default

Ground is great most places. Glad I don't live in a place where disease pressure is so great that it makes the ground a problem.
__________________
Artisan Seeds -- www.growartisan.com
Fred Hempel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14, 2021   #35
Yak54
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Madison, OH, zone 6
Posts: 359
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Hempel View Post
I don't know how anyone grows productive tomatoes in pots less than 20 gallons.

Even then we end up trimming off alot of the plant to keep them happy. Except when we use determinate plants, and even a good determinate plant seems to need 20 gallons.
I've had great success with strong growing indeterminate beefsteak types in 15 gal. grow bags. Plants get to be 8 ft. tall and produce very well. I can't figure out how the greenhouse people grow two plants in one 5 gal. bag.
Yak54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 14, 2021   #36
friedgreen51
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 155
Default Growing In Pots/Buckets

I live in NC too. I have had great success with 7 to 10 gallon nursery pots with grow bags inside. The plastic nursery pot helps retain some moisture and the grow bags prune the roots a bit.
For my mix I use :
1/3 pine bark fines. I buy the smallest, uncolored natural pine nugget mulch I can find. My husband run it through the chipper shredder. Here in NC pine bark nuggets are easy to source and inexpensive.
1/3 of the Soil 3 Humus Compost https://www.soil3.com/?__hstc=228803...sfp=4091893915
They put it on sale in the spring and deliver it as part of the price.
1/3 Miracle Grow Potting Soil
and finally about 2 cups of NAPA 100 Percent Diatomaceous Earth Part # 8822 Oil Absorb. It is available at NAPA for $9.99 for 24 Quarts.
I use a time release fertilizer and top water. Sometimes everyday in the Summer.
It has worked well for me.
friedgreen51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 15, 2021   #37
zipcode
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Romania/Germany , z 4-6
Posts: 1,581
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Hempel View Post
I don't know how anyone grows productive tomatoes in pots less than 20 gallons.

Even then we end up trimming off alot of the plant to keep them happy. Except when we use determinate plants, and even a good determinate plant seems to need 20 gallons.
I guess it depends on what the expectations of production are. Also, one can prune indeterminates to fit lesser volumes ok.
zipcode is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:10 AM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2019 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★