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

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #91
SueCT
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But why hard pack at all? What is the theory and goal? I loosen soil as much as possible to make it as easy as possible for roots. I press down the soil enough to remove air pockets and support the plant, but that is it. I am scratching my head over this one. Everyone has their own way of doing things for various reasons. Why do some prefer to hard pack soil?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #92
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It's in our southern blood, 'we cant help ourselves, we see something we have to stop and pack it down.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #93
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"That's how I pot up to party cups. I looked at the 5 gallon bucket as a Texas sized party cup."

lol, that explains why I thought I needed to pack it in the containers. But anyway, I fixed them and planted out everything but the last tomato plant and the okra. I still need 6 more buckets.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #94
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OK, just curious then, Salt, why do you do that in party cups, lol?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #95
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Sue, that is how I learned from many posts here at Tomatoville in 2014.
Before I joined here, I had never grown a tomato plant from seed. I was told that it's too hard.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #96
SueCT
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Hmmmm. OK. I have never come across this before. I don't mean to grill you or anything. If you learned it here there must be people here who think it should be done for some reason. I wonder what that is. I will keep my eyes and ears out and see if I come across it. Maybe someone else who does it will chime in and tell me why. I never discount another way of doing things if I don't know why it is done. Thank you.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #97
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I wouldn't pack down the soil anywhere. Why make it denser for roots to push through? I haven't heard of doing it that way as a recommended thing to do.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #98
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I don't know, maybe I misunderstood what I read back then. When I gardened out in the main garden that is no more - I made the soil as light as possible. When starting seeds and potting up to the party cup size - I have gone out of my way to pack the mix. It worked really well, but I guess that I was doing it wrong?

You learn something new every day. Sometimes it's right, and sometimes it's wrong. I will try light packing when I start the tomato seeds in June for the fall garden. I do appreciate the advice - it makes sense.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #99
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My understanding on why you pack down the medium when planting is so that the seeds will stay where you placed them and not get washed deep down in the container. I guess you have to make sure that the medium is not too dense so as not to impede the root growth.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #100
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ALS -

What I do is gerllly water the medium to let it settle - then put the seeds in, and then a small layer ontop. Since I don't want the light mix to shift, I will often mist with a sprayer just to get the dry medium wet so it's doesn't *dust shift* and then I will water it in.

Regardless, the coarse vermic. is to make the medium light and airy yet still retain nutri., water, etc.
No harm done. Tomatoes, Vegs, Shrubs, Trees - Gardening itself is a LifeTime of learning.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobiledynamics View Post
ALS -

What I do is gerllly water the medium to let it settle - then put the seeds in, and then a small layer ontop. Since I don't want the light mix to shift, I will often mist with a sprayer just to get the dry medium wet so it's doesn't *dust shift* and then I will water it in.

Regardless, the coarse vermic. is to make the medium light and airy yet still retain nutri., water, etc.
No harm done. Tomatoes, Vegs, Shrubs, Trees - Gardening itself is a LifeTime of learning.
You are right
Today, I'm going to buy some mulch just to keep splash-up from happening so much.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #102
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I bought five 2 cu. ft. bags of, "No Float Cypress Mulch" from Walmart at $2.32 per bag and 6 more five gallon buckets. After the employee discount it was $28+change. I sold $28 of aluminum cans today - so it was free. I have always recycled aluminum cans to use for gardening money - it's earth friendly and I get new gardening toys to play with - is how I see it.

I went with the No Float Cypress Mulch, because a good friend here at Tomatoville recommended it to me a couple years ago when I was still growing in ground. I saw the results of using it. Weeds did not grow in it, and it did keep the ground temperature lower which is important in this part of Texas. Uncovered ground can blister your feet. Just imagine what it does to plants.

Out of curiosity, I wondered what the cypress mulch did when tilling it in? I had nothing to lose because RKN and Fusarium Wilt race 3 had already infected the raised beds. I tilled it in - in Autumn of 2016. Last year, nothing grew well there - including grass and weeds. This year, not much is growing there.

That is exactly what I want in a ground cover. A somewhat natural product that helps cool down the soil around the buckets, helps prevent splash-up, and at least kind of keeps the weeds from growing.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #103
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I had to take a break from gardening today. I even had take a nap which is very odd for me. There is a whole lot more going on other than gardening - I simply got wore out.

The new garden is 18' x 21'. I don't know if 6 bags of mulch is going to be enough or not? I've always used oak leaves, but oak leaves blow around too much without a fence. I could use oak leaves with mulch on top - that would work and save $ on mulch.

I also need to put stakes around the buckets to keep them from blowing over. I have already experienced that in years past of growing in that area in raised beds with cages. The raised beds are gone. I will share pictures when I get it all done.

I plan on working on it tomorrow (Friday), but some other important stuff is happening, so I might have to wait a day?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #104
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I did get to work on the new garden today. There's more to getting the garden set up than I realized or remembered. With the RKN and Fusarium With race 3 over the past two years - it has taken a lot for me to really get into thinking of starting everything new. Container gardening just made more sense than anything else to me. Just "really" getting started this year has not been easy. Everything has been last minute.

I did plant out in our raised beds knowing that have both RKN and Fusarium, but that is to experiment with some super hybrids (VFFFNTA...etc...) -vs- OPs. As of today, the OPs are looking better. The super hybrids have a lot of blooms though.

With the containers, I did get that last tomato plant planted and the 5 buckets of okra started. I realized that 4 more buckets of okra would fit in that row. Okra grows well planted 18" apart. I'm running out of extra money though. Right now, the buckets are centered 42" inches apart.

I'm growing in containers, but using what I know about growing in ground in a very nice garden. I have it in my mind that the ways of gardening are different, but in ways - they are the same.

Tomorrow, I need to make the stakes to hold the containers in place. I'm hoping to get them all in place - today and tomorrow has low wind speeds. The stakes are for high winds that will happen even without thunderstorms. The winds are strong enough here to uproot plants in April through July. The high humidity is about to hit too, but that's when the plants really start to grow.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlittleSalt View Post
I did get to work on the new garden today. There's more to getting the garden set up than I realized or remembered. With the RKN and Fusarium With race 3 over the past two years - it has taken a lot for me to really get into thinking of starting everything new. Container gardening just made more sense than anything else to me. Just "really" getting started this year has not been easy. Everything has been last minute.

I did plant out in our raised beds knowing that have both RKN and Fusarium, but that is to experiment with some super hybrids (VFFFNTA...etc...) -vs- OPs. As of today, the OPs are looking better. The super hybrids have a lot of blooms though.

With the containers, I did get that last tomato plant planted and the 5 buckets of okra started. I realized that 4 more buckets of okra would fit in that row. Okra grows well planted 18" apart. I'm running out of extra money though. Right now, the buckets are centered 42" inches apart.

I'm growing in containers, but using what I know about growing in ground in a very nice garden. I have it in my mind that the ways of gardening are different, but in ways - they are the same.

Tomorrow, I need to make the stakes to hold the containers in place. I'm hoping to get them all in place - today and tomorrow has low wind speeds. The stakes are for high winds that will happen even without thunderstorms. The winds are strong enough here to uproot plants in April through July. The high humidity is about to hit too, but that's when the plants really start to grow.
Last week I planted some okra seeds in a 7gal nursery container. It looks like a wider slightly shorter 5gal bucket. They sprouted today. How many plants can go in a container like that? I did 2 groups of 3 that are fairly centered to the pot. 1 in each group sprouted so far. You think I can leave them both? It's some burpee variety called bubba hybrid, supposed to be suited for containers. I've never seen an okra plant in person, but my Okie grandpappy told me I wasn't a true southern gardener unless I had okra growing. Hahah
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