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

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Old June 23, 2011   #1
KazooGal
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Default growing medium for container grown tomatoes

I'm so frustrated trying to grow tomatoes in containers-they don't seem to thrive at all. Can anyone share with me a recipe for a good growing medium for pots? I've got a tomato that needs a larger pot soon!
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Old June 23, 2011   #2
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I do all my gardening in Containers and so far things are going pretty well. I used Promix for about half my plants and the Miracle Gro Organic choice for the other half. Added perlite to the ones with the MG potting mix. I also mix in some Tomato Tone and Bone Meal prior to transplanting.
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Old June 23, 2011   #3
KazooGal
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Default potting soil

Thanks for the suggestions! I will try adding bone meal to the medium (Miracle Gro Garden Soil). Have hopes for tomatoes this summer...
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Old June 23, 2011   #4
jdmfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KazooGal View Post
I'm so frustrated trying to grow tomatoes in containers-they don't seem to thrive at all. Can anyone share with me a recipe for a good growing medium for pots? I've got a tomato that needs a larger pot soon!
Do you have a local hydroponics store or nursery near by?



I do, and have been using Fox Farm Happy Frog soil mixed with Farmer D planting mix (compost and pine bark). I've also used the Organicare line of soils and really like them for premixed soils.

Figured I'm spending $1-$2 more a cubic foot for premixed than if I did it myself, but would have to fork out much more money up front if I bought all the things myself and mixed it.
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Old June 23, 2011   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KazooGal View Post
Thanks for the suggestions! I will try adding bone meal to the medium (Miracle Gro Garden Soil). Have hopes for tomatoes this summer...
Make sure you use the Miracle Gro potting mix that is for containers and not the heavy bags of garden soil.

Craig
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Old June 23, 2011   #6
KazooGal
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Garden Soil is already in the pot. I have perlite I could add to lighten it up. Think it will work?
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Old June 23, 2011   #7
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Garden soil is for sure not the preferred mix to use in containers, I have seen a few posts of people having mixed results but I would never use it in a container situation.

Craig
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Old June 23, 2011   #8
KazooGal
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Thanks for the suggestions- I will check online tonight!
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Old June 23, 2011   #9
nctomatoman
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I have really good success using the following - I layer 1- 2.5 cu ft bag of Miracle Gro potting MIX, then a 25 lb bag of composted cow manure, then another MG, then another cow manure, in my big wheel barrow. when I fill the pots, I just take from the bottom and scoop up - gives me the appropriate mix. Was shocked to see that the local Home ★★★★★ cut the price of the MG mix from 13.50 to 9.50 per bag - and the composted manure ( I use Moo Nure) is about 2.50 per bag.

Still, for this season, I've gone through 40 bags of each - good thing my plants are all loaded up (otherwise the cost per tomato will be astronomical!).

And I use fresh mix in bleached pots each year - the mix in the pots at the end of the season goes into a pile to be used for the flower garden and non-tomato areas of the bigger veggie garden.
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Old June 23, 2011   #10
KazooGal
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wow- 40 bags of each component-sounds like you live in the country! I've decided to empty the pot of the garden soil and replace it with more appropriate medium- a mixture of potting soil, manure, and bone meal. Thank you for sharing your information!
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Old June 23, 2011   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KazooGal View Post
wow- 40 bags of each component-sounds like you live in the country! I've decided to empty the pot of the garden soil and replace it with more appropriate medium- a mixture of potting soil, manure, and bone meal. Thank you for sharing your information!
Might want to pick up some perlite too. And start with low amounts in case the manure is "hot", not properly aged, or holds too much water. Perlite will help cut the medium so it drains a little better, or you can get fine/small particle size composted bark (if you can find it).


This too, is also a good thread/FAQ about mediums for containers.


http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/...24775.html?130
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Old June 23, 2011   #12
Gobig_or_Gohome_toms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KazooGal View Post
wow- 40 bags of each component-sounds like you live in the country! I've decided to empty the pot of the garden soil and replace it with more appropriate medium- a mixture of potting soil, manure, and bone meal. Thank you for sharing your information!
I think your plant will be allot happier.

Craig
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Old June 23, 2011   #13
KazooGal
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I've got perlite-thanks!
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Old June 23, 2011   #14
dice
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Why is the potting MIX better than the potting SOIL? Air space in
the growing medium.

This is why it is important (the poster being replied to is describing
the root behavior of "living mulch", but the same principles apply to
tomato roots in containers; potting MIX has a lot more air space than
potting SOIL, so does not stay water logged as long after you water or
after it rains):
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/p...ry/007522.html

A scientific explanation of the characteristics of good container mix:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/cn004
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