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Roma's not growing in shallow box?

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Roma's not growing in shallow box?

Post  milaneyjane on Fri 2 Jul 2010 - 16:53

I planted the exact same roma's in the exact same Mels mix, at the exact same time in the exact same spot in the garden (full sun)....but...two of the three boxes are 16 inches tall and the other 8 inches tall (probably more like 6 with where the soil has settled. The roma's in the taller boxes are amazing---full and bushy. The five plants in the shorter box don't look anywhere near as nice. They look more spindly, shorter, and not as full. They have been watered accordingly. They all have hardware cloth on the bottom and are planted over the existing garden.

Any ideas, or do they do better with deeper roots?
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milaneyjane

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Re: Roma's not growing in shallow box?

Post  quiltbea on Fri 2 Jul 2010 - 17:05

Tomatoes are deep-rooting crops. They like to spread their legs deep.
If you planted them up to their topmost branches when you transplanted them, then they needed even deeper space for roots.

In shallow boxes its best to transplant tomatoes horizontally and turn the topmost branches upwards after burying the root about 4" deep horizontally. Roots will grown along the stem that's buried, but won't need to go as deep as those vertically planted.

I'm thinking the shallow box is the culprit.
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Re: Roma's not growing in shallow box?

Post  herblover on Sat 3 Jul 2010 - 6:53

I agree; after growing them in my box last year I put them in the ground this year so that they would have plenty of room.
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Re: Roma's not growing in shallow box?

Post  milaneyjane on Sat 3 Jul 2010 - 10:33

That is what I was thinking. I started the romas from seed and they were still very tiny when I transplanted them, so I was limited in how I planted them. Next year I am making all the boxes 16 inches tall so that should help. I have hardware cloth on the bottom of the boxes so the roots could easily grow through into the the garden dirt below, but I am guessing that they aren't. Really, I don't think I would want to go from Mels Mix to garden dirt either Laughing
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