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Containers and Pots

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Containers and Pots

Post  revzen on 4/5/2011, 5:33 pm

Hi All,

I have decided to start my growing experience by using containers and pots. I will also be incorporating SFG at a later date, but due to my fluctuating health I will tread very carefully and so will embark with containers and pots. I have already started with courgettes which are progressing nicely, and over the next few days will decide what to try next. I would appreciate any input on this topic and that includes any good books(especially for novices!!!), videos and forums.

Namaste,

revzen

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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/5/2011, 5:53 pm

Mel's ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING has some great tips for when you are ready to start your first SFG, you may also want to consider doing what is called a table top SFG, it's a box raised aprox 3 feet off of the ground. Mel's Mix (MM) is also great for container gardening.
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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/5/2011, 7:13 pm

Welcome Back Revzen

You have been MIA for quite a bit. Glad to see you again.

I have table top SFG due to my own physical limitations.

In addition to my Table Top SFG beds, I also use Mel's Mix for container gardening (call it my RoundFoot Garden) I have never tried to grow squash in a container. Most of my containers are for lettuces, radishes, spinach, swiss chard, in the very early spring ( my semi enclosed porch does service as a cold greenhouse) then in warm weather I plant tomatoes in 5 gal buckets.

Take care of yourself.
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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  CarolynPhillips on 4/6/2011, 8:39 am

I love gardening in containers. Been doing it for a very long time.
At the moment I do both containers and beds.
I can tell you that most of what I have grown in containers did very well but the
smaller the container=pot the more water it takes. I try to use the largest container
pot I can find only because they hold more soil which holds more moisture.
So far I have learned that
Peppers will grow in 5 gallon pots but do much better in 7 gallon by the time they reach heavy production.
A bush tomato plant will grow in a 5 gallon but does much much better in 10 gallon.
Squash will grow in 5 gallon but will do better in a 7 galllon.
You can pretty much grow anything in 5 gallon but during heavy production you
have to water a few times a day especially down here in the south.
I have noticed that if you grow an indeterminate tomato plant in a 5 gallon pot that
the moisture the soil holds will sustain up to 4 vines on that one plant but has to be watered
everyday and sometimes twice a day during heavy production. (training vines 8 to 12 inches apart= 12 inches apart if you use sfg like a bible)
I have grown cucumbers and mini cantaloupes in 4 gallon pots. They did great as long as they
got plenty of water.
I have grown squash in 12 inch hanging basket and they did great as long as I watered them
a few times a day during heavy production.
I also have to give extra fertilizer , rather it be organic or chemical, when growing in containers
because all the nutrients run out the bottom quicker than if grown in beds on the ground.
The nutrients in compost used in containers depletes much quicker than when used in grow beds.
Container gardening is classified as "Run to Waste". Meaning all nutrients added will run out the bottom and wasted. So you do have to feed container gardens more often.. The nutrients will sit at the bottom of the bed and the roots will find it.
When growing in round containers, you space plants just like you would in a square bed.
Its just not perfectly square==its round== no worries.
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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  myhouseofBOYS on 4/6/2011, 10:27 am

CarolynPhillips wrote:
You can pretty much grow anything in 5 gallon but during heavy production you
have to water a few times a day especially down here in the south.
I have noticed that if you grow an indeterminate tomato plant in a 5 gallon pot that
the moisture the soil holds will sustain up to 4 vines on that one plant but has to be watered everyday and sometimes twice a day during heavy production. (training vines 8 to 12 inches apart= 12 inches apart if you use sfg like a bible)

I am not comprehending what you are saying with this. So you've (only) got your one plant in their right... and the plant has one stem... you only let it have 4 arms?? How do you train vines apart from themselves? I am obviously not understanding what you mean by "vines" because I am thinking you just stick the tom in a bucket throw a cage around it and a stake to give it a bit more support and prune suckers and whatnot. You seem to have a much more complicated formula. I plan on planting many of my toms in buckets this year so I'd love some clarification to get the best yield, or really so they just doesn't completely die from being under/over watered/roots running out of room and they do "good" Smile I am planning on 6 varieties so they won't all have to have bushels of yeild.

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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  CarolynPhillips on 4/6/2011, 10:51 am

you can either:

grow one tomato plant with one vine by pruning all suckers and leaving the main vine to grow

or

you can grow the one plant letting 4 vines(suckers) grow from that plant and pruning off all the others.


A tomato plant can grow an unlimited amount of vines but it is best to prune it so that you only have one vine/sucker growing in a 12inch space cause it gives it more air circulation and lessons fungal problems.
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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  Old Hippie on 4/6/2011, 11:00 am

So do you do this with both determinate and indeterminate tomatoes?

Several of you on here have a completely different method of pruning your toms than I have ever seen before and I am always confused by it. Also by some of your terminology. I always thought that "suckers" were the little vines that started in that "V" space between the leader and a main branch. :scratch:

Gwynn
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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/6/2011, 11:01 am

I found a video on YouTube that shows you how to prune the suckers, and what they are. I cannot comment on the audio of this, as hubby unplugged the speakers and put them somewhere else.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5_UadLzoSk
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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  Old Hippie on 4/6/2011, 11:15 am

Thanks Val. That is how I prune my indeterminates, and that is exactly what I thought is meant by 'suckers'. But what about determinates which I have read are not supposed to be pruned.

Carolyn grows thousands of tomatoes and both her and Acara seem to prune ALL their tomatoes so I wondering if I should be pruning mine more than I do already.

Gwynn
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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/6/2011, 11:18 am

I would trust Carolyn and acara's word over mine. Watch out though araca has admitted he tends to overprune at times, but alas he has such beautiful plants.

Carolyn do you have any pictures from past tomatoes you have shared or can share?
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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  Jay Bird on 4/6/2011, 11:24 am

I have 262 plants in the greenhouse and have pruned to a single stem on them all, they are approaching 6 feet tall with 5-6 truss's of fruit with 5-6 tom's on each truss. If I had let then branch to two stems the weight would have broken the trellis string, remember that pruning gets you larger fruit faster more energy is sent to the fruiting less energy into growing leaves and stems.. on the other hand if I only had 1 or 2 plants to deal with I would let them branch 2 to 4 branches
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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  Old Hippie on 4/6/2011, 11:28 am

262!!!! Jay Bird, do you have both determinate and indeterminate toms? Have you got pics of how you pruned/grew them? I only want about a dozen or so. What do you do with all the toms.

Gwynn
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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  pattipan on 4/6/2011, 11:34 am

Carolyn takes tomatoes very seriously. :-) See the following thread from last year. Be sure to click on the last few pages of the thread (I think there are 12+!) to see her greenhouse of tomatoes!

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t4026-tomato-produce-greenhouse-sfg

Here's a link to a picture:



She had a garden blog once, not sure if she still has it. Carolyn?

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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  Jay Bird on 4/6/2011, 11:35 am

Look at the gallery under Jay Bird,, I have pics posted I sell them $$$ and my wife eats them :geek:and we can them into tomato relish both red and green
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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  quiltbea on 4/6/2011, 11:38 am

Thanks for the info on containers and pots. I plan to have more pots this year so I can expand my crop base without adding more boxes. This is just the kind of help I needed.
Thanks again.
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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  Old Hippie on 4/6/2011, 11:41 am

Sorry for derailing the thread. I too like to use lots of containers since I can get them for nothing. Thanks for the info on the threads and blogs guys.

Gwynn
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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  jkahn2eb on 4/6/2011, 11:46 am

I'm moving in less than a month and have been contemplating, when moving my garden, moving my tomato plants into containers permanently rather than replanting them back into my raised SFG when we get into the new place.

My thought was to dig holes in the ground the size of the container and drop the plants into the holes. When the sun becomes too unbearable and sunscreens don't work, I can pull the containers out and move them under shade where I've had luck in the past getting them through the summer to continue producing in the fall.

I can also in Feb next year have the plants out before the frost date and then lift them out should the night be too cold.

Anyone ever do something like this before?
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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  myhouseofBOYS on 4/6/2011, 12:00 pm

Yeah still not sure I am getting it as the photos don't show neeked tomato plants (I am imagining a Charlie Brown tom tree with fruits on the end instead of ornaments). I made up my own system of pruning which probably amounted to taking all the suckers as well as "this is looking a bit too bushy, this leaf is looking a bit yellow (snip snip snip)" and then as the season gets to an end the plants have ended up fairly naked, just enough foliage to give the fruits a bit of sun protection. But that was in the ground. Seems I need to continue the trend with the bucketed ones Smile

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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  CarolynPhillips on 4/6/2011, 2:01 pm

Hey folks.
wow= yall have some busy brains in action.
sorry= I been working===then i try to take a break and see whats happening
in the garden forums.

I can answer one question real quick. Don't prune the bush or determinate tomato
plants. If you grow the bush or determinate in containers , they will grow in the 5 gallon bucket but will take lots and lots of watering each day. I like the 10 gallon pots for the bush toms.
My bush gets 4 to 5 feet tall.(Better Bush)


I am late getting my tomato plants up and going but==I do have a few blooming right now.
Some are in 4 gallon pots that have been set into the grow bed where i grew toms back in the fall.
My idea of semi- rotation

A sneak peak pic ====then im off to work again

This was April 2nd ==Yes=I already cleaned up the mess I had on the floor....



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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  CarolynPhillips on 4/6/2011, 2:17 pm

not sure if i have ever shown this pic before
sometimes I grow two single vine tomato plants per 5 gallon pot
in this pic they were in 5 gallon grow bags.

Year= 2005

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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  CarolynPhillips on 4/6/2011, 2:21 pm

those same tomato plants in the 5 gallon grow bags grew so tall that they had to be untied from the support system and lowered the vines and re tied them to the support system and they
still grew out the top of the greenhouse---estimated over 12 foot long vines.


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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  CarolynPhillips on 4/6/2011, 2:23 pm

also in the picture above====grew some squash in those 40 pound bags of compost manure. I know its not mels mix===but all i did was cut a hole in side of bag and plant squash in hole. I had to water them every day. There was no peat moss-=no vermiculite. If I could do that with a bag of compost--then anyone can grow a bounty with mels mix.
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Re: Containers and Pots

Post  acara on 4/6/2011, 7:26 pm

Thanks for the compliment, but I'm going to defer to Carolyn on gardening techniques for tomatos, unless it's a "what not to do question"... Very Happy .... because I've probably made more mistakes in a single season, than she did in 10 years ...but thats how we learn....LOL

All kidding aside, I'm a "showboat grower" on tom's. I grow the wierd stuff & I try to grow it bigger than most .... but for dependability/volume/consistency/efficiency in your harvest, the independent, large scale commercial growers like Carolyn and Jaybird are who have the best advice for most peeps.

My pruning is based on trying to focus the maximum amount of resources posssible, into the smallest number of fruit, in order to get them as big as possible.....and that's not necessarily the best goal for most people that grow.
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