Question related to Gro-Bags

Hi, Does anybody know what's in a gro-bag? I used to see these things some years ago in the UK but they don't seem to be available here in France. I want to grow tomatoes on my balcony - what should I grow them in? Would a bag of compost slit down the back do the trick or should I add something to the compost? Thanks in advance Clive
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il 01 Apr 2004 15:07:03 GMT, clive ha scritto:

Can't you hop on a chunnel train and pick some up? You would need to add tomato fertilizer to compost to add the extra nutrients needed by tomatoes. Just compare the NPK ratio and micro nutrients added to see what the difference is between tomato mix and garden mix.
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Well I could but it'd be a 16 hour round trip and an expensive grow bag... I think I'll take Penelope's advice and grow them in pots.
Thanks for your reply.
Cheers Clive
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wrote:

What's wrong with regular potting soil and a pot?
The biggest problem I see is that if the bag get direct, all day sun, the roots might get too hot.
Penelope
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That sounds like the logical thing to do - would it require large pots - what diameter would be good?
Thanks for your reply!
Cheers
Clive
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wrote:

As large as you can manage. Even 'patio' tomatoes produce a lot of foliage and roots -- wide, 'though not particularly deep -- so you need both space for roots and weight for stability. Don't forget some sort of support system for the plant. And don't fill your pots with all compost. You need soil and nutrients, and compost is a soil conditioner, not a fertilizer. A good 'potting soil' has a mix of dirt and compost or conditioners. Some now include fertilizer, too.
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I have grown tomatoes UPSIDE DOWN in a 5 gallon bucket. It works great on a balcony, as long as you can reach them to pick them. My balcony is on the second floor, so the plants hung almost to the ground. One can also lift the bucket up, but it is rather heavy with a full grown plant. This is not a lot of soil, but works fine if one uses a good plant food regularly. Get a cheap version of miracle grow type stuff, which is almost like a hydroponic liquid. simply cut a hole in the bottom of the buckt (about 1-2 in- 2-5 cm) in diameter and place the tomato plant roots first through the hole with the top two sets of leaves sticking sticking out the bottom. Place as much of the stem inside the bucket as possible as roots will form all along the stem. Stuff something soft around the plant to hold it in place and keep the soil in. I used some of my wife's old stockings. fill the bucket 3/4 full of good soil, potting soil should work fine. Hang the bucket from the balcony rail with tomato plant pointing down. As the plant gets big, it will use a lot of water, so check 2x/day. I got a ton of tomatos this way, and didn't lose any balcony space.
Here is a web site I found that has much the same idea.
http://www.gardengatemagazine.com/tips/39tip5.html
HTH
-Rick
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On 01 Apr 2004 15:07:03 GMT, clive

Sure, lots of people do this. My guess would be that the compost would supply everything the plants need - I have often planted directly in spent-mushroom-soil (mushroom compost, that is) and everything thrives (except carrots - it's got too much nitrogen for carrots, I believe).
But I don't know about tomatoes: they're awfully big plants and maybe there wouldn't be enough depth for the roots.
OTOH, maybe they don't get nearly as big in the UK as they do here b/c of your cooler summers.
If I were doing it, and wanted specifically tomatoes, I'd try to get a smaller variety, Patio Hybrid for instance.
Pat
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