I am in a rent house so I don't plant anything in the ground, its
all in pots. I am in zone 10. Last spring (EARLY) I planted a
tomato(a variety that others are growing here with excellent results)
in a pot. Had full sun. Had plenty of drainage holes, volcanic rock at
the bottom. The tomato plant grew only so-so. I don't think it was
anywhere near the size/foliage spread of one planted in in a garden.
This pot actually is a large galvanized wash tub, so the plant sure
had more than enough room.
I used a mix...some sand, but mostly Miracle-Gro potting soil. At
the price of Miracle-Gro, it should be THE BEST, but the plant only
produced three or four fruit. There are lots of honeybees around.
I thought that maybe it was just that tomatoes don't do well/produce
much fruit when potted...however a relative of mine said that he once
grew tomatoes in pots, and they produced lots of fruit. SO I guess I
don't have the right soil or fertilizers. I watered them ocassionally,
as all the potted plant, with MIracle-Gro solution. What did I do
wrong, or is there some better soil I can put in the container?
I agree with everything except the word "metal". *ALL* containers will be
troublesome once the soil reaches a certain temperature. They need to be
shaded somehow, and, as you said, they need lots of water.
Hey, talking about soil for tomatoes...
Someone gave me one of those little Grape Tomato kits that come with
seeds, hanging pot and soil and the soil was a little brick of Coconut
Fiber which expands in water. They swear this fiber "holds water for
less frequent watering" and is "a new, environmentally friendly growing
medium for all your indoor, gardening and potting uses".
It's from this company:
I had amazing success with potted cherry tomato plants using packaged
Garden Soil, plastic pots & tons of water.
I agree with FragileWarrior that the metal container wasn't the best
choice in full sun. Our tomatoes, both container-grown and
ground-planted require thorough waterings every day to thrive.
FIrst, zone 10 doesnt have to be hot. its a cold hardinesss number,
only, could vary from SF to SoCal coastal, to AZ to FLA . all
different summers. Dont think it was the container.
I have used galvanized tubs and Im in zone 9 and our summers have
over 100o days and galvanized tubs were not as hot for
roots as dark plastic. Theyre shiny and reflect the heat, I would
Soil/water: Most potting soil types are very sandy, if you added sand,
drainage could have been too quick. As FW and sc stated, water
could have been an issue, particularly if you watered 'occasionally'
Did you check the dryness by digging down about 2 inches to see
if it was dry? Toms would need more water than other smaller potted
I know all the sources say, don't use garden soil, but I have found
that my garden soil works 100 times better than purchased soil.
As long as it isn't clay.
( note: I dont care for Mir Gro, Its not the BEST to me)
To keep the soil evenly moist, use a mulch on the surface, and
water regularly. Did you water until the water ran out of the holes?
Fertilizer. You may have used too much fert. Most purchased soil
now has fert already in it. ( I don't like that). Mir. Gro is usually
very high in Nitrogen. When tomatoes are really well fertilized,
they sit back and say, " I am so well fed I will live forever. I don't
need to produce any fruit." So use less fert and dilute it more
than the package says.
I hope you get a better crop this year.
I agree completley with Emilie. I would rather use some soil from my garden
mixed with some compost than to use all purchased soil. Potting soil may
work well for annuals, but is not the best for veggies. I prefer to add
fertilizer as needed during the growing season. I usually use Miracle Grow,
sparingly. That soil that you used last year is probably a good choice for
this year. Plant the tomatoes back into the same soil and cover with some
mulch to keep in moisture. I think you will be more pleased this year.
Miracle Gro potting soil isn't very sandy at all, its mostly dark
humus. that's why I thought it might be good to add some sand and help
drainage. It gets up to about 98 deg here in summer. THe galvanized
container gets full sun. By the end of June all tomatoes will start
dying from the heat (for everybody). So maybe some partial shade
would help? ALso I will definitely mulch it thickly and water every
day this year. thanks, geronimo
Sand will not address the heat issue. You need to find a way to shade THE
POTS, but not THE PLANTS. The simplest way would be to set up a screen using
burlap, available in rolls at real garden centers. Not pretty, but cheap and
easy to manage. Another way would be to put the plants where the pots will
be shaded by low shrubs, patio furniture, etc.
I have good luck with any good potting mix. What is even better is a
good growers mix. You want a loose mix. One year I used regular garden
soil and it turnd into hard pan(much like cement)
I agree that sand made your water rush through the soil so quickly the
roots probably never had a chance to take up the water and plant
nutrients. I have had great success growing tomatoes in containers.
I also find the small cherry types do well,any small size tomato like
Roma , or small salad size tomatoes do well,forget the large beefsteak
they do not do well.
It is true too much nitrogen will stimulate a tomato to produce too much
foliage at the expense of fruit production. Look at the fertilizer
numbers on your plant fertilizer label. The first number is the
Nitrogen number,over 15 is too high. the second number is the one that
stimulates root growth, fruit and flower production (that is good if it
is 30 or higher)the last number in the formulation is the potash and
should also be low or all you get is root production.
Instead of granular fertilizers use the water soluble fertilizers
designed especially for tomatoes. Schultz Plus,Miracle,even Walmart and
lesser knowns make a formulation specifically for tomatoes and fruiting
plants. The label will have directions for feeding plants either every
14 days or for daily watering. I personally lightly feed container
tomatoes every 7th watering. First give the soil a good drenching with
plain water,this helps saturate the soil well to prepare it for feeding,
then water again with the feeding solution.
Plants in containers on hot days may require watering sometimes twice
per day on a really hot day.
Do your tomatoes get at least 5-6 hours of sun per day? They require it
to produce well. Bees that pollenate dislike really hot weather. Last
summer was a real scorcher nationwide,I noticed the bees were not as
active on the days of high temps. I noticed them working early in the
day and disappearing when it got really hot.
Good luck with your garden this year.
Along with nitrogen based fertilizers, tomatoes are calcium hogs.
Several fertilizers/tomato foods have calcium, or you can use bonemeal
(which is a more organic approach, and usually is purchased in bulk).
However, if you aren't in the mood to shell out a few bucks, save
your egg shells and steep them in boiling water. Let 'em sit for a
few hours, strain out the chunks/shells, and then use that water on
your 'maters. This creates a 'calcium brine,' though the percentage
of calcium is low, repeated waterings with this formulation are both
effective and cheap.
Hi a Nursery pot of 10 gallon size with 2 parts miracle grow and one
part perlite and regular feedings of Miracle grow seems to be indicated
here. Tomatoes need drainage.
They don't like wet feet. Place the plant in a south facing spot which
should give it some needed heat. Mind that it won't set fruit over 90
On 4/28/2015 12:37 AM, email@example.com wrote:
Use my recipe for do-it-yourself potting mix at
<http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_potting_mix.html . For tomatoes,
use only a single handful of blood meal and increase the bone meal by a
handful. The blood meal is nitrogen, which promotes leaves at the
expense of flowers and fruit. The bone meal is phosphorus, which
promotes flowers and fruit. Do not forget the Epsom salts, which is
magnesium sulfate and which promotes additional shoots. Also include
some compost, which contains the soil bacteria that will make the
nutrients available to the tomato roots.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
Now I see why I could not find the original message. It was posted 8
years ago. I suspect Cocoly -- a Chinese fertilizer company -- has been
trolling for the purpose of injecting spam. Cocoly is now in my filter
for rejection of messages.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
Once upon a time on usenet Hypatia Nachshon wrote:
So *there's* the original post above yours. :-)
FWIW honey bees won't do any good when it comes to tomatoes. Bumble bees are
far and away the best pollinators of tomatoes, the need to be
'buzz-pollinated'. All of the commercial growers here with their acres of
glass houses use only bumble bees.
"Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
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