Container Sweet Potato Soil and Fertilizer advice needed

BigA3723April 8, 2011

I am attempting my first container sweet potatoes ever. I have 25 slips of Okinawan Purple already in 3 inch pots coming soon, as well as 24 other slips of 3 other kinds. I have some plastic 55 gallon drums I am preparing as 34 and 18 gallon rubbermaid totes also. It seems I will need to make 400 to 500 gallons of soil total, I liked the Miracle Grow Organic and came up with a possible soil mix I can make myself.

Possible ingredients will be Sphagnum peat moss, aged pine fines (sold as a soil conditioner), and perlite. I had a recent issue with fungus gnat I was able to correct with peppermint tea and less watering, but heard adding charcoal will prevent gnats? From the YouTube video on container sweet potatoes I saw, the vines grow all over like crazy so it will be hard to check soil for gnats (I think). I found instruction on making the rubbermaid totes into self watering containers and wonder if this is best way to avoid overwatering? If above ingredients will work well, can anyone suggest optimum ratio?

Fertilizer

I bought some bone meal 6-9-0 and cottonseed meal 6-1-1 to mix into soil for start, and a Neptunes fish and see weed mix 2-3-1 I think I can use weekly when watering? Also, the lady at Steele Plant said she can sell me a 10-20-20 or possibly 10-20-30 (she wasn't sure of exact number) chemical fertilizer the use that came in 4 pound bag for $20 that would do 100ft row. Is organic better route? Or chemical? Any alternative low nitrogen fertilizer recommendations? Thanks for any help!

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BigA3723

Please someone respond soon as my slips are about to arrive and still have no soil ready.

I did find a SUPER PLANT TONIC that has a nutrients mix with beneficial bacteria, and root mycorrhizal fungus. I found hundreds of posts praising this stuff on over 20 different forums, it is from a company named BLUE MOUNTAIN ORGANICS. Here is info copy and pasted:

" Super Plant Tonic". It's a 100 % Organic Blended Tea Concentrate, and a little goes a long way. In this new, more concentrated form it makes 16-32 gallons per bottle for Soil and if using it in a Hydroponics setup it makes 32-64 gallons. See mixing instructions below for details. So what does SPT do for your plants; it makes their roots very efficient. So efficient, you can lower the dose of fertilizer you are using to half.
This tonic contains the following : Artesian Spring Water, Worm Castings, Mycorrhizal Fungi, Coral Calcium, Unsulphured (Blackstrap) Molasses, and Humic Acid derived from Oak Leaf & Peat Compost.
Now, most people "do not want to tell", you their ingredients you to know them and why they are used :
The Artesian Spring Water (provides an all natural, chlorine free base), Worm Castings (add soluable nitrogen & trace minerals), Mycorrhizal Fungi make the mix soluble & inoculate your plants roots, Unsulphured Molasses (feeds - these beneficial microorganisms, provides trace minerals, plus soluble nitrogen, phosphorus & potassium), Coral Calcium (adds 72 trace minerals - that's all of them), Humic Acid derived from (Hot Composted) Oak Leaves & Peat - adds natural chelates (ensuring smooth delivery of the trace minerals). All these good things are mixed, then oxygenated for (3) days under optimal conditions; in a special organic tea brewer. Which increases the feeding action of the beneficial microorganisms - which break down all these good things, into a highly soluble liquid. Easily absorbed by plants. Note: Mycorrhizal Fungi enhance your plants ability to absorb more nutrients, minerals & water - resulting in better vigor, growth & draught resistance. Just Google or Yahoo Search Mycorrhizal Fungi - You'll find page after page of information praising them.
The effects on your plants will Amaze You !!! . Just like you, a plant fed a well balanced diet, which includes vitamins & trace minerals - Results in Increased Health & Vigor. It is like a protein shake for your Organics has spent years, perfecting their "Tonic" formula. Each run is made in small batches to ensure quality. It is great for starting or healing plants that are ill. Used weekly, all plants grow bigger & healthier. It is completely safe for food crop use. Your garden will produce more than ever, your roses will love you.

ANY IDEAS?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 5:44PM
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