5-1-1 mix questions

jenniedhsApril 5, 2013

I have been searching all the posts on this and other tomato boards for weeks doing a search. So I am sorry is if this spelled out in basic English someplace, I have not found it. I need to do containers this year as the two years past even with soil amendments is not working due to weed control overly used by previous owners. I have #15 nursery pots. They hold 13.96 gallons. I am drip irrigating so learned 5-1-1 was more appropriate than Raybo's mixture for self watering. I am really good at math, but there must be something with weight and volume here as one sight I found said that a 12 gallon post would get 10 gallons of pine fines. I want to get the pots started as I have read the lime needs to be mixed in two weeks prior. I have found a source for all the materials, could you please help me with amounts. Again, #15 nursery pots, which hold 13.96 gallons. Also how much lime and slow release fertizilier should I put in _is tomato tone a good one? Thank you so much.

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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Try 10 gallons pine fines, 2 gallons perlite, 2 gallons peat, 1 cup dolomitic lime, 1 1/2 cups Tomatotone. Once the plants are growing well and start to produce tiny tomatoes (4-6 weeks after planting out), add another cup of tomato tone or start using a complete soluble fertilizer like MiracleGro 24-8-16 according to package directions every two weeks. That's the simple version.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 1:13AM
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Thank you! Thank you! You gave me just what I needed, a simple version. I wasn't sure if the ratio was by volume or weight. Having never worked with any of the components, I was probably over stressing about amounts. Last year I used miracle grow potting soil for my dwarf tomatoes in pots and they didn't do great, no root system to speak of when I emptied the pots in the fall, so I knew I had to try something different for the indeterminates and the dwarfs this year. Thank you for responding so quickly as I am off to the garden center this morning to get the pots started!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:30AM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

out of curiosity, how did you come to the conclusion that, I'm guessing by weed control you mean herbicide, is the problem? 2 years of persistence in a watered and cultivated bed sounds a bit long.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:45AM
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It's a very long saga. First year living here I created a garden out what used to be a grassed area. My tomatoes showed signs of extreme 2 4-d damage after taking them to the extension agent. Thought it might be the neighbors overspray, but the state inspector checked out the company spraying and said it was not that, probably in our soil. The next year we really amended the soil and had the same problems. Out of 11 plants we got 8 tomatoes. So not sure what is going on. Rather than risk no tomatoes this year I am going to try containers. I am really new to this so will probably have lots of questions. Love this website and all the knowledgable people here.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 10:44PM
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I was surprised also when we had the same damage the second year after amending the soil. Read various reports of how long 2 4-d persisted in the soil and they varied from 6 months to 3 years. Just being safe this year, I want some home grown tomatoes! :-)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 10:53PM
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ok, because I am not good at math, Ohiofem, help me please. I will be using 20 gallon containers. What will be the amount I will need per container? What about gypsum? Is that used in addition or instead of dolmite lime?
Thanks, Sharon

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:54PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Stick with dolomitic lime for 5-1-1. The bark and peat are very acidic and there is otherwise no calcium or magnesium in the mix. I'm no math genius. (I'm actually a cook.) I figure you should use 15 gallons of bark and 3 gallons each of peat and perlite. Then add one tablespoon of lime for each gallon of finished mix. So you need 21 T, or about 1 1/4 cup of lime. I add an equal amount of the controlled release fertilizer, but that is optional.

What I actually do is have a few buckets of different sizes that I've measured. I make 21 gallons of mix at a time using a 5-gallon bucket and a 3-gallon bucket. I measure the bark in the 5-gallon bucket, using three of them. Then I use the three gallon bucket to scoop up one bucket each of the perlite and peat. It's not rocket science. It's OK if you are a little off on the measurements.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 9:52AM
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