Container Mobility(Tomatoes)

williammorgan(6b)April 28, 2014

Although I haven't been container gardening much of late when I was a kid and there was no room for my ideas in the garden I was fascinated by the idea.

One of the things that fascinated me the most is mobility. The idea that you could over come shade problems by moving your containers around. Living in a small city with 1/4 acre parcels can be murder trying to get enough light.

So an idea just popped into my head. I have one of those garden carts I've grown tomatoes in before and I used to like how I could move them to the west side to catch the early morning rays and then east to catch the beaming late afternoon sun. That probably gave me about 12 hours of direct sunlight and if I took em for walks around the block they probably would have got even more ;-).

I was thinking I've got lots of weed block i pulled off my beds. I could use that stuff to line my cart and fill up with growing medium and grow I'd say 2-3 San Marzano Redorta Tomatoes. The idea is to have a container that breathes. I'd like to compare the production of those to the containers I will grow the same variety in my greenhouse. My greenhouse in in a position it will get some very early rays but mostly afternoon ones till near sunset. However the light in there is amplified and the higher temps just get things booming. Last year my green house was on the other side of the yard and from 3 pm. on it got very little direct light. Despite that it was a wall of green with many tomato plants well over 8 feet tall.

Gotta love experimentation.

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Some Earth Boxes have a base that is wheeled so you can move them around. I don't have any, because I went with Grow Boxes instead of Earth Boxes (a little less expensive) and they don't have a mobile base so I can't move them around. I don't have any sun/shade issues here in western Colorado though so I don't need to move them. Sounds like your idea will work fine and should be a fun project. Good luck with it.

The Grow Boxes worked great, by the way. I'm sold on sub-irrigation.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 4:48PM
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Thanks I might reconsider though and go with fabric pots and keep my cart open for hauling things. I was only going to grow about 10 Tomatoes in planters, and maybe 10 peppers in smaller ones. One needs their exersize too!

So it becomes a chore. Perhaps i leave half out and half in. My mind changes. I've been researching intensely.

One thing or concept I do like the idea of is fabric containers. Those boxes are kinda pricey. I'm finding 20 gallon fabrics around $10 a pop. For the peppers i figured 10 gallon pots.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 7:45PM
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I've never tried fabric containers but they capture my imagination. If I can afford the mix to fill them with I plan to try 4 or 5 myself. I've read good things about them. I will probably go with the 5 gallon size. Most of my other containers are 5 gallon buckets and getting much bigger only increases the cost.

It's a lot of fun to experiment and try new things.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:24AM
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Yeah container gardening can be expensive. Although I'm crunching my own numbers right now(still not certain how much bark cost in my area)and they're not too terrible when you make your own mix. Gardening isn't the same as farming but two do have one thing in common you get out of it what you put in.

I've grown things in totes(most have no uv resistance and will get brittle over a short period of time), buckets, trash barrels, etc. Why one year I grew potatoes on cement by dropping a load of top soil. That was sorta like a container.

Just the idea that the roots could actually breathe is intriguing. Do tomatoes and peppers breathe much in the ground? You loosen up the soil but the rows are more than likely compacted from walking on.

I've seen some 5 gallon fabrics for around $5 a pop. It's more expensive than a plastic bucket but it's nice to try new things. Cost can add up a bit when you have to buy all the ingredients for the mix unless you just use straight potting mix.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 11:15AM
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I'm starting to think the fabric pots might be like the coco-coir liners in hanging pots. They suck up moisture from the soil mix so you might have to water more than usual. If you do water, the water isn't absorbed quickly or held in long enough, and it just starts dripping out.

However, that's just my thoughts on what might happen -- I still would like to try them to make sure.

They do make plant trays that have wheels, so you can move them around that way also. Usually they are advertised for being able to easily move heavy pots but there is no reason you can't use them for pots that aren't so heavy.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 11:22AM
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I think they're felt like. For me I have no problem watering more. With container gardening you have to especially with a small pot. I like to be around my garden often. I also live in a wet cloudy place. So I for one want my containers to drain easily. I think a heavy peat based mix would mean a heavy container but a bark mix would be lightweight. Depends on the person though. The bugs might get whiplash if they start to spy my containers though because I'll be moving them so much. As far as I'm concerned now there's no reason why I can't give my plants 13+ hours of sun a day in the summer. I gotta burn some calories for those pepper and onion pizzas I make ;)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 11:56AM
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