Tomatoes are not grow in potting soil

bird-n-buckMay 22, 2012

My friend talked me into trying to grow tomatoes in some containers I had . They are made out of fiberglass and are 32" around and about 13" deep. I went to the store and they sold me miracle-gro potting mix and my started plants. It has been about 5-6 weeks and they have not grown. They have not died but they don't look to good some of the leaves on the outside edges look yellow. I went over to my neighbors, he planted his about the same time in his garden, and his are about 30' tall and mine are the about the same size as when I planted them. I water them everyday. Do I need to mix something with the potting soil mix or what. I thought someone else might have had this experience

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suprneko(9b/sunset 16 NorCal, S. Bay)

Those containers are too small, also do they have drainage? Plant them in the ground or at least a 5 gallon bucket.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 4:41PM
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emgardener

"water them everyday"

They are probably drowning in over wet miracle grow peat mix.

If you hold off on the watering, they could recover, but you'd have to be careful and only water right before they needed it, throughout the growing season.

You container is about 4.5 gallons and could be big enough for 1 tomato plant.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 5:07PM
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suburbangardenMD(7)

I had a tomato and a few bean plants drown in some Wally-mart containers. They were probably large enough, but boy did they get swampy in miracle grow potting mix. They had the "saucer" bottom, but I realized quickly that they did not drain well. My cukes took a hit as well.

I left a few scoops of homemade mix ( compost, peat, perlite, same as miracle grow ) in one the Wally-mart containers for a few days this year while I mixed, prepped, planted, etc., and when I realized I had some extra left in this lone container I dumped it out and it smelled like the marsh I used to hunt...stinky, wet, totally broken down, and there was easily a few inches of standing water in the bottom.

I have seen it on here a ton, drainage, drainage, drainage. I also had a wheel barrow with some mix in it that I left sit for a week between work sessions...big mistake, standing water and it got swampy.

There is a ton of great info here, sometimes it takes a while to sift through everything and find it, but its here. Not to mention lots of helpful people to respond to questions.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 10:09PM
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Nunyabiz1(7)

The key is DRAINAGE.
Miracle Grow potting mix works great and it is all that I use in every planter, 100% Miracle Grow not mixed with anything else.
I have 380 Quarts of MGPM in my big planter (Vegtrug) and have 5 kinds of lettuce, 2 kinds of bok choy, cilantro, Basil, Rosemary, Lemon Tyme, Peppermint all growing like mad in that.

Have 2 Better Bush tomato plants, 2 types of Blueberries and a bell pepper growing in large pots that hold 55 Quarts of soil each, so I guess they are about 15 gallon pots.
I drilled several holes in the bottom of each pot and put each one on a heavy duty plant dolly with a drain hole in the dolly. I water them all heavily every day and all the excess water drains right out.
I also have about 2" of Cypress Mulch on top.

I also feed with Miracle grow about every 9-12 days.

Everything is as green as can be and already have harvested 6 tomatoes this year and have about 6 more ready to pick in about 3 days. Have about 60 more growing on the first plant so far, and the last tomato which I planted 5 weeks later has 9 little tomatoes already.
Harvested 3 nice bell peppers yesterday and have at least 30 peppers growing nicely on the one plant.

Harvested our first 2 bok choy yesterday and made a nice oriental soup with them, planted 2 more seeds immediately as I pulled the plants so I have a constant crop.

So Miracle Grow potting mix and I use the one with the "Moisture Control" works fantastic for me in containers.
It is all that I have used for many years.

I buy a 55 Quart bag from Costco for $10.

Buy the 55+quart/15+ gallon pots from Costco also for $18

Here are a few pictures I just took a few minutes ago.

The last tomato plant I bought from Lowes and was about 4" tall when I planted it 4 weeks ago.
It is now over 3' tall and very bushy with tons of blossoms and 9 small tomatoes and growing like a weed.

This is what the Vegtrug looked like on May 4th, so less than 3 weeks ago.

Only reason other than maybe disease that your tomatoes may not be growing that I can think of is most likely they are drowning.
Dill several holes in the bottom of pot and make sure it drains very well. You should be able to water it heavy until water is standing a couple inches and watch it drain right out just like you pulled the plug in a sink.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 11:36AM
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