Why so much lime in SWCs? Will it work for non-swcs?

edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)May 4, 2012

Adding 1 cup of lime, and 1 cup of fertilizer to a 5 gal bucket SWC worked really well. Why? It seems like a lot of lime and fertilizer. Should I be adding more lime and/or fertilizer to my regular 511 containers? Last year the tomatoes that I grew in the one SWC that I had, grew better than any container. Was it the cup of lime or the cup of fertilizer? My container tomatoes grew well, but the SWC tomato was much darker green, grew like a weed, and bore a lot of fruit. How can I improve my regular container mix? Thanks in advance.

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The reason we add so much lime to SWC is because the growing medium is usually based on Peat Moss which becomes very acidic. Growing medium that is overly acidic can contribute to blossum end rot. SWC is a great way to grow, IMO and produces great results. I use containers also but only because I dont have enough SWC! Linda

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 10:07PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Good point. SWC medium is always wet, as opposed to my regular containers that are fast draining. I'm going to experiment a little with adding more fertilizer in a regular container and try to get that dark green foliage that looks so good.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 12:27AM
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In my experience it is difficult to replicate SWC growth in containers. A SWC is a closed system, meaning the ferts do not run out the drainage holes. They stay in the system, available to the plants. In regular container growing, one of the largest problems is the ferts are continually being lost thru watering and rain. Linda

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:13AM
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