Feeding New 37 Gal SWC for Fall Toms

gardengolferJuly 19, 2011

I would appreciate hearing about the latest approaches to feeding toms in SWCs. I will use 3-2-1 medium, Pro Mix Bx, pine bark, and Perlite in a new SWC for fall. I am having decent results in a 22 gal SWC growing Better Boys but in this hellish Ga heat I'm having to water daily. With such heavy watering, both top and bottom, I'm finding it necessary to apply liquid fert weekly. Im a novice when it comes to SWCs so hearing how experienced growers are fertilizing tomatoes would be great.


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Can't help with the SWC question but I'm in GA too and want some fall tomatoes. I killed the only one I had earlier. If I get some seedlings now, would it be possible to get a fall crop? I've seen some of the garden centers around here practically giving away the smaller plants and I wondered if it was too late and too hot for them to do anything this year.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 3:29PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Technically, you shouldn't be watering from the top with a SWC. I have one SWC this year and lately I have to fill the 1.5 gal. reservoir daily. The tomato plant is feeding great from the cup of fertilizer I spread around the perimeter of the container before I covered it. I'm not sure how much fertilizer would be required for a 37 gal SWC, but whatever it is, it should do the trick. There are many threads on the subject. I'm having a lot of fun with my lone SWC. I'm growing a Rutgers in it, and the plant is going wild, looks teriffic, and is setting lots of tomatoes.

bt.........seems like you could almost still squeeze in a 3 month growing season in Georgia. I would definitely try it. What do you have to lose.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 1:05PM
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edweather. Thanks for your thoughts. My 22 gal SWC simply must be watered from top and bottom dailey, if not it will display extream droopy wilt in two days. Never the less it is producing pretty well in spite of the opressive heat.
I plan on using Rabo's recommendations for the new 37 gal SWC, but I was just hoping something new and exciting had been discovered that I could take a look a look at.

I usually get decent results with fall toms but an early unexpected frost is always possible and must be delt with when it happens. I build two wheeled SWC carts for fall plants so they can be moved inside as needed.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 5:20PM
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for that container
4 cups fertilome tomato and veg food used for fertilizer band pushed down 2 to 3 inches down in the soil
2 cups garden lime mixed in soil mix
2 cups epsom salts mixed in soil mix

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 7:24PM
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If you have to water a SWC every day or two, then your missing the benefit of a SWC, you might just as well as make it a traditional pot and top water or put an automatic dripper in.

You might want to add an automatic watering feature to your SWC. Raybo uses the earthbox ones. Others (myself included) have used float valves in the reservoir. If you already have a drip irrigation system at your house, you can just tap a 1/4" line into your reservoir with a float valve. Once set up it is very nice, you never have to water all season.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 5:24PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

I definitely agree with the "watering" part of your comment. My one SWC was an experiment this year. Who knew that we would have a rare, sunny, hot summer here in upstate NY. I don't mind filling the small reservoir every other day or so. That's the easy part. Besides, the SWC has been alot of fun, and the plant looks amazing, and is setting fruit like crazy. Isn't that what it's about anyway.....fun? The hard part is top watering my containers. It's also my first year growing in containers, and with the fast draining mix I used, I have to soak them every 3 days minimum. That's becoming more like a 'job' (instead of a joy) at times.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 1:14PM
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