Make container gardening easier +pic

TheMasterGardener1(5B)July 17, 2012

Just want to talk about container gardening and how you have made it easier and more productive over the years.

I would like to talk to some others on here about how they grow in containers. What mix? What fertilizer?

I have to thank Tapla for making Container Gardening easier for me.

1. Tapla made it clear how much more reliable synthetics are for container culture.

2. Made it clear how important the basic macro and micronutrients are. Making me relieze how useless those low nutritional additives(amino acids or hormones ect.)really are.

3.Gave me a different outlook on container gardening.

I am making this post to show others just how much Tapla has changed my container gardening experience and overall knowledge of plants.

Here is a cayenne plant in a small #2 pot. Grown with synthetics.

I posted this in another forum on here, but I think it may get more attention here in the Container Gardening Forum.

So back to the orginal questions-What fertilizer? What grow medium(like 5-1-1 or gritty bark coco ect)?

How have you have made container gardening easier and more productive over the years?


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Hey TheMasterGardener, nice pepper you got there! I am a first time container gardener this year. Can you point me towards the TAPLA mix or give me the low down on it? I made my own mix this year !/2 bag peat moss, 1/2 bag cow manure(40#), 1/3 bag perlite, 3 handfuls garden lime. I have used very little fertilizer with this garden which gave some blossom end rot that I have since taken care of.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 9:36PM
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Hey very nice garden!!!

Just take a look around, search 5-1-1, you will find it. Making sure your mix has a high air porosity mix is key.

Thanks for the reply, and very nice garden indeed.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 10:58PM
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There is a cheaper alternative to the gritty mix. I have the very highest regard for Tapla's knowledge and his detailed explanations on this forum and in no way have any criticisms of his mixes - but I cannot afford them for vegetable growing.

I have about 80 five gallon pots and 26 assorted larger pots and my wife has countless pots with ornamentals. We buy one ton of mixed soil from our local nursery and mix this with half a ton of washed sand. The mixed soil which is sold by the nursery as topsoil contains one quarter loam, one quarter sandy loam, one quarter mushroom compost and one quarter composted mulch. We mix this by shovelling to form a cone and turning it twice more. At the time of potting my wife adds some slow release fertilizer for the ornamentals and for the vegetables I add some sheep manure or garden compost at about one to ten. After every crop I add some more sheep manure or our garden compost.

As an alternative to the sand portion we prefer fine scoria (lateritic gravel) when it is available. During the growth period of the vegetables I add a little NPK 21:5:8 granular fertilizer which we get from farm suppliers (very much cheaper this way). Alternatively I use 1:10 diluted urine in the mid stages of plant growth.

The key thing with soil mixes in pots of over 5 gallon size is to have at least a quarter of coarse sand or grit.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 8:57AM
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Yup I use Pro Mix BX. It is clear just how well it is working :)

Hey nice mix. Sounds like you have a lot of plants!

Thanks for the detailed reply.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 11:04AM
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I am in zone 5a do you think it is too late for a planting of summer squash and zucchini from seed?

By the way this was also the first time I tried starting my plants from seed.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 9:14PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

Yes too late but thats a diff post

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 10:27PM
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Yea but why not do a fall crop. Spinach, leaf greens, ect.

Even though I used pro mix bx with a very little forest compost, a higher porosity mix like the 5-1-1 would have gave me even better results.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 10:43PM
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ymmv, but here, where the summers can be long, hot, and dry, some form of drip irrigation that is connected from one container to another to the faucet is a boon. That way, all that has to be done is turn on a faucet to water multiple many containers all at one time. This is especially nice when it becomes necessary for twice and thrice a day watering. Haven't figured out how to do the hyrdoponic boxes or wick watering for outside yet.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:07PM
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Starting my fall planting of lettuce, radishes, and gonna try the squash also, why not I get plenty of sun 7 hours + per day. This weekend getting the large self watering buckets set up for the fall plantings.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 9:23PM
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