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Container Comparison (duplicate post)

Posted by armymomma CenTX 8 (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 21, 10 at 18:46

I inadvertently put this in the tomato forum, I meant to post it here, so my apologies if I irk anyone for posting it a second time!!!

I just wanted to share this with you all as I found it interesting. I sprouted a few campari seeds, and since I sometimes can't bear to kill a hardy seedling, I stuck the one on the left into the only available container I had (the half soda bottle) as my tray of cups was full. the one on the right was potted into a paper coffee cup, same as I did all my other seedlings.

5 weeks later, the coffee cup one is about half the size as the soda bottle one. Same soil, same watering, same "fertilizer" (half strength liquid seaweed), same lighting (mostly sunlight). The only difference is that the one in the soda bottle was planted low, and I've been filling it in as it gets bigger (vs. potting it up).

These were both grown in my house too. Prior to this my seedlings were in the garage, but these are from the second batch and since I was out of town a lot, I kept them inside so I wouldn't have to mess with a lighting timer.

I used the coffee cups because I had them (they were free) and they worked very well for me in January. I think next year though I may use the soda bottles instead, they seem to give better results..or maybe I will do half and half and compare more than one variety.

Any thoughts on why this happened?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Container Comparison (duplicate post)

I would guess that the one in the pop bottle has more roots growing from the stem because it is planted deeper, thus producing a larger plant.

Did you plant the one the left deeper...overall?

Just my opinion and a thought.


RE: Container Comparison (duplicate post)

I agree with Keriann
The makeup of the container makes no difference-- Plastic or coffee cup holding soil.
What there is a difference in is size of the container. A difference in the amount of soil in each, and like keriann said the bigger one was probably sunk lower and has more roots.

I'll bet if you did a test with the exact amount of soil, planted them at the exact depth and everything else was exactly the same they would be the same height, whether grown in plastic or paper or any other container.

RE: Container Comparison (duplicate post)

Initially they were planted at the same depth. since the one on the left was an extra, I only put in about a third full of soil and planted up to the leaves. In the coffee cup, I filled it almost full, and again planted up to the leaves.

In the soda bottle, as the seedling grew, I added soil up as high as the leaves. Haven't touched the one in the cup. so in reality, the depth is pretty much the same...although the total depth of soil was more shallow on the left initially (still-planted at the same depth). There is of course more volume now in the soda bottle as its wider.

I know that I read that roots will shy away from light, which was given as a reason not to use clear drink cups, but now it makes me wonder....

Personally, I do not think that the container material makes a difference. I *think* what made the difference here is the root system has been developing from the main stem (as I've added soil to the soda bottle) whereas the one in the cup has had to develop the roots from only the bottom where it is planted. Just a theory...

RE: Container Comparison (duplicate post)

I also agree with keriann. I have a few of each variety of tomatoes I started from seed. The ones I potted up to the 1 gallon containers are way outgrowing the ones still in the 20 oz cups. More room for more roots & therefore, more plant. =)

RE: Container Comparison (duplicate post)


Your last sentence says it all. Bigger container, more soil and the stem partly buried.

RE: Container Comparison (duplicate post)

unless they were clones it could simply be genetic.

RE: Container Comparison (duplicate post)

Tomatoes are a plant that will grow more roots along the stem if the stem is covered with more soil. It would kill most plants (esp seedlings), but tomatoes love it.


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