[tomato] Observations on Container Growing

Roy Robinson (Tomato@GlobalGarden.com)
Fri, 10 Dec 1999 15:54:05 -0600

I decided to grow some tomatoes in containers this summer. I started with 6
Heatwave in 5 gallon white plastic buckets in June. Merceds became available
in August at Wal-Mart. I bought 9. I planted five in 5 gallon buckets, one
in a 15 gallon nursery pot and three in the ground. I used regular Miracle
Gro at first and switched to Miracle Gro Tomato food later on.

My results were that the tomatoes in the 5 gallon buckets produced the first
ripe fruits. The Merced in the 15 gallon pot at this time is larger (we
haven't had a killing frost yet) but has produced less ripe fruit than the
ones in the 5 gallon buckets. The plants in the ground were way behind all
the container plants (we have clay soil).

I the flavor department, the Heatwaves have been excellent as far as I am
concerned. The Merceds (grown because Texas A&M said they were the best) are
larger, juicer and less flavorful in my, my wife's and a fellow worker's
opinion. I have had a few Better Bush ripen. They were interesting. The
first flavor I noticed was sweet and only later did I taste some acid (I
like acid tomatoes). I have fruit set on Brandywine and Carmello also but
none ripe yet. I moved them into the greenhouse.

I picked up some plastic containers at Wal-Mart last week. They look like
bushel baskets and are 14 gallon size ($3.97). I moved one of my Better
Bushes into one of them, fruit and all. The plant looks good so far.

I also have been rooting some cuttings (6 to 12 inch). I put them in water
like a flower for a day or two and then put them in a pot in potting mix, I
also use Rootone. I over water them for a few days. My first cuttings were
from a Brandywine. They just sat there for about a month (in excellent
growing weather) and then started growing. In about 6 weeks they made a nice
size plant.

Excuse the long post. I just joined the list and noticed questions about
container growing.

Roy Robinson
Dayton, TX (Near Houston)