Best soil for Container tomatoes?

pastrycook3March 15, 2009

Hi, I am starting some homemade earthtainers and want to know what the best/economical soil mix is, before i buy $100 in soil. I have 48 heirloom tomatoes coming in the next week or two. So i am starting to get ready. I have read miracle gro potting soil, but what about the garden soil. Home depot has Margo's pro potting soil, how is that? Ant advice would be great!

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Make sure before your purchase that you get soiless mix, i.e. potting mix not soil based potting soil. The reason is that the "soil base" potting soil holds too much water and will not be conducive to the growth of your tomato plants. If you choose potting soil please amend with Turface, composted pinebark fines and perilite. raise Your yeilds will be less than if you chose a soiless base. Raybo uses Standard MG Potting Mix 2 Cu Ft. bags in his Earthtainers if I'm not mistaken. I use amended Sta-Green Potting mix with composted pinebark fines and perilite and Turface. Then added to this mix Dolimite Lime, Boron, Sustane Fertilizer.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 12:22PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

Hi, PC

You don't say what size containers, but if you want to do it right with that many plants and most economically, the folks at the forum below will be able to give you lots of help. Be sure to read about aeration needs of container plants.

Geeboss is correct. You should go with a "soilless" growing medium. There are many recipes, and you can probably mix a much better blend yourself cheaper than you can buy ready-mixed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Container Gardening

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 12:32PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

Bagged potting soils are very expensive, so if you need a lot of mix, I buy a yard from a local nursery every year, you would need a truck or trailer to pick it up. I get composted fir bark and sheep mix, then I add some peat moss and perlite. Some nurseries sell big 3 cu ft bags of perlite.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 5:45PM
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I've had good luck with Expert Gardener potting mix, available from Wal-Mart. It's still expensive to buy in large quantities (I have 30+ homemade self-watering containers to fill), but is a lot less expensive than Miracle Gro, for example. A 2-cubic foot bag is selling for about $8.40 here.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 6:08AM
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cazimere(MD 7)

Seeker, i tried the Expert Gardner mix last year with poor results. What kind of extra fertilizing regiment did you use ?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 9:09AM
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Hi Cazimere,
I added Espoma Tomato-Tone at planting time. Then, about mid-way through the season, I started using Miracle Gro for Tomatoes, just putting a tablespoon of MG down the watering pipe while watering. I only did this every other week, so it wasn't very much. I'll probably increase that this year. My experience has been that, no matter what mix I start with, the nutrients are pretty much used up long before the season ends. The Expert Gardener stuff seems to work as well as any other mix I've used, and better than most, so I'm pretty happy with it. And I sure don't mind saving a few dollars per bag, since we need about 25 bags.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 6:06AM
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I would very highly recommend MG Moisture Control Potting Soil.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 11:50AM
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cazimere(MD 7)

Thanks Paula : )

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 5:49PM
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