Did I goof?

urbuydApril 11, 2012

Three days ago, wishing to avoid having to till the soil in my backyard, I planted six little tomato plants ("Early Girl"), each in a 15"-17" pot (five terra cotta & one plastic) in a sunny spot. As I was initially filling the pots with the contents of two jumbo bags of Miracle-Gro garden soil, I noticed the message on the back of the bag: "NOT FOR CONTAINERS". Why would that be? Each pot got about an eighth of potting soil too, but did I goof? What dire consequences can I now expect?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Any type of soil is totally unsuited for containers for various reasons, the main one being is water retention. Read Tapla's posts on the container forum to understand container soil. Consider making your own 5-1-1 mix.

I made this same mistake about 15 years ago on my first attempt to grow tomatoes in containers. I filled it with Black Earth thinking it would be fine. My plants turned black and withered and died. I thought I was giving them good soil. Don't make the same mistake. Best to use a fast draining soil less mix. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 4:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

MG Garden Soil compacts and drains poorly. Even with ideal conditions if used in containers it results in root rot and a very stressed plant. Stressed plants are much more prone to stunted growth, nutrient deficiency, reduced production, pests, and diseases.

It's Ok to add to an in-ground garden but definitely NOT for containers. Hopefully you will not leave the plants in it in pots, especially such small pots. That size will work for one of the dwarf varieties but not for an indeterminate like Early Girl.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 6:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, you goofed. But I've read posts from people that did the same and their tomatoes grew fine. If it is a problem, your tomatoes are going to grow extremely slowly and will ultimately probably only produce a tomato or two.

You can take your chances with what you bought or get a bag of potting mix instead of the garden soil.

To grow an Early Girl, you are probably going to want a 5-gallon bucket. Not much chance at success with a 12-17" pot except to get them started.

You don't need to till to grow a tomato. Just dig a little hole and stick it in there and water it.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 11:24PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
New To Me .. Big Beef
I know there are some of you who are/have been growing...
Seysonn_ 7b-WA/HZ1
Supermarket Tomato Plants
I planted a few seeds from Supermarket tomatoes because...
Is any one growing Delicious?
Is any one growing Delicious?
Window sill instead of grow light?
My grow light is broken. I have lots of room at a...
harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania
How soon would you fertilize after grafting tomatoes?
I grafted on Saturday February 21st. The tomatoes are...
ferroplasm Zone 7b
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™