Can I transfer into a larger pot??

jimjimjimMay 24, 2009


I am a newbie, and planted some Sweet 100, brandywine, and better boy plants into containers about a month ago. After doing some research, I realized that the containers are too small (about 3 gallons) for the plants. The sweet 100 and better boy are starting to flower, but in the very early stages. Only a few of the flowers are even starting to open. Would it be harmful to the plants to transfer into larger (min 5 gallon) pots? Is it too late or is there a better time to transfer? thanks for any help!!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The sooner the better. Just move it to the new (MUCH larger) container rootball and all and try to set it deeper in the new container.

You will likely lose the current blooms but the plant will make up for it later.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 10:39AM
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Bets(z6A S ID)

Hi Jim,

Welcome to GW.

What zone are you in? That might make a difference on what you do with your plants.

If you have a lot of growing season left, you may want to transplant your tomatoes and clip the blossoms off, they will flower again fairly soon. You will have later fruits but most likely more of it. Also that would give your plants time to climatize to their new homes and put some roots into the additional potting soil.

Actually, I think I would do that even if you are in a shorter zone such as 5 or even 4. Here in zone 5 most of us are just now putting our plants into the ground, and many of us clip the blossoms (if there are some) so that the plant can concentrate on growing and adapting to its new location.

Get your new container ready with enough soil in the bottom to raise the plant so that the lowest leaves are level with the top of the container. Water well so that the roots and potting medium hang together, remove it from the 3 gallon container, then set the root ball on the new potting medium, fill the container with more potting medium and water in adding more medium if needed.

You could leave them in the 3 gallon containers, but I think you will be challenged to keep them adequately watered and their production may be much lower than they would be in a larger container.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 10:43AM
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3Jim, last year I even transferred a large plant with fruit on it from a 5 gallon bucket to an 18 gallon container at mid-season, and it still gave me another dozen toms. Don't be intimidated. The key to the process is to have minimum distrubance of the rootball. The growing medium should be dry enough to hold together well without starving the plant for water.

As stated above, load up the new container with enough mix to get the lowest stems just above the new container's rim. Altermatively, you can trim some lower leaf stems and then adjust accordingly.

The plant will know it was transferred, regardless of how smoothly you make the change. So, give it a day in the shade to settle in. Don't overwater or over-fertilize. Keep the plant on the same schedule it was on before, with one day of "time out".

Good luck and let us know how it goes.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 3:03PM
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