Balance Between Water Retention and Drainage for Container Mix

yumtomatoes(10a/FLA)August 28, 2011

It seems like the problem with peat-based potting mixes if they have too much peat is that they not only compact but retain too much water if it rains alot, like it can where I live in the early fall. However, if you don't get a lot of rain and it is very hot, like it can be where I live in the spring, the peat helps to keep the moisture level more consistent.

I can't get the true nursery mixes that have more composted conifer bark in them and the orchid bark I can get looks too chunky/uncomposted to me. I have read that composted pine bark fines are sometimes labeled as soil amendments, but I haven't seen them in the big box stores and nurseries around me.

What I have available to me are the retail mixes like Miracle Gro, Fafard (not the nursery mixes) and Jungle Growth. I am concerned that if I try to amend these retail mixes I will make them worse. I take it that most are anti-Miracle Gro so I am deciding between Fafard Professional Mix and Jungle Growth Grower's Mix and Jungle Growth Flower and Vegetable Mix. Are any of these better than the others for growing container tomatoes?

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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

I'm Florida Zone 10 and before I found a source for pine fines the two closest commercially bagged blends that I felt were *** reasonably priced *** that worked for me in containers are the one you mentioned, JG Flower and Veggie mix (55% fines), and the one from Wally World, Expert Growers mix which has slightly more fines in it. Neither need any amendment but your right, there's a fine line between too much moisture retention if we get too much rain, and wilted plants if we don't get enough rain as we transition during September into the dry season. IME, for container grown maters here, it's better to have a little more peat in the container mix and back off on supplemental watering until the plants get big enough that root systems readily absorb the excess moisture, as opposed to wilted/stressed plants that may not produce well down the road from repeated periods of drying out too much. For this reason if I were to use a commercial mix again I'd favor the JG F&V mix with more peat and less fines....

Tom

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 8:48AM
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yumtomatoes(10a/FLA)

Thanks, Tom! You said 55% fines above, but I think you meant 55% peat, yes?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 8:59AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

This really is yet another Container Gardening question and is discussed in GREAT detail on that forum.

As the forum use guidelines state at the top of each page please take the time to make sure you are posting on the correct forum. Otherwise the Tomato forum quickly turns into nothing but discussions on container mixes and container gardening rather than a forum about tomatoes.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 11:12AM
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yumtomatoes(10a/FLA)

My post was about tomatoes and more specifically, the best mix for me to use for growing TOMATOES in containers in 10a/Florida. Thus, my post is appropriate for any of the Tomato, Container or Florida forums. The people most knowledgeable about growing tomatoes, though, post here.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 12:23PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

No, this post like so many of your others are not about tomatoes but are about container gardening.

We love to discuss issues specific to tomatoes here but the focus of this forum is not container growing. So issues that are not about tomatoes need to be discussed on the forum that exists for that subject. Otherwise off-topic posts just bump off all the tomato posts - another reason why redundant and already often discussed topics should be avoided and the search used as required by the forum guidelines.

The issue of this post has nothing to do with growing tomatoes. The issues you keep raising is which brand of potting mix is best and how to achieve proper drainage in containers. Those are container gardening issues, not tomato issues, and there are umpteen in-depth discussions about both issues on that forum and that fact has been pointed out to you politely by several people now.

When it comes to container gardening and container mixes the plant growing in the container is basically irrelevant. You just "happen" to be growing tomatoes in yours but the same guidelines apply to beets, flowers, peppers, squash, etc. etc. etc.

There is no BEST mix just for growing tomatoes. There are good container mixes and bad container mixes regardless of what you are growing in the container and the Container gardening forum is where you can learn about the various mixes.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 1:26PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Yum, you are more than welcome to email me (see My Page) and we can discuss some good container medium qualities. I don't know if it's still like this as I haven't visited the Container Forum in probably over a year, but for a while there was kind of a "this way or the highway" mentality. It drove lots of interested folks away.

Since discussing container medium seems to be taboo here in the Tomato Forum (who knew?), we can chat off forum.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 11:28PM
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terrybull

this question is posted on both forums and yumtomatoes is gettig lots of answers over there.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 8:55AM
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yumtomatoes(10a/FLA)

I will say it again - I will be the one who decides what and where I post and several paragraph long screeds won't deter me.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 8:33PM
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yumtomatoes(10a/FLA)

thanks, rhizo. I definitely would like to learn more about bark-based medium in the future. But this season I am going to have to go with the peat-based retail mixes because I don't have the time to research and drive to where I would need to go to get the raw materials to mix my own properly.

There is so much to learn and I enjoy learning about it - I just wish I had more time to devote to my gardening.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 8:42PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Then lest you find your multiple duplicate posts deleted and/or your account closed I suggest you review the forum use instructions at the bottom of the page. We all have to abide by them.

Specifically:

Instructions:

Before posting a message, make sure you have chosen the most appropriate forum from the list. Off-topic posts will be deleted at our discretion. Please do not post the same message to multiple forums.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 10:42PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Hey, Yum....I'm not into driving all over the place to search for 'ingredients', either! Been there, done that, as they say.

The product I'm talking about is used straight out of the bag. I've not found a better product in over 20 years of professional and home growing.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 10:55PM
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yumtomatoes(10a/FLA)

Dave - You don't own this site so stop with the threats. You older folks may not understand how the internet works, but I do. I can't be banned from any site as long as I can change my ip address, which is easier than taking candy from a child.

Again, I will post as I see fit and scroll past your pedantic drivel.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 10:28AM
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terrybull

alex, i will take pedantic divel for 300$

what is bull?hit
ding ding

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 1:13PM
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yumtomatoes(10a/FLA)

What is bull? terrybull, lol!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 11:35PM
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