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Old 03-04-2018, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
68,158 posts, read 78,031,999 times
Reputation: 37430

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have 2 33 in raised containers this year but the only problem: they are only 8 inches deep so am concerned about a how the tomato plants will work. I may have to use the lower to the ground for the tomatoes and Okra. the herbs and bush beans as well should not have too deep of routes for the 8 in containers. Thank goodness, only about 5 more weeks and we can put our plants at. All of my seed containers sprouted. This should be a good start.
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,329 posts, read 3,099,152 times
Reputation: 1229
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
have 2 33 in raised containers this year but the only problem: they are only 8 inches deep so am concerned about a how the tomato plants will work. I may have to use the lower to the ground for the tomatoes and Okra. the herbs and bush beans as well should not have too deep of routes for the 8 in containers. Thank goodness, only about 5 more weeks and we can put our plants at. All of my seed containers sprouted. This should be a good start.
nmnita, 8" is not ideal for large plants like tomatoes, but you can try planting them in a trench fashion. As you probably already know, tomatoes grow roots all along their growing stem, anywhere the stem remains consistently moist. I've actually had roots pop out halfway up a tomato plant where a cluster of tomatoes around the main stem created an extended period of moisture.. very odd looking to say the least. The goal is to get as much of the main stem below ground as possible so that plant can put out as many roots as possible. Remove the lower 1/2 to 2/3 of branches and leaves, below the top few sets of leaves. Dig a trench about 4" deep and as long as needed and lay your plant in the trench on its side, gently curving the top 1/3 to 1/2 of the plant so that it is above the surface of the soil. Firm the soil around the stem, stake the plant and call it good.

I actually trench plant all of my Earthbox tomatoes because those containers are not very deep, either. I also trench plant in-ground tomatoes that I plant for my parents and in my own backyard. For my deeper containers like buckets and whiskey barrels, I dig as deeply as I can to ensure only the top 1/3 or so of the plant is above the soil. Remember to always remove lower branches and leaves before burying the stem.

The below link shows a quick graphic and explains what I am talking about for anyone not familiar. I highly recommend this method of planting tomatoes.

TRENCH METHOD
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
68,158 posts, read 78,031,999 times
Reputation: 37430
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickMan7 View Post
nmnita, 8" is not ideal for large plants like tomatoes, but you can try planting them in a trench fashion. As you probably already know, tomatoes grow roots all along their growing stem, anywhere the stem remains consistently moist. I've actually had roots pop out halfway up a tomato plant where a cluster of tomatoes around the main stem created an extended period of moisture.. very odd looking to say the least. The goal is to get as much of the main stem below ground as possible so that plant can put out as many roots as possible. Remove the lower 1/2 to 2/3 of branches and leaves, below the top few sets of leaves. Dig a trench about 4" deep and as long as needed and lay your plant in the trench on its side, gently curving the top 1/3 to 1/2 of the plant so that it is above the surface of the soil. Firm the soil around the stem, stake the plant and call it good.

I actually trench plant all of my Earthbox tomatoes because those containers are not very deep, either. I also trench plant in-ground tomatoes that I plant for my parents and in my own backyard. For my deeper containers like buckets and whiskey barrels, I dig as deeply as I can to ensure only the top 1/3 or so of the plant is above the soil. Remember to always remove lower branches and leaves before burying the stem.

The below link shows a quick graphic and explains what I am talking about for anyone not familiar. I highly recommend this method of planting tomatoes.

TRENCH METHOD
thanks Nick. I pretty much thought it wouldn't work, but the beans, herbs and even the peppers should be ok. I will save other planters for tomatoes and okra. It seems not only would the roots not do well, the tomato plants, even the bush ones would be top heavy.
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
63,551 posts, read 45,896,133 times
Reputation: 10209
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
thanks Nick. I pretty much thought it wouldn't work, but the beans, herbs and even the peppers should be ok. I will save other planters for tomatoes and okra. It seems not only would the roots not do well, the tomato plants, even the bush ones would be top heavy.
Don't forget the moisture aspect. With the trench method the roots aren't deep so will dry out easier or get too much water. Worth a shot for anyone who hasn't done it. I always try things myself rather than just listen to anyone who says you can/can't do things and go with that.
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Denver/Boulder Zone 5b
1,329 posts, read 3,099,152 times
Reputation: 1229
Default March 15, 2018 Update

Okay, so not too much going on in the garden so far, as it is still a bit early, though I did get some seeds direct-sown last weekend into large 6-cell pony packs, as well as a few larger containers. The weather this week has been very mild with 50s, 60s and a 70 here and there. Weather for the next week calls for mild high temps in the 50s and 60s and lows in the 20s and 30s. We have chances for rain and snow tonight and then rain again on Sunday. Otherwise, mostly dry and breezy.

Trees have yet to start blooming, but there is lots of swelling - only a matter of another week or two before we start seeing some green. It'll probably be another few weeks before tulips start popping up across the land. The birds are beginning to arrive as evidenced by some messes on my back patio - they come back every year around this time - same breeding pair. I love them, but they're messy. And they never mess with my garden, so they're welcome to stay.

Last weekend, I got the root balls from last season removed from all containers and put fresh plastic covers on the Earthboxes. In the coming weeks, I will remove the fertilizer strips that are still in the soil, add some dolomite and fresh potting mix and cover them back up. That should get them nice and ready for late May planting time. As mentioned above, I started a bunch of seeds and got them under my cloches to keep them nice and warm and moist until they germinate. Once they do, I will open the cloches before heading to work each morning and then close them back up at night for a few weeks. Once nighttime temperatures stay above 25F for good, I will disassemble the cloches and put them away until fall. Cool season greens are exceptionally hardy and generally I don't worry about them until temperatures drop into the low 20s.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have concluded I won't have the space or time to plant as many tomatoes as I was originally hoping to. I should still be able to squeeze about 35 into the garden and will post a finalized list once I get my seeds started in a month or so. I still hope to have about 20-25 peppers, a cucumber, a melon, an eggplant, several squash/zucchini, herbs, onions, leeks, shallots and lots of greens.

Seeds started outdoors so far include the following. I hope to have germination in the next day or two. SO excited!

Lettuces:

1. All Year Round
2. Little Gem
3. Parris Island Cos
4. Sanguine Ameliore
5. Summer Time
6. Tennis Ball

Other:

1. Chinese White Celery
2. Extra Dwarf Pak Choy
3. Hong Tae Pak Choy
4. Kalibos Cabbage (purple)
5. Pai Tsai Chinese Cabbage
6. Peppermint Swiss Chard
7. Soloist Chinese Cabbage
8. Snow Crown Cauliflower

Micro tomatoes, peppers, onions and a few herbs are doing very well under the grow lights. I have a number of peppers that still need to go into 3" pots which I hope to get to this weekend. The larger pepper plants with multiple sets of leaves will be topped soon. Onions will stay indoors for another week or so, then transition outdoors into the cloches. They are virtually indestructible, so I don't worry about them much. Everything else will endure the hardening off process in mid-May. Tomatoes will be started in about 4-5 weeks.

Photos below of the outside set-up and seedlings indoors.
Attached Thumbnails
My 2018 Container Garden-img_0088.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0089.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0099.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0101.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0098.jpg  

My 2018 Container Garden-img_0102.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0103.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0104.jpg   My 2018 Container Garden-img_0105.jpg  
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
13,427 posts, read 2,642,364 times
Reputation: 19170
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickMan7 View Post
nmnita, 8" is not ideal for large plants like tomatoes, but you can try planting them in a trench fashion. As you probably already know, tomatoes grow roots all along their growing stem, anywhere the stem remains consistently moist. I've actually had roots pop out halfway up a tomato plant where a cluster of tomatoes around the main stem created an extended period of moisture.. very odd looking to say the least. The goal is to get as much of the main stem below ground as possible so that plant can put out as many roots as possible. Remove the lower 1/2 to 2/3 of branches and leaves, below the top few sets of leaves. Dig a trench about 4" deep and as long as needed and lay your plant in the trench on its side, gently curving the top 1/3 to 1/2 of the plant so that it is above the surface of the soil. Firm the soil around the stem, stake the plant and call it good.

I actually trench plant all of my Earthbox tomatoes because those containers are not very deep, either. I also trench plant in-ground tomatoes that I plant for my parents and in my own backyard. For my deeper containers like buckets and whiskey barrels, I dig as deeply as I can to ensure only the top 1/3 or so of the plant is above the soil. Remember to always remove lower branches and leaves before burying the stem.

The below link shows a quick graphic and explains what I am talking about for anyone not familiar. I highly recommend this method of planting tomatoes.

TRENCH METHOD

Agreed. Trenching provides such a stable base....

Love this thread, nman...
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
13,427 posts, read 2,642,364 times
Reputation: 19170
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickMan7 View Post
Okay, so not too much going on in the garden so far, as it is still a bit early, though I did get some seeds direct-sown last weekend into large 6-cell pony packs, as well as a few larger containers. The weather this week has been very mild with 50s, 60s and a 70 here and there. Weather for the next week calls for mild high temps in the 50s and 60s and lows in the 20s and 30s. We have chances for rain and snow tonight and then rain again on Sunday. Otherwise, mostly dry and breezy.

Trees have yet to start blooming, but there is lots of swelling - only a matter of another week or two before we start seeing some green. It'll probably be another few weeks before tulips start popping up across the land. The birds are beginning to arrive as evidenced by some messes on my back patio - they come back every year around this time - same breeding pair. I love them, but they're messy. And they never mess with my garden, so they're welcome to stay.

Last weekend, I got the root balls from last season removed from all containers and put fresh plastic covers on the Earthboxes. In the coming weeks, I will remove the fertilizer strips that are still in the soil, add some dolomite and fresh potting mix and cover them back up. That should get them nice and ready for late May planting time. As mentioned above, I started a bunch of seeds and got them under my cloches to keep them nice and warm and moist until they germinate. Once they do, I will open the cloches before heading to work each morning and then close them back up at night for a few weeks. Once nighttime temperatures stay above 25F for good, I will disassemble the cloches and put them away until fall. Cool season greens are exceptionally hardy and generally I don't worry about them until temperatures drop into the low 20s.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have concluded I won't have the space or time to plant as many tomatoes as I was originally hoping to. I should still be able to squeeze about 35 into the garden and will post a finalized list once I get my seeds started in a month or so. I still hope to have about 20-25 peppers, a cucumber, a melon, an eggplant, several squash/zucchini, herbs, onions, leeks, shallots and lots of greens.

Seeds started outdoors so far include the following. I hope to have germination in the next day or two. SO excited!

Lettuces:

1. All Year Round
2. Little Gem
3. Parris Island Cos
4. Sanguine Ameliore
5. Summer Time
6. Tennis Ball

Other:

1. Chinese White Celery
2. Extra Dwarf Pak Choy
3. Hong Tae Pak Choy
4. Kalibos Cabbage (purple)
5. Pai Tsai Chinese Cabbage
6. Peppermint Swiss Chard
7. Soloist Chinese Cabbage
8. Snow Crown Cauliflower

Micro tomatoes, peppers, onions and a few herbs are doing very well under the grow lights. I have a number of peppers that still need to go into 3" pots which I hope to get to this weekend. The larger pepper plants with multiple sets of leaves will be topped soon. Onions will stay indoors for another week or so, then transition outdoors into the cloches. They are virtually indestructible, so I don't worry about them much. Everything else will endure the hardening off process in mid-May. Tomatoes will be started in about 4-5 weeks.

Photos below of the outside set-up and seedlings indoors.

Oh, so envious...
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Old 03-15-2018, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
63,551 posts, read 45,896,133 times
Reputation: 10209
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickMan7 View Post
Micro tomatoes, peppers, onions and a few herbs are doing very well under the grow lights. I have a number of peppers that still need to go into 3" pots which I hope to get to this weekend. The larger pepper plants with multiple sets of leaves will be topped soon. Onions will stay indoors for another week or so, then transition outdoors into the cloches. They are virtually indestructible, so I don't worry about them much. Everything else will endure the hardening off process in mid-May. Tomatoes will be started in about 4-5 weeks.

Photos below of the outside set-up and seedlings indoors.[



Sweet! Everything looking real good! You reminded me I should do Basil. Love Basil!


I'll keep a close eye on your Cabbage reports. I want to grow it this yr.


Do you measure soil temp at all?
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Old 03-15-2018, 04:44 PM
 
426 posts, read 131,132 times
Reputation: 1333
Heres mine- every year. Corral panels to keep out the cattle, hog panels to keep out feral hogs, chicken wire to keep out rabbits. This is Texas/




Last edited by BlackberryMerlot; 03-15-2018 at 04:53 PM..
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Old 03-15-2018, 04:46 PM
 
426 posts, read 131,132 times
Reputation: 1333
Tomatos, Okra, Beans, Peas, Chard, Squash, Cucumbers, Watermelons, Herbs, Onions, Lettuce, Spinach.

These plastic containers are actually cattle protein licks that were emptied by cows. I told neighboring ranchers I only wanted green tubs for color coordination, so important in the beauty of the garden. I also have laying hens and a milk cow. I make 'Everything You See On Your Plate Grew On This Hill' dinners.

Last edited by BlackberryMerlot; 03-15-2018 at 04:55 PM..
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