TOMATO PLANTS - Knowledgebase Question

East Massapequa, NY (Zone 6B)
Question by nypd31904
August 26, 2005
NEXT SEASON I WOULD LIKE TO PLANT TOMATOES IN 5 GALLON PLASTIC TUBS. HOW OFTEN SHOULD I WATER THEM AND WHAT TYPE OF FERTILIZER DO YOU RECOMMEND


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Answer from NGA
August 26, 2005

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Make sure your buckets are food grade quality if you use recycled ones. Also make sure there are several drainage holes in the bottom of each bucket to allow excess water to run out. You might want to experiment with a couple of different kinds of tomatoes to see what works best for you. Tomatoes need full sun all day to bear a good crop and you will want them protected from wind as well.

I would use a good quality soilless potting mix formulated for container plants. Often these have an initial dose of fertilizer and may also contain a water holding polymer. Then I would use a good quality water soluble fertilizer such as 10-10-10 plus minors per the label directions. I would probably also use some good quality compost as a top dressing, or use some compost tea occasionally.

As far as watering goes, there is no set schedule because it depends on the soil, the size of the plant in relation to the container, and the weather. Usually they need a lot more water in August, much less when the weather is cooler and none at all in a rainy spell. To know if you need to water, dig into the soil with your finger. If it is still damp you do not need to water yet.

Enjoy your tomatoes!

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