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Container Gardening: Root pouches anyone?

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1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 25, 2013
1:31 PM

Post #9431348

I recently decided to try container gardening. I've looked at SWCs but they are expensive. I ended up buying some Root Pouches, mine are made out of Gray Fabric, but I have done more research and I didn't realize how many different versions there are.

I would love to hear others experiences and thoughts.

Thanks

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

March 8, 2013
2:38 PM

Post #9443098

Maybe if you try to steer the conversation in the direction you want it to go? I love to help others, and would be glad to share specific thoughts and recommendations, but I'm reluctant to just start typing with the thought that what I might not be applicable to your circumstances.

What I will say is, almost any container that isn't toxic to plants and has a drain hole can produce healthy plants if you understand how to best put it to use, but some containers do offer greater opportunity for your plants to grow to their potential, or make it easier for the grower to get to the point where they're satisfied with the results of their efforts.

Al
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 8, 2013
7:24 PM

Post #9443362

Thank you and you have helped me in the past and sometimes I've just been lurking. I'm not really sure what direction I want the conversation to go! Lol. I grow peppers, eggplants, and Dwarf Tomatoes in pots and they do fine. I'm just wondering what's different about root pouches and what the pros and cons are?

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

March 10, 2013
8:31 AM

Post #9444691

Most of the things that go in the +/- column are more aptly attributed to how you use the pouches than their brand, design, or what they are made of. For instance, if you set them on the soil, what you're growing in them will tolerate a much heavier soil than a conventional container or even the same pouch used on a surface that doesn't absorb/wick water - like a deck or patio slab or a pouch with a collection saucer beneath it. In the later scenarios, they offer little advantage over conventional containers, but in the former (setting on the ground) they employ the earth as a giant wick, so over-watering is difficult ... as long as water can move from the pouches into the soil.

Al
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 10, 2013
9:52 AM

Post #9444757

That's what I was planning on doing was using it on the soil, not a solid surface. So is it possible to grow a regular tomato plant in a 7 gal pouch and get a decent yield? This is kind of an experiment but it's hard to over water anything in Tx in the summer!
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

March 10, 2013
12:58 PM

Post #9444908

Tomatoes do best with a healthy root system, so they should be planted as deep as possible. Seven gallons seems like a lot of soil, but it isn't so much unless you are carrying it wet. Assuming that Texas sun gets pretty hot, are you planning on moving plants midway through the season?

I containerized two tomato plants last summer (we have a shorter season). Despite deer having dinner in my garden, both plants were prolific although we put in tomatoes that are no more and 3-4 inches in diameter. Both plants were staked: one inside the container; one outside.

If I had a fabric container, I think I would water from the bottom and/or sides in the hottest weather. Sorry I don't have root pouch experience, but if I had a place for them, I would consider using them.

Working in containers affords working from the steps and saving my back.
Marcia
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 10, 2013
1:06 PM

Post #9444921

Thanks Marcia, I have a lot of experience growing tomato plants just not in Root Pouches, so I'm not sure how much soil I need. 7 gallon and 2 gallon are what I have. These plants will be grown in the same area that my plants are always grown. One area has partial shade, thru out the day, which I have found really increases my yields.
cathy166
Stamford, CT
(Zone 6b)

March 10, 2013
1:15 PM

Post #9444935

I would certainly give it a try, but I think I would only put detrminate plants in the 2 gallon. I assume you stake your tomatoes or tie them in some fashion.

Since you have high heat, can you get multiple plantings during the summer to stretch out the time your crops ripen? For us 80 days is pretty much the maximum from planting. Are you planting them now?
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 10, 2013
6:59 PM

Post #9445222

I don't do multiple plantings, at least not on purpose. Sometimes it takes me a while to get then all planted out and sometimes I direct seed just because...I'm in the Texas Hill Country, they grow grapes here, so it's not as hot as a lot of Texas. It doesn't get as hot as where I lived in SoCal but it's a different heat. I don't plant out when the heat sets in, the seedlings just never seem to acclimate, I keep the same plants all summer and while the production slows down it never stops, then when fall comes I have 70-80 large plants that start setting again.

No, I'm not planting yet, maybe in 2-3 weeks. That's when the plants will be about ready and I might be too. It's getting close to freezing tonight and I wouldn't be surprised if we don't get one more.

The 2 gal look really small, kind of like hats, I never really thought of putting tomatoes in them but maybe hot peppers. I've always been told that tomatoes need at least a 5 gallon bucket but you think a 2 gal root pouch might work? Many of these plants are from the dwarf project.

Thanks

tapla

tapla
Bay City, MI
(Zone 6a)

March 14, 2013
1:29 PM

Post #9449282

FWIW - I'll plant cherry tomatoes in 5 gallons of soil, but the vines with larger fruit go in a minimum of 18 gallons.

Al
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2013
1:36 PM

Post #9449299

I have some Dwarf tomato plants that Craig says will grow in the 7 gal pouches. How do regular tomato plants grow and produce in EBs? They are so small. I know people swear by them tho.

kevcarr59

kevcarr59
BUda, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 21, 2013
11:24 PM

Post #9492695

Lisa~ I've finally got the pics of the 1 & 2 gallon Brown Boxer pots with the tomatoes in them. They are looking pretty good, since they've been outside uncovered the last 2 weeks. With those last cold fronts in March, when it got down to the high 30's, I moved them into the workshop, but doing that every other day got tiring, so I just left them outside. Leaving the middle of next month made this year's garden more of a test to see what is going to be in store for next year.

I got one 5 gallon Boxer Brown as a sample from the company, but I wouldn't use it except for multiple plants. I did the same thing with the 3 gallon pots with okra going in them. Once I get to Florida I plan on starting over, with the rest of the pots I purchased, with hopefully about 5 months of growing season left. Will be real curious to see how the cold weather plants do in these fabric pots. I've never tried Brussel's Sprouts or brocolli, so that will be a learning experience.

#1, 2... The 9 tomato plants.. 1 gallon pots with San Marzano, Cherokee Purple, and a Burpee Superbeefsteak. The rest are 2 gallon pots with various heirloom tomatoes. Black Krim, New Big Dwarf, San Marzano Redorta, Mortgage Lifter, Aunt Ruby's German Green... to name a few...

#3,4... The scawny-looking okra in the 1 & 3 gallon pots.. Mostly Hill Country Red, Stewart's Zeebest, and Burgundy Okra. Some pods are starting to form, but very few leaves. Will be adding some liquid fertilizer this week...

#5... 5 gallon Square Roots pot with 5 Homemade Pickle Cucumbers that will summer vacation at our friends garden. She has the raised bed we built last month and her plants are doing pretty good. Will have to see how her zucchini & squash are doing...

Thumbnail by kevcarr59   Thumbnail by kevcarr59   Thumbnail by kevcarr59   Thumbnail by kevcarr59   Thumbnail by kevcarr59
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1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 22, 2013
10:13 AM

Post #9493163

Thank you, I saw this on the other thread. I have a hard time figuring out how many plants per container, like in the pic with the cukes. Five seems like a lot for that size container, I have cukes in containers and I'm wondering if there are too many and, if so, will they all be compromised or will the stronger plants out compete the others?

kevcarr59

kevcarr59
BUda, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 22, 2013
2:13 PM

Post #9493461

I think I put 6 or 8 cucumber seeds in the Square Root container, to see what's going to happen with the root ball at the end of the season. I figure that size would hold 5 no problem, and where they will reside in our friend's garden, is in the corner with the remesh wire trellis. Once they are trained to go up the trellis, they could be picked from the front, without much effort.

Lisa~~ Thinking that the okra has a bigger root ball was the reasoning to put the okra in the 3 gallon container. I would put a single in he 2 gallon as standard, but when I take these out at the end of the year, I will deconstruct the roots to see how developed they are.

Obviously with competition there should be a little downturn in production per plant, but with 2 or more plants per pot, it should negate with more fruit overall. If the quality starts to decline significantly then I would cut back on the quantity in each pot.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 23, 2013
7:12 PM

Post #9495070

I've done more research and I guess the main issue is keeping the cukes from drying out, bc they are such water hogs. Obviously, the more plants the more water...so I'll just make sure they are watered and hope for the best.

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