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Beginner Vegetables: When should I replant Home depot (Bonnie) tomato plants

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Forum: Beginner VegetablesReplies: 16, Views: 130
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t00sha
Brooklyn, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 5, 2013
10:17 AM

Post #9509061

I've brought few tomato plants from home depot (Bonnie brand) and they are 5 to 8 inches tall and their roots start poking out from the bottom (and sides) of their (3" and 4") containers. (See attached image)

Seems like time to plant them in bigger pots. My question is, should i plant then straight into 20" pots, or should i choose smaller intermediate container? The reason i'm asking, besides for lack of experience (first time gardener here), is that i hear it's very beneficial to "deep plant" tomatoes, where people trim all the leaves besides for the very top to encourage additional root development. If my entire plant is 5" tall, "deep planting" would not work.

Appreciate your help.

Thumbnail by t00sha
Click the image for an enlarged view.

eweed
Everson, WA
(Zone 8a)

May 5, 2013
4:12 PM

Post #9509538

My vote is if you have the place to keep the 20 inch pot use that now. Plant deep up to the first set of false leaves.

I pretty much leave my leafs alone unless they are touching the dirt.

I expect someone will come along with a different method but this works well for me


This message was edited May 5, 2013 9:02 PM

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 6, 2013
6:14 AM

Post #9510221

The minimum size for tomato plants in pots is five gallons, but seven gallons is better.

They look like nice healthy plants. I would leave the lower leaves for photosynthesis.
eweed
Everson, WA
(Zone 8a)

May 6, 2013
7:18 AM

Post #9510280

hbee I suspect a normal 20 inch pot will hold about 5 gallons. In any case your right 5 works 7 is better.

This message was edited May 6, 2013 6:39 PM
bellieg
Virginia Beach, VA

May 6, 2013
2:30 PM

Post #9510836

Toosha,
I did not notice what zone you live.

Belle
t00sha
Brooklyn, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 7, 2013
11:19 AM

Post #9511937

Thank you for your replies.
Going forward - should I invest in in "self-watering" containers from the beginning?
For a novice as me I guess the value proposition of those is taking the guesswork out of watering.

I *think* I know how to tell if plants need water. But how do people prevent over-watering of tomatoes?
How to insure consistent watering?
Is there some rule of thumb to follow?

Thank you very much.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 9, 2013
5:36 AM

Post #9514167

I've tried the "stick your finger in the soil and see if it comes out with soil adhering to it" method.

The: "If it rained during the past three days, it doesn't need more water" method.

Last year, I tried the "let Mother Nature take care of it" method.

They all worked! So take your pick!
behillman
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

May 9, 2013
11:38 AM

Post #9514592

Use well draining soil. Then one can water every day, & not water-log the plants.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

May 10, 2013
7:03 PM

Post #9516269

>> Use well draining soil.

I agree! I'm not very experienced, but "well-draining" prevents me from drowning my roots.

I like small bark chips, but grit, crushed stone and Perlite all work to "open up" a mix that is too fine or too water-retentive. Like mostly-peat mixes.

It seems like 90% of all gardeners can get along fine with commercial mixes that are mostly peat, but not me.

Maybe I always bought cheap ones! The one time I bought "professional" mix from a nursery supplier, instead of Home Depot whatever's-cheapest-brand, it seemed much more resistant to over-watering.

If I water and nothing comes out the bottom, I figure that retained water is drowning the root zone.



This message was edited May 14, 2013 6:27 PM
behillman
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

May 13, 2013
10:16 AM

Post #9519062

I always put a pan of water under my pots. It doesn't matter how often you water them, they seem to dry out sometimes. This also encourages the roots to grow down towards the water pan. Or set them onto the ground where their roots can grow towards the water in the ground.
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 23, 2013
5:50 AM

Post #9530868

I have felt that it is best to water by the 'feel the dirt" method. I cannot remember the source, but I heard leaving a saucer, or whatever with standing water will result in root rot. However, there are many pots sold with a bottom reservoir so i guess it is a question of what works for you.
eweed
Everson, WA
(Zone 8a)

May 23, 2013
9:12 AM

Post #9531097

If leaving a sauce of water rots roots ho then why don't hydroponic units rot the roots
behillman
Plantersville, TX
(Zone 9a)

May 23, 2013
9:54 AM

Post #9531156

As long as the roots are out of the pot, in the standing water, I guess they won't rot, its when the soil is so wet that the roots drown inside the soil. They cannot get to oxygen. The roots outside the pot have excess to oxygen I suppose. It seems to work for me.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 23, 2013
3:02 PM

Post #9531512

I overwintered pepper plants in 21/2" pots by keeping them in a tray of water. They grew and produced pods. They have been in the pots for a yr, so I guess I over summered them too. Lol. I'm just putting them in larger containers now. Somebody explained it to me but I didn't really understand it.
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

May 24, 2013
11:34 AM

Post #9532597

Aha! behillman, thank you for the explanation. I have always wondered the reason.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

May 24, 2013
5:49 PM

Post #9532921

Probably, in waterlogged soil, air can't circulate because there are no open channels, and the water is locked in place by capillary attract ion to soil particles.

A saucer of water can exchange CO2 for oxygen over the whole surface, and any slight vibration or temperature variation makes the water circulate and exchange.

Also, soil microbes in waterlogged soil would consume O2 before roots could, then switch to fermentation and pump out acids and alcohols, poisoning root hairs.

In a saucer of water, there would be fewer bacteria and more algae. Algae in sunlight PRODUCE O2!

(I'm just guessing)

(edited for spelling)

This message was edited May 28, 2013 3:57 PM
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 24, 2013
9:03 PM

Post #9533106

Arriation?

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