Author Topic: Potting Mix Question  (Read 21743 times)

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Re: Potting Mix Question
« Reply #60 on: June 06, 2017, 11:03:17 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, cushman350. This user is located in Tomato Hell, Wichita Falls, TX Zone 7b. This was originally posted on June 14, 2009.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, Tbird. This was originally posted on June 14, 2009.

 how do you press down the corner over the wicking chambers when you have seedlings planted at those spots? 

Now this is just a " what if " suggestion to the above comment but, what if you plugged up the drain hole and filled the earthbox through the tube until the box was completely full then open the drain hole? Would this be an acceptable way to restart wicking? Please don't throw stones.

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Re: Potting Mix Question
« Reply #61 on: June 06, 2017, 11:07:23 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, gardendoc. This user is located in Ocean Springs, MS Zone 9a.This was originally posted on June 21, 2009.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, cushman350. This user is located in Tomato Hell, Wichita Falls, TX Zone 7b. This was originally posted on June 14, 2009.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, Tbird. This was originally posted on June 14, 2009.

 how do you press down the corner over the wicking chambers when you have seedlings planted at those spots? 

Now this is just a " what if " suggestion to the above comment but, what if you plugged up the drain hole and filled the earthbox through the tube until the box was completely full then open the drain hole? Would this be an acceptable way to restart wicking? Please don't throw stones.

Cushman, I think you have come up with a brilliant idea for restarting a stuck wicking problem. Now can you help me with a batch of fine that has a stuck fermentation?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 11:16:46 am by EarthBoxDD »

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Re: Potting Mix Question
« Reply #62 on: June 06, 2017, 11:10:05 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on June 24, 2009.

Whenever my potted plants get so dry as to just run the water off, I take a glass of warm water and very slowly dribble it around the soil/mix and watch it soak in. A small amount will soak in, where a larger amount just runs off. I do that again several hours later, and it soaks in faster. The next day, I water the regular way, and it soaks it in ok.

Mickie

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Re: Potting Mix Question
« Reply #63 on: June 06, 2017, 11:15:35 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, gardendoc. This user is located in Ocean Springs, MS Zone 9a. This was originally posted on June 29, 2009.

A common practice when spraying any kind of solution on leaves was to add a couple of drops of Ivory dish soap, the cheap white stuff, to act as a surfactant.  This is important since water is a polar molecule and sticks to itself. The Ivory reduced the surface tension of the water and allowed it to spread out over the leaf.  Now adding too much will produce the soapy foam.  There are commercial surfactants, ionic and non-ionic, available at your friendly local garden center that are much more suitable.  All peat- and coir-based potting substrates benefit from these compounds.  Many of the higher end potting substrates like Promix have this added at the manufacturing plants to help wetting the media. 

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Re: Potting Mix Question
« Reply #64 on: June 06, 2017, 11:19:17 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, Italian Mama. This user is located in Laguna Niguel, California Zone 9B.

Hi Everyone,
Ive been gone awhile and having a fairly successful EB summer. Question: do you keep any of the soil from one season to the next? Should I throw out the soil and start again for winter crops? Here are my 8 boxes: 4 boxes of tomatoes, 1 box eggplant, 1 box squash, 1 box peppers, 1 box cucumbers. The zucchini looks knarly and with deep roots, maybe that should be tossed? Cucumbers same.
Thank you for answering in advance.

Update: for my first go around: lots of great tomatoes but you can have the heirlooms on a silver platter. They all went into blossom end rot. Very fussy. Late bloomers as well. I would not suggest putting heirlooms with determinates could that have been the blossom end rot problem? Cucs good pickling great. Wouldn't mix green zucchini and crookneck. They begin to take on each others form. Hybridizing or what? Eggplant fair. No more black beautys. Jap ones good. So I am ready for the winter crops. What is everyone growing for that?
Peppers: next year I am not going with baby bells. They are miniscule. Anaheim chilis didn't grow very long. Lots of ants with that box.

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Re: Potting Mix Question
« Reply #65 on: June 06, 2017, 11:22:13 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on August 18, 2009.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, Italian Mama. This user is located in Laguna Niguel, California Zone 9B.

Hi Everyone,
I've been gone awhile and having a fairly successful EB summer. Question: do you keep any of the soil from one season to the next? Should I throw out the soil and start again for winter crops? Here are my 8 boxes: 4 boxes of tomatoes, 1 box eggplant, 1 box squash, 1 box peppers, 1 box cucumbers. The zucchini looks gnarly and with deep roots, maybe that should be tossed? Cucumbers same.
Thank you for answering in advance.

The potting mix in your EBs should be good for 5-7 years or more. Ive found the cukes, melon and squash plants dont have as many roots as I expected. If you have time, just cut off the plants a couple of inches above the cover and let the box sit as long as possible. Grab the stem and twist so you get out the large, main roots. The smaller ones will just rot away. Prepare the box just as you did the first time with the dolomite and fresh fert. strip.

Mickie

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Re: Potting Mix Question
« Reply #66 on: June 06, 2017, 11:39:14 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, Pyewackit. This was originally posted on June 24, 2010.

This was my first year for EarthBox and I started with 3. Being a newbie, wasn't really sure about the type of potting material either. Local Big Lot had Scotts Potting Mix for $8.00 a bag. Figured I blew it because I started to read that many people had spent quite a bit on a bag of potting mix. Planted Memorial Day-corn,melon and heirloom tomatoes all started by seed in an AeroGarden-and crossed my fingers. One month later-the corn is going into full tassel, the melons are loaded with blooms and the heirloom tomatoes(Old German, Cherokee Red and Black Krim) are loaded with buds and tomatoes and are topping the trellis system. Just hope this isnt beginners luck as Ill add more EarthBoxes next year. The trick really is in the wicking properties of the mix as opposed to soil as I noticed the potting mix I used was lighter and more fibery than potting soil. 

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Re: Potting Mix Question
« Reply #67 on: June 06, 2017, 11:41:09 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Active Member, bclaudio. This was originally posted on July 14, 2010.

Hi everyone,
Im new to earthbox, and I  would like some feedback on some problems I am having.  I have done my gardening in containers for years but this year I am completely at a loss for what is going on.  As of today I have thrown out 89 ber tomatoes out of 8 plants.  The first wave came in pretty good but now all Im getting is little green tomatoes with ber.  I have used lime, calcium and fertilizer but it didnt seem to do anything.  I had my soil tested this morning and it showed no nitrogen and a ph of over 7.5.  They told me I needed sulfur. 
I have never had a problem like this.  I have grown tomatoes in containers for 20+ years with bushels of them.  Never saw ber until this
 year. I have never had a soil test either.  I am using Miracle grow moisture  control potting mix in my earthboxes and I water well. My tomato plants are 6 feet tall and growing very nice, but ber sucks...Help!  thanks everybody

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Re: Potting Mix Question
« Reply #68 on: June 06, 2017, 11:44:14 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Active Member, Kathy in Washington. This user is located in Sequim, WA - Zone 8b - Cool and never hot. This was originally posted in July 15, 2010.

bclaudio:  Being fairly new at this myself, I dont profess to know more than what Ive read from the Earthbox website, their instructions, and ten days of reading everything I can on this forum.

I don't know if you purchased your EBs new or used -- but if you purchased them new you should have received, at the very least, instructions regarding potting mix, fertilizer, and dolomite.  If you followed that to the company's instructions, you would know that Miracle Grow Potting Mix with Moisture Control is NOT what you want in the boxes.  I don't know what kind of lime you used, why you used calcium, or what kind of fertilizer you used.  If you purchased the EBs second hand, then I would guess that you researched on the website how to plant, etc.

To help you know whether the problem is in the mix/lime/fertilizer that you chose, and/or how and where the amendments were applied, please check the RESOURCES section of this website.  There is extremely clear information under the PRODUCT INFO section -- and I would read everything in the Resources section, just because the more information you have, the better you are. 

I think you'll have a better understanding where the problem might be then.  Please write again and advise (those who know much more than I do) what you've done -- and they might have some good ideas for you.  Good luck.

Kathy in Washington

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Re: Potting Mix Question
« Reply #69 on: June 06, 2017, 11:46:40 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, PaulB. This user is located in Southeast New Mexico, Zone 7. This was originally posted on July 15, 2010.

I used Miracle Gro potting mix in all of my earthboxes, but I don't recall if it had the moisture control beads in it or not.  At any rate, my garden has been doing very well.  I'm only growing two large-type tomato plants out of 11, and while those two had a few tomatoes with BER, its finally gone away without treatment.  This is the first year of my using EBs, and it is typical for lots of growers to have some BER the first year.  One thing I did, however, was to mix the dolomite completely throughout the potting mix and let it set a few days before adding the fertilizer and plants.  The fertilizer was only added as seedlings were acquired and gotten ready to plant.

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Re: Potting Mix Question
« Reply #70 on: June 06, 2017, 11:50:36 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, cushman350. This user is located in Tomato Hell, Wichita Falls, TX Zone 7b. This was originally posted on July 15, 2010.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Active Member, Kathy in Washington. This user is located in Sequim, WA - Zone 8b - Cool and never hot. This was originally posted in July 15, 2010.

bclaudio:  Being fairly new at this myself, I dont profess to know more than what Ive read from the Earthbox website, their instructions, and ten days of reading everything I can on this forum.

I don't know if you purchased your EBs new or used -- but if you purchased them new you should have received, at the very least, instructions regarding potting mix, fertilizer, and dolomite.  If you followed that to the company's instructions, you would know that Miracle Grow Potting Mix with Moisture Control is NOT what you want in the boxes.  I don't know what kind of lime you used, why you used calcium, or what kind of fertilizer you used.  If you purchased the EBs second hand, then I would guess that you researched on the website how to plant, etc.

To help you know whether the problem is in the mix/lime/fertilizer that you chose, and/or how and where the amendments were applied, please check the RESOURCES section of this website.  There is extremely clear information under the PRODUCT INFO section -- and I would read everything in the Resources section, just because the more information you have, the better you are. 

I think you'll have a better understanding where the problem might be then.  Please write again and advise (those who know much more than I do) what you've done -- and they might have some good ideas for you.  Good luck.

Kathy in Washington

Ohhh but it is.

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Re: Potting Mix Question
« Reply #71 on: June 06, 2017, 11:53:10 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, katwoman59. This was originally posted on March 13, 2011.

First time EB user here.  I am using an organic potting mix that is made with coir instead of peat.  My understanding is that dolomite lime is used to counteract the acidity of the peat, but coir is supposed to be pretty neutral.  So do I still need to use the dolomite if I am using coir?  Also our water is fairly hard so I am wondering if using dolomite would make the mix too alkaline.
KW

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Re: Potting Mix Question
« Reply #72 on: June 06, 2017, 11:55:16 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Active Member, Ann FL. This user is located in North Florida Zone 8.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, katwoman59. This was originally posted on March 13, 2011.

First time EB user here.  I am using an organic potting mix that is made with coir instead of peat.  My understanding is that dolomite lime is used to counteract the acidity of the peat, but coir is supposed to be pretty neutral.  So do I still need to use the dolomite if I am using coir?  Also our water is fairly hard so I am wondering if using dolomite would make the mix too alkaline.
KW

Kat,
The calcium is required by the tomato and other fruits for their tissues to develop properly, that's why you need it. Its not a question of acidity.  I have very hard water here, but the first time I tried to grow tomatoes in a container (not an Earthbox) they all had horrible blossom end rot.

Ann

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Re: Potting Mix Question
« Reply #73 on: June 06, 2017, 11:56:58 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on March 15, 2009.

Just to clarify, the need for dolomite is not just for the calcium... dolomite contains both calcium and magnesium, in a 2:1 ratio. When buying lime, read the ingredients panel to see if this ratio is there. If there's only small amounts of magnesium, its not dolomite. Magnesium is as important as calcium for healthy plants.

Mickie

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Re: Potting Mix Question
« Reply #74 on: June 06, 2017, 12:00:15 pm »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Jr. Member, moxie. This was originally posted on March 19, 2011.

Hello,

Im brand new to EarthBoxes and I just finished setting up my two boxes before I saw this thread!  Now Im worried that I used the wrong mix... I filled up with "Great Gardens" garden soil, which is 40% composted manure, 40% leaf compost, and 20% sphagnum moss.  Will this wick poorly or drown my plant roots? Can I amend it by mixing with perlite or vermiculite? And if so, do I need to dig out all the soil, including the fertilizer strip and dolomite, or can I just mix it down to the dolomite layer? 

Thanks!