pepperhead212
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1705
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Are there any Earthbox growers here?

Great plants, Bote! My tomatoes are going in, starting tomorrow, and I got the two large (18 gal) boxes set up today, which I am doing the mycorrhizae experiment in, in which each pot has everything the same, except the myco added to one. Each will have one Beauty King and one Sweet Carneros Pink in it. The latter tomato I grew last year, and each plant in 3 different locations got BER on about the first dozen or so tomatoes, but never again the rest of the season, becoming one of the best tomatoes of the season. I am curious if the dolomite in the EBs prevents this, and I will have a third one in the ground, with the rest of the tomatoes, to see if the same thing happens.
Dave

pepperhead212
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1705
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:52 pm
Location: Woodbury NJ Zone 6B

Re: Are there any Earthbox growers here?

I got 4 more large earthboxes filled today, with 4 more left to do! I broke open the Promix HP, and am doing a sort of experiment, though not as exact as the myco experiment. I filled one of the two 18 gal ones with the rest of the sunshine 4 mix, adding some myco to it, then used the promix HP for the other one, and everything else the same, though I won't have the same varieties - there will be 4 different eggplant varieties, 2 in each. I'll see if either mix seems better, though with different varieties, it will be harder to compare.

I got my pea eggplant transplanted to its own earthbox - my first one of the season! It was not easy with that large plant, compared to the smaller ones I am used to. I cut a cross in the center of the plastic, large enough for that rootball to fit into, then dug out enough mix to drop it in. Then I loosened the plastic cover, and lifted it up, to fill in the empty area around the rootball, mounded the soil up again, then pressed the plastic back down, and secured it with the bungee cord again. I'll have to do the same with those huge peppers!.
Dave

MrBote
Full Member
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:34 am
Location: Florida zone 9

Re: Are there any Earthbox growers here?

Best thing I have found for plants susceptible to BER is, a low N, (in the case of tomatoes, a tomato specific plant food) fertilizer and adding calcium nitrate to the reservoir at the first sign of flowers. If I was using a high N fertilizer, I would use cal-mag instead. Calcium nitrate doesn't need microbial activity to make it available to the plant roots. The Espoma fertilizers have been working very well for me this year. When I remove the plants at the end of the season, there is this layer of resultant humus where the roots meat the potting mix, and there is this dense mass of fat, white root tips that look extraordinarily healthy.

Here was an experiment using both man made 10-10-10 (plant on the right), and Espoma Tomato-Tone (3-4-6). Both planted at the same time. The plant on the left has also has been topped 16" and it was around 9 feet tall. The 10-10-10 plant is definitely too much N for a closed system, IMO.

Image

This below, was an orphan plant that lived in a solo cup for almost a month after the others were planted. I was curious to see if the natural fertilizer could rehab this root bound plant, that had grown to around 16" in a solo cup. I didn't have high hopes for it, but it is surpassing the man made nutrient plant and on it's way to becoming a monster as well, again, just using Tomato-Tone. It's kind of late in the season for it to be starting with fruit, but we will see. At least I got to see it turn into a healthy plant, and I have no doubts it would be a top producer.

Image

The tomato tone plants are a normal, healthy green color, while the 10-10-10 plant's leaves are too dark and leathery, and the plant has had some intermittent BER as well.



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