GrowerC86
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Green stuff growing in my containers. What to do?

Yep, green stuff and I don't mean blooming tomatoes. I noticed recently that several of the containers I am growing tomatoes in anywhere from plastic cups, to milk jugs and even some of my bigger pots are growing what looks like a green fungus or something. Now, I actually think I know why this happened. About 2 weeks ago I watered several of my tomato plants with old compost tea. This was before I knew that if you don't keep oxygen going in the compost tea it will begin to stink and go bad. Since this only happened after I watered them with the bad tea, my guess is that is what caused it. The good news is they are all still growing and doing well. There are no signs of disease on the actual plants as far as I know. In fact many of them are a lot greener than they were before. However, I do not like seeing this much green fungus stuff growing in my containers and I want to do something about it.

The only thing I can come up with is to pour 3% hydrogen peroxide into the containers for a few seconds, wait about a minute and then pour clean water into the containers to dilute and flush out the hydrogen peroxide. The thing is, I don't know if this will harm my tomato plants and I want to be very cautious because many of them are mature and have several tomatoes on them already. Will this work or is there another way to do it? Home remedies?
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applestar
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Re: Green stuff growing in my containers. What to do?

It's just mildew/green algae. This is normal and they respond to the light coming through from the translucent container. They might slightly compete for nutrients, but otherwise harmless.

Some people paint the outside of translucent containers.


-- I'm more concerned that you said you are growing tomatoes in this kind of container because I can't think of any that would be big enough unless we're talking 5 gal water jug, and even then, only for dwarf varieties.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

GrowerC86
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Re: Green stuff growing in my containers. What to do?

applestar wrote:

-- I'm more concerned that you said you are growing tomatoes in this kind of container because I can't think of any that would be big enough unless we're talking 5 gal water jug, and even then, only for dwarf varieties.
The plastic cups are for the smaller plants until they are bigger. The milk jugs I use for planting tomatoes upside down which for about 5 of mine so far are doing very well. The rest are in bigger plastic pots probably 3 gallon in size. You can google search a wide variety of tomato plants being planted in 1 gallon milk jugs, even upside down, loaded with tomatoes. You may get a bigger plant with a bigger container and for some I will be doing that with.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Green stuff growing in my containers. What to do?

Oh interesting! I'd love to know more -- varieties? Care regimen?

Most often with regular tomatoes that normally grow to 6-7 feet, the issue with growing in too small containers has to do with watering and reduced fruit size.

I have varieties that are "patio container height", short internodes, and micros (tiny plants only growing to 12-18 inches and perfectly fine -- grows to potential -- in 1 to 2 gallon containers. I'm also growing naturally hanging basket type varieties with stems that tend to hang down rather than try to gro upwards. Most are determinates and only cherry size fruits (some saladettes) to begin with, but this year, trying a few that are actually Indeterminates and supposed to get to salad/slicer size, even medium beefsteak. I'll post more about them as season progresses.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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Allyn
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Re: Green stuff growing in my containers. What to do?

Add about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per gallon of water. That'll help cut the slime.

GrowerC86
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Re: Green stuff growing in my containers. What to do?

applestar wrote:Oh interesting! I'd love to know more -- varieties? Care regimen?

Most often with regular tomatoes that normally grow to 6-7 feet, the issue with growing in too small containers has to do with watering and reduced fruit size.

I have varieties that are "patio container height", short internodes, and micros (tiny plants only growing to 12-18 inches and perfectly fine -- grows to potential -- in 1 to 2 gallon containers. I'm also growing naturally hanging basket type varieties with stems that tend to hang down rather than try to gro upwards. Most are determinates and only cherry size fruits (some saladettes) to begin with, but this year, trying a few that are actually Indeterminates and supposed to get to salad/slicer size, even medium beefsteak. I'll post more about them as season progresses.
I think they are all better boys but I don't remember if they said hybrid on the tag or not. The first few look kind of sloppy because it was my first time planting tomatoes like that but they are growing. They are in 1 gallon milk jugs. The newer ones I am planting now look a little better since I found a better way to put the hanger on the jug without squeezing the top in. I basically just work the seedling into the jug after cutting the bottom out and pull it through the pour hole. Then I mix in some epsom salt and potting soil until the jug is mostly full. I then apply a zip tie hanger on the bottom (now the top) of the jug and hang them in a sunny place in my yard. So far I have upside down milk jug tomato plants in 4 different spots in my yard. I only lost one plant so far but I am pretty sure it was because I trimmed it way too much when I was learning about trimming tomato plants. Every leaf that looked even a small bit sickly I snipped off and the plant died a few days later. The other ones are growing very good though.

Below is a picture of 2 better boys in one milk jug and a sweet 100 cherry in the other. The sweet 100 cherry was just planted yesterday.
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