Zeus123
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Help with indeterminate plants

Hello all!

I recently moved into a new place 2 weeks ago with a decent sized backyard. I brought my 10 other potted tomato/pepper plants, but I have 4 indeterminate plants that I need to plant. Tried digging into the soil yesterday and it's horrible soil and I can barely get 5 inches deep (I'm 28 and am very capable of digging a hole). Granted that I'm renting this house I can't put a raised bed down. Does anyone have a potential solution to my problem? Appreciate any insight.

Thanks!

Zeus

Taiji
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Re: Help with indeterminate plants

Whenever I have difficult soil to dig, I get it started as best I can, then fill the resulting crater with water. After the soil is softened continue digging. So, I guess you could then add whatever amenities you need to the hole and mix with soil, then plant.

There have been times though, when I have tried digging into extremely heavy, gummy clay where no matter how wet it is, it's still almost impossible to dig.

imafan26
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Re: Help with indeterminate plants

Plant them in large pots. 20 inch pots or 18 gallon containers. You will need a cage or trellis to support the vines. One tomato per pot.
Make sure you use potting soil in the pots and you can add 1/2 cup of slow nitrogen fertilizer as a starter. One tablespoon of fertilizer when the plants flower and again when they first fruit and monthly thereafter. I use vigoro 6-4-6 Citrus and avocado food. I cut the bag of potting soil to fit the top of the pot white side up. It helps to keep down weeds and splashing. It also helps keep the top of the soil from drying out too fast. I water young tomatoes every other day. Once the tomatoes size up I water daily. If it gets really hot in summer then I might do a 2 minute misting during the middle of the day to cool the plants down and water twice a day if the plant shows signs of wilting in midday. If you have time make a SIP container with a 5 gallon reservoir, that way the plant has less chance of getting BER if the reservoir does not go dry. I keep peppers in 1-5 gallon containers. It is actually easier to make a 5 gallon SIP. Herbs take well to pots and if the pots are large enough even vegetables will grow. You can even do a barrel planter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdHqc4CFoZM
Pots are a good solution if you are renting.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

john gault
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Re: Help with indeterminate plants

Why's the soil difficult to dig in? Is it clay, or because of roots/rocks or something else?

Zeus123
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Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:11 pm
Location: Atlanta

Re: Help with indeterminate plants

Hey all,

Thanks for the responses! Honestly I have no idea why the soil is so difficult to dig in. I tried to go a bit further and started to hit old bricks and shingles and decided it was a total waste of time. It's the hardest packed red soil I have ever seen (maybe it's 100% clay mixed with some old foundation?). Either way I decided to go grab some 18 gallon 'tote' containers and now I may have a new problem on my hands (haha, oh well!) which I just posted a new topic on. Appreciate all the feedback and maybe you can lend your green thumb assistance to my new problem!

Zeus123

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ID jit
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Re: Help with indeterminate plants

Renting and can't do raised beds..... SIPs and mel's mix.

SIP = sub irrigated planter = self watering planter = self watering container (also called 'earth box' and a few other names.

Mel's mix = 1/3 compost + 1/3 large grain perlite + 1/3 peat (substitute like coir)

The 5 gallon bucket type are popular for tomatoes, peppers and the like. (boatloads of stuff on google and youtube,)

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 21&t=32338
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 21&t=60946

Did a lot of research over the winter. Did this with some strawberry plants:
Image

Plants I have in SIPS are far outpacing the ones in other containers and in the ground.

Good luck with it!
I don't believe we can resist the things which make no sense - I believe.

Taiji
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Location: Gardening in western U.P. of MI. 46+ N. lat. elev 1540. zone 3

Re: Help with indeterminate plants

Old bricks and shingles...doesn't sound too good. Probably stuff with lead based paint in there too and who knows what else. Maybe best to stay out of the ground in this case.

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Help with indeterminate plants

Some people do plant tomatoes in 5 gallon SIPS but I like more soil volume for indeterminate tomatoes so the 18 gallon SIP works bette since tomatoes have a very large root system. The five gallon buckets would be fine for the peppers.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

xtgold
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Location: CT USA Zone 6b

Re: Help with indeterminate plants

2 hole cement blocks stacked.

imafan26
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Re: Help with indeterminate plants

I do have a raised bed that is made with hollow tile, it works well and does not require a lot of skill and all you need is a string line, some rebar, and a level. The original poster said he could not put down a raised bed. For anyone else with less than ideal soil, raised beds are a good solution.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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TomatoGirl
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Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Help with indeterminate plants

If you are pushed for space, I grow tomatoes very successfully in 5-8 gallon pots. Mine grew to about 8 feet tall last year. You just have to get the feeding and watering right and they are perfectly happy. Make sure you have good drainage and I gave mine fish emulsion weekly.

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