I started the summer trying out Tomatoes In Grow Bags for the second time. Last year, I had less than stellar results, but was willing to try this type of container gardening again. I reported earlier that I had tried a different soil mix that I hoped would retain moisture better. I also gave preliminary results of my tomato growth. Now, seeing my final results, as the season is coming to a close, I can say that my preliminary opinion is also my final opinion.
So here are my results:
I used both grow bags and pots for my containers, and I used both a heavier soil mixture and compost. For some of the containers, I layered the soil and the compost. For others, I mixed the two together evenly.
1) The growth I got from layering vs mixed together was no different. I got very good growth and there was much better water retention than last year with a lighter soil mixture. So, I can say that I would want to use a heavier soil mixture in my grow bags. And I would probably mix the soil and the compost, since this is easier to do. I have gotten an abundance of tomatoes from these tomatoes. I roasted three trays full of tomatoes today, which I froze.
2) I did not have very good results with the pots. The tomatoes plants were anemic , although they seemed to produce fairly well. I used some additional fertilizer, which greened them up, while my tomatoes in grow bags didn’t seem to need additional fertilizer. I have no idea why the difference, since the soil mixture was the same for both grow bags and pots. I have had good tomatoes from the plants in pots, but fewer of them.
3) I used three different kinds of tomatoes, Black Prince, Sweet Millions and Early Girl. All were wonderful in flavor and production. My favorite is still Black Prince.
So my conclusions are that the grow bags work better for me. I have had some septoria leaf spot, but at least no blight. (No, the plants above dont have blight, they are crispy crittered, because I stopped watering about two weeks ago to hasten ripening, since there isn’t much time left in the season.)
So, now the plants look horrible, but the tomatoes themselves look wonderful and are ripening rapidly. In all, I am very pleased with my results. I don’t believe they are as good as I get with plants in the ground, but the results are still good and better than last year. They tomatoes may have dried, but the phlox is reviving and giving me a second bloom.
My house mate decided to start a new crop of mescaline mix. See the sprouts. Yumm, we will have greens if the slugs don’t get them first.
Will I try grow bags again? Yes! At least until I have places to plant them in the ground.