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Monday, April 22, 2013

Container Tomato and Pepper Tips: Moisture Control Soil, Mulch & Water Reservoir

Container Tomato and Pepper Tips
Soil Moisture and Watering

Container gardens can be very successful if you can figure out how to manage watering and maintain even moisture in your containers all season long.

The number one issue with container gardens is that you can't let the soil in your containers completely dry out. Not even once. This is not so much of an issue when plants and smaller and the spring is here. However, once your tomatoes and peppers grow and their roots fill up the container and the summer heat arrives... you can have containers that will dry out in one afternoon.

Once the soil completely dries out the tomato and pepper plants are stressed. This makes them more susceptible to diseases and pests. It decreases the yield and production of the plants. Tomatoes will get cracked fruit. Most tomatoes will develop blossom end rot. This occurs because their roots are damaged by drought and can't effectively bring in nutrients to the plant, specifically calcium.

Watering them quickly, once the soil completely dries out, does NOT fix the damage. It actually causes fruit cracking. There are 3 things you can do to help prevent this and make container gardening easier. Remember you are thinking down the line when the plants are larger and summer heat arrives.
  1. Use Moisture Control Garden Soil and/or Add in Lots of Compost/Peat Moss
  2. Mulch the Containers with about 2 Inches of Mulch
  3. Have a Water Reservoir Available (There are many options)
The video highlights these points, also talks about container size and gives you a basic idea for a water reservoir.

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