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Earthtainer soil question and a design alternative

15 years ago

Hello all,

Ive been trying to grow a good crop of tomatoes down here in sunny palm beach florida the past few years and FINALLY got decent results using the earthtainer system.

My question is this for those of you using this method: should I reuse the container mix season to season (we have 2 grow seasons down here) or clean it all out and start with fresh container mix each time? Cause I cleaned them out this time, a real pain, I finally resorted to taking them apart completely (also to attach the cage system, which I did not do originally as I couldnt find the right cages) but refilling each tainer gets kinda pricey considering it takes just over a $12 bag of mix per tainer. And if you do reuse, should I treat is as brand new mix, add the same 2 cups o lime, two rows of fertilizer, etc?

And finally, I came up with an alternative way to attach the cages:

I was having difficulty getting enough wire clips to attach the cages to the base, plus they are almost a dollar a piece, so I tried something else on my last three tainers. I used a 'Die' to cut threads on the tomato cage legs, about 1 and 1/8 inches of thread per leg, then used a 10-24 nut, fender washer, insert into base, another washer and another nut, worked like a charm (Have to have a washer on both sides for this method, not just the top). Cutting the threads was of course more time-consuming but really not difficult (I had never done it before) and I cut 3 sets of cages in about an hour (18 legs, well 20 actually as I tried attached all 8 legs the first time and quiclky discovered that wouldnt work, best to have 2 legs floating). Hardest part was getting the cut started, but once I had the thread started they went pretty quickly, a few minutes per. Plenty of lubricant also important (I used wd40).

Also, no need for 2 people to attach legs to base with this method as you can get one leg attached quite easily and then just bolt on the rest one by one, no struggling to get everything lined up.

thanks in advance for help on the soil thing!

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