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Gary350
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Tomato plants need, nitrogen, phosphate, potash, lime. I use 15/15/15 fertilizer, ammonium nitrate and lime on my tomatoes. I usually get a bushel basket of tomatoes from each plant for the whole growing season.

If you are determined to use only organic fertilizer this is what you need to do. Mix 1 part wood ash, 1 part dirt, 1 part dry organic material in a 1 gallon container. Keep it next to your toilet. Every time you have to pee do it in the container. Bacteria is very quick to turn the Urine into ammonia and that is rich in nitrogen. The wood ash contains potash and lime. Urine is an excellent source of Phosphorous, Potassium, and other trace elements. And it is free. It only takes a week to make a 1 gallon batch of fertilizer. After 1 week use 1/2 of it for fertilizer. Mix the other half with another 1/2 gallon of wood ash, dirt, orgainic material and continue to pee in it for 2 days. The bacteria is already growing from the first 1/2 gallon so you use that as a bacteria starter it gets the next batch going very quick. You can harvest a 1/2 gallon of fertilizer every 2 days just keep adding more mix and keep peeing in it.
Last edited by Gary350 on Sat May 09, 2009 3:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

Brandywinegirl
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I used Epson Salt last year and many of the plants died out of the blue. I guess I overdid it, or Epsom Salt is ust not good for the garden veggies.

I am going with compost, manure and topsoil this year!
:D
Brandywine

Eat, Sleep, Garden and ... then Eat What You've Grown!

Haesuse
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another fantastic alternative is aquarium water. plants LOVE the nasty water that comes out of a fish tank.

damethod
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Gary350 wrote:If you are determined to use only organic fertilizer this is what you need to do. Mix 1 part wood ash, 1 part dirt, 1 part dry organic material in a 1 gallon container. Keep it next to your toilet. Every time you have to pee do it in the container.
LOL I'm sorry, but I almost puked upon reading!

myron26155
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Mix 2 tablespoons in a 1 gallon sprayer and foliar feed them. It's amazing!
My Tomato Growing Journal https://myron26155.shutterfly.com/

myron26155
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Haesuse wrote:another fantastic alternative is aquarium water. plants LOVE the nasty water that comes out of a fish tank.
You are so right! Instead of dumping the old aquarium water down the drain i started pouring it around my Sago palm and it has been growing like crazy.
My Tomato Growing Journal https://myron26155.shutterfly.com/

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freedhardwoods
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elevenplants wrote:Compost, manure, organic fertilizers are all natural by-products and as such, are prized for their value to our food sources. A little internet research about this subject will doubtless convince you also. :)

Rebecca
I too have nothing against organic methods when they are practical. Those things that you mentioned are "prized" by hardcore organic gardeners, which is fine. I will use those things when it is convenient, but I won't go out of my way to get it. When I think one of my gardens need organic matter, I have a dumptruck load of poplar (low acid) sawdust delivered in the spring and spread it several inches deep on top and then till it in. Before the last pass I spread a heavy dose of urea to help the sawdust decompose. I will till it about once a month until winter and by the next spring it will be ready to grow vegetables again. 8)

Jerseygardengirl
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This is an interesting thread. I've always heard that spraying a very small dose of epsom salt mixed in with a gallon of water helped fruit set, when sprayed on the blooms. Is this not true?

LOL at the pee suggestion. That's just funny stuff. :lol:

myron26155
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Jerseygardengirl wrote:This is an interesting thread. I've always heard that spraying a very small dose of epsom salt mixed in with a gallon of water helped fruit set, when sprayed on the blooms. Is this not true?

LOL at the pee suggestion. That's just funny stuff. :lol:
I haven'theard that- it may very well be true though. When my plants start to lose that deep green color i spray them with epsom salt and within a day they develop this beautiful dark green color that almost makes them look like fake plants. It doesn't last but a week or two but for a quick fix it's perfect.
My Tomato Growing Journal https://myron26155.shutterfly.com/

jerrydietztx
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opabinia51 wrote:Hi Gini,

HI GUYS.. I DO NOT AGREE.. EPSON SALTS IS A MINERAL. HYDRATED
MAGNESIUM SULFATE. OR MAGNESIUM AND SULPHER, ALL PLANTS REQUIRE A CERTAIN DEGREE OF MAGNISIUM FOR REAL GOOD STEM
DEVELOPMENT ABD OF COURSE THE SULPHER ADDS SOME ACIDITY
WHIICH TOMATOES LIKE. CHECK THE PH REQUIREMENT AND U WIL
SEE. ALSO EPSOM SALTS IS VERY GOOD ALSO FOR ROSE GROWERS.
WIL GET MORE CANES,STRONGER STEMS AND MORE FLOWERS.
I SAY USE A SPOON FULL AT PLANTING TIME, WHEN YELLOW FLOWERS
APPEAR, ADD A SPOON FULL TO A GAL OF WATER AND SPRAY THE
FOLIAGE.
JERRY DIETZ
AUSTIN TEXAS

I must say that I have never heard of using epsom salts as a fertilizer. The effect would be similar to using a salt based fertilzer being that water soluble nutrients would be immediately available to the tomatoe plants, the salts would also kill any beneficial soil microbes and they would not replenish any nutrients taken from the soil by the plant.

A better fertilizer to use would be a liquid fish or a liquid seaweed fertiler. Both of these are organic and not water soluble. Therefore, to release the nutrients that it needs, the plant will secrete small amounts of either acid or base to relinquish the chemical bonds that hold the nutrients to the soil.

Anyway, the point is that with organic fertilizers; you feed the soil and not the plant. This way, beneficial bacteria, fungi and whatever else is living in your soil will ward off any pathogens and also aid in feeding the plants.

Basically, I'm advising you not to use epsom salts or any salt based, synthetic fertilizers.

Kelp meal is a slow release organic fertilizer that tomatoes also love. All you need to do with this one is: add a handful into the hole that you place the plants into and then forget about it. (I also fertilize with liquid fish fertilizer each week but, you don't need to.)

For next year, start a compost pile up and use that as free fertilizer for you plants.

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tn_veggie_gardner
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Ok, I can't help but reply to this one. As politely as possible, I would not want you to follow some advice given on here & be disappointed. Epsom salts would be a good additive if you are only using the MG fertilizer and nothing else, as it will provide necessary Mg for the plant. NPK is not all tomato plants need. They need calcium, Magnesium & a few other nutrients.

Regarding organic fertilizers, any master gardener, horticulturist, etc. will tell you that organic fertilizers will take time to break down in the soil & provide the nutrients they give, depending upon what's used. They are not bad, you just have to keep this in mind when using them. On the other hand, chemical fertilizers start prividing their nutrients almost immediately.

If you are using the standard MG Tomato food, I would reccomend using the Epsom Salts, dissolved into warm water, once every week or so. I would also reccomend some type of Calcium supplement. Please, if you feel like you have received opposing opinions on this, do your research & then pick whatever method you feel best, based upon the facts you find. Hope this helps.

- Steve

jerrydietztx
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tomato growing.. what steve says is true..do your homework

tn_veggie_gardner wrote:Ok, I can't help but reply to this one. As politely as possible, I would not want you to follow some advice given on here & be disappointed. Epsom salts would be a good additive if you are only using the MG fertilizer and nothing else, as it will provide necessary Mg for the plant. NPK is not all tomato plants need. They need calcium, Magnesium & a few other nutrients.

Regarding organic fertilizers, any master gardener, horticulturist, etc. will tell you that organic fertilizers will take time to break down in the soil & provide the nutrients they give, depending upon what's used. They are not bad, you just have to keep this in mind when using them. On the other hand, chemical fertilizers start prividing their nutrients almost immediately.

If you are using the standard MG Tomato food, I would reccomend using the Epsom Salts, dissolved into warm water, once every week or so. I would also reccomend some type of Calcium supplement. Please, if you feel like you have received opposing opinions on this, do your research & then pick whatever method you feel best, based upon the facts you find. Hope this helps.

- Steve

Dazastar
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Epsom salt is an organic fertilizer

Contrary to the mistaken beliefs, Epsom salt is a safe "organic" fertilizer

https://factoidz.com/epsom-salt-goodies-in-gardening/

Cheers

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rainbowgardener
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Depends of course on your definition of organic and safe:

Most organic gardeners do not use epsom salts. They are a salt (chemically- not sodium, not table salt, but they are a salt -- technically , salts are ionic compounds which can result from the neutralization reaction of acids.)

"Epsom Salts' (technically Magnesium Sulfate, or MgSO4) is one of just a few water-soluble Sulfate minerals, and it is a soluble salt -- a salt that dissolves in water. ALL chemical fertilizers are also 'soluble salts'. When Ammonium, Potassium, Chloride or Nitrate dissolve in water, they are soluble salts. A little will fertilize the plants. Too much will damage and sometimes destroy a plant. That can happen quickly --or it can take time and build up slowly. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR USE OF EPSOM SALTS AND THE USE OF A CHEMICAL FERTILIZER LIKE MIRACLE GRO. Because ALL chemical fertilizers ARE SALTS. Salts KILL microbes in your soil. I love my microbes. I love my soil foodweb. I love all the beneficials down in the dirt. One teaspoon of healthy soil holds MILLIONS of friendly microscopic organisms. If salt hurts my microbes, it's got to go." from https://en.allexperts.com/q/Fertilizer-717/EPSOM-SALT-HYDRANGEAS.htm
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applestar
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You know, I think the divergent thinking comes from the fact that people using non-organic methods in depleted soil supported by limited chemical fertilizers probably do see dramatic effects/benefits from using Epsom Salt, whereas organic gardeners who have been feeding their soil and using complete -- and I mean REALLY complete, not marketing hype -- fertility amendments like well-made compost probably don't see much of a difference, or even see decline in their plants due to the massive hit/imbalance created to what was a stable system.

Dazastar
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Many thanks for the correction. That's the last thing you want, a quick fix that destroys the long term benefits of essential organisms etc

Cheers again

TZ -OH6
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Doubling time of microbes can be a short at 30 minutes, so if you kill some of them with too concentrated an application of "salt" they will repopulate quickly after that concentration is diluted. Letting the soil dry out will also kill microbes, as will ultiviolet light shining on the soil. Those of us who use "Salt" fertilizer for composting wood chips know that, just like plants, microbes use those minerals too. Mineral fertilizers are also used for growing mushrooms.


Magnesium sulfate ---> sulfur is used in the linkages holding proteins/enzymes together in the proper shape for functioning...like bolts holding peices of machinery together. Magnesium is a part of many plant enzymes and enzyme cofactors so plants need it to function efficiently. Magnesium is also a part of the chlorphyll molecule. By the time the plant starts to show signs of magnesium deficiency (yellowing) in the chlorophyll complement the enzyme cofactor magnesium levels are already low, but magnesium is stockpiled in the cells vacuoles so one shot of epsomes salts will last the plant for quite a while.

Calcium is needed for strong stems (structural hardening during cell wall formation). Magnesium is not. Small plants don't need a lot of magnesium (and spring soil is high in nutrients so it is in relatively high concentrations early in the season) so adding epsoms salts to a planting hole, where it will leach away before the plant gets big enough to need it, is wasteful. Calcium, on the other hand is problematic early in the season (see the BER sticky thread) so adding that to the planting hole makes a bit more sense even though most of the active root tips will be far away from the hole in a week or two from planting.

Soils are generally not low in magnesium so unless you see problems there is no reason to dose with epsoms salts. If you have chronic problems, and soil tests show acid soil, dolomitic lime will provide a long term magnesium source.


Epsoms salts are unusual (as "fertilizer" salts) in that they can be applied in unusually high concentrations without harming the plants. Some commercial growers drench orchid pots with concentrations as high as 2 tablespoons per gallon of water. The reasonings for this is that it supposedly will help flush fertilizer buildup from the pots.


Textbooks (plant physiology, horticultural etc) generally skim over details, and possibly as a result much of the stuff on the web is 'fanciful' to put it nicely, but if you really want to know what your fertilizer "parts" do inside a plant I recommend this relatively expensive doorstop of a text book.

Marschner's Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants, Second Edition (Special Publications of the Society for General Microbiology)

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applestar
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$103 at amazon! :shock:
I added it to my wishlist. :wink:

TZ -OH6
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Its a paper back too :roll:

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