zstokes85
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Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 7:25 pm
Location: Spartanburg, S.C.

Between rows=compost material?

I have a fairly small garden, between my rows and around them I left the grass intact. On my tomato plants, I have 3 ft rows with a plant on each end. They are all doing fairly well, just curious if putting my compost material in between the plants(not too close) would help anything. Seems to me that it could only help. Of course, I'm not very experienced so I brought this idea to yall to hear from people who have more expertise. Thanks!

elevenplants
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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:23 pm
Location: alabama

That is called top-dressing, and is a great way to fertilize after they've gotten bigger. Just put it around, not too close to the roots, and water it in. Be sure it's well finished.

Rebecca

zstokes85
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Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 7:25 pm
Location: Spartanburg, S.C.

Well finished?

cynthia_h
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

"Well finished" compost means you can no longer identify the specific "ingredient" that went into the compost. Carrot slivers, tree leaves, branches: they all look like, well, compost and not what they started as.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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Gary350
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

If your compost material is still composting it will use up all the nitrogen in the soil and your plants will suffer. I tried that one year with 1 year old compost and all of my plants turned yellow from lack of nitrogen. I watered my plants with ammonium nitrate water and they were fine in about 2 weeks, nice and green again.

James282
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Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

ack, i added some unfinished compost at the bottom of one of my raised beds..should I be worried? I used a ton of very fine organic gardening soil on top...but I am worried that this compost will suck the nitrogen from my plants! Is there any way I can pre-empt this potential problem organically? All my plants seem to be doing well so far...growing nicely and very green. They have been in the ground for a few weeks.

Thanks!

James

cynthia_h
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It sounds like you haven't damaged them if they're growing nicely and are well greened-up. :)

Sometimes there are sad reports of new gardeners putting LOTS of fresh, UNcomposted mature and perhaps wood chips into the ground and then planting seeds in that mix.

But it definitely does NOT sound like your situation. Perhaps by the time the roots "find" the previously unfinished compost, the situation will have righted itself.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

James282
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Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Thanks, Cynthia. I have gained so much from reading your various posts throughout the forum. My garden is much better off for having known you :) Just wanted to say a big 'thank you' as I think a lot of the regular posters on this forum don't get nearly the praise they deserve!

James

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