MikeP09
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Location: Somerville, NJ

Help with Fertilizer Please!!!

I am a first year gardener and have a good garden as of yet!! I started with some worm castings from my vermicompost bin. Each plant (7 or 8 varieties of tomatoes, 4 pepper varieties, onions, broccoli, brussel sprouts, 3 hot peppers, basil, parsley, strawberries and a couple more I can't think of right now) I dug a small hole, put a handful of compost, placed the plant, and spread more compost around the perimiter as I filled. I've been watering the heck out of them day and night unless cloudy or rainy, and they are doing great after only a week and a half!! I've been pinching the little armpit leaves that started growing to concentrate more on fruits. I will post pics soon,, I've been super busy.

My question is what else do I use for fertilizer being I used up all my castings? What do I use and how often?

I gotta say, for a newbie these bad boys are growing well and looking vibrant!! I don't wanna see them diminish or even die due to my novice experience! :(

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rainbowgardener
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Sounds like you have done great! You can probably back off the watering some now, having gotten them well started. Better to water deeply but less frequently, to encourage deeper root systems.

No reason any of your well established plants should die.

IF you have good organic soil you don't need to do a whole lot more. I plant tomatoes (and other things) with compost in the planting hole. Once the soil is warmed up, I cover it with a good layer of organic mulch. Sometime in mid season I pull what's left of the mulch out of the way and lay down a top dressing of more compost. Then add more mulch.

That's all I do and it works for me and I get plenty of tomatoes (assuming no disasters like the raccoons getting through the deer netting and eating them all). I'm sure other people will write in about all the different amendments/ fertilizers they use, but it's really not necessary (but note the big IF up there).
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MikeP09
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:09 pm
Location: Somerville, NJ

Oh,, good to know about watering deeper but less frequent!! I have been watering early morning (about 5:30am) and when I get home from work (about 5:30pm). Soil seems dry by the time I get home so I soak it again. I have direct sunlight for 7-8 hours each day starting at 9:00am. Soil is nice and dark,, not sure about organic. I got about 5 yards from the local garden center and it looks real good. I will get some good mulch later in the day to keep the top of the soil less dry.

Right now I'm in the middle of making my cages,, got 6 done already, got about 18 more to go. I am a mason so I get plenty of free concrete reenforcing wire from job sites. I'll put up my chicken wire after that as I have rabbits all around the neighborhood!

Please!! Keep the posts coming,, love the input!!

I'll post pics in stages later!

garden5
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I agree with RG, your efforts will hold strong if you have a lot of organic material in your soil. Now, if your soil is mostly dirt, you have a few options as far as organic fertilizers go.

You can use, alfalfa meal, blood meal, cottonseed meal, or fish emulsion for nitrogen.

Bone meal, I THINK, is good for phosphorous.

How much of each you should use depends on the time of year and the type of plant.

Since you have the vermicompost, I would suggest you make some [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17097&start=0]ACT[/url] with it. :wink:

Congratulations on a great start with your garden.
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MikeP09
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:09 pm
Location: Somerville, NJ

Man I give up!! I am trying to post pics and I can't get my pics small enough to fit. I have my camera set to the smallest pics,, I reduce the size in the edit pictures and I still can't get it to under 9 kb. The smallest I get is 150kb. Sorry,, tried!!

I do have a compost tea as I put the 18 gallon vermicomposter inside another 18 gallon tub. all water drops thru and I save it. I had about a gallon or a little less of pure tea and added about 15 gallons of water and it is still BLACK!! When and how often should I use it?

cynthia_h
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Mike, your difficulties with the photos are most likely due to the fact that THG doesn't host photos. Please read the webmaster's tips on photos at

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3724

for help; I'm sure we can all sympathize with you!

In the meantime, let me just say that compost and vermicompost do the trick for me all season, with an occasional addition of dilute liquid kelp for a plant that looks "peaked." The compost and vermicompost are both slow-release, so their nutrients are still doing your plants a lot of good. :D

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

MikeP09
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Location: Somerville, NJ

[img]https://i964.photobucket.com/albums/ae128/M_Pandorf/IMG_0226.jpg[/img][img]https://i964.photobucket.com/albums/ae128/M_Pandorf/IMG_0227.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i964.photobucket.com/albums/ae128/M_Pandorf/IMG_0220.jpg[/img][img]https://i964.photobucket.com/albums/ae128/M_Pandorf/IMG_0224.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i964.photobucket.com/albums/ae128/M_Pandorf/IMG_0223.jpg[/img][img]https://i964.photobucket.com/albums/ae128/M_Pandorf/IMG_0222.jpg[/img]

Ok,, thanx for the help Cynthia!! Now I can get some photos up. Here are a few. Keep in mind my plants have taken a slight beaten due to the 50 mph gusts we've been having in new jersey.

MikeP09
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Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:09 pm
Location: Somerville, NJ

[img]https://i964.photobucket.com/albums/ae128/M_Pandorf/IMG_0218.jpg[/img][img]https://i964.photobucket.com/albums/ae128/M_Pandorf/IMG_0217.jpg[/img]

Heres a couple more.

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rainbowgardener
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Looking good! Just a little suggestion.... next year start the broccoli a lot sooner. Once the weather gets hot, it tends to go to flower right away instead of making bigger heads. I started my broccoli seeds indoors, mid January and planted it outside mid-March. It went through some frosts and snow after that, but it is very hardy and did fine...
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MikeP09
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:09 pm
Location: Somerville, NJ

will do!! Didn't know what to expect really,, I just wanted to buy a bunch of varieties and start somewhere. I will live and learn!!

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