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GardenRN
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growing tomatoes in garbage

Has anyone seen this method? I was watching a video on youtube where they basically dug a 2x2x2 hole, filled it with kitchen scraps, back filled the top few inches with soil and then planted a tomato plant in it. The plant really seemed to take off and do very well.

I just didn't know if anyone else had ever tried this. I think I was give it a shot with just one or two plants this year to see if it does better then the rest.

I just thought it was interesting. And a little easier than actually composting it all.
Jeff

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Gary350
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I sometimes have tomatoes, beans, squash, potatoes, etc seeds sprout and grow in my compost. I have let them grow just to see how they do and they never do very well. It grows skinny little plants that look like they are on a diet. Mix some soil with water and water the skinny little plants with dirt tea and the plants become big fat plants with large fruit.

I am guessing if you fill a hole with kitchen scraps then cover it over with a few inches of soil every time it rains water runs through the soil producing dirt tea that runs into the scraps and feeds the plant. It seems to me it should work fine.

DoubleDogFarm
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This sounds like something Frank the bobberman likes to do.


Eric

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GardenRN
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well of course the video didn't say how long the scraps sat in the hole before the plant was placed there. For all I really know it could have been 6 months. But it leads you to believe that it was basically planted semi-immediately. I guess we'll see how it works this summer. I got 6 walmart bags of fruit and veggie scraps coming from a friend that will fill my hole. (sorry if that sounded bad.)

I'm anxious to see how it does.
Jeff

USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32.

Failure is only a fact when you give up.

tedly
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Last year, some tomatoes sprouted in my compost pile fairly early in the season. I was curious to see what would happen, so I left them alone and stopped turning the pile. They turned out to be cherry tomatoes and the plants were kinda scrawny and didn't produce much, but they had the most incredible flavor!

garden5
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Really, why not just put compost in the plating hole? Mix in some dirt and you will be good.

The one advantage to this I would think would be that since decomposition would still be going on while the plant was growing, there would be many more microbes in the root-zone.

Like others said, dirt/soil should be mixed in.

I had a tom plant grow in my compost heap last year and it did great! Really healthy. Why mine and not others....my compost is mostly dirt :wink:.

It looks like dirt really is a key ingredient.
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Gary350
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I have read you are suppose to add dirt to your compost and I do if I remember but most of the time there is no dirt in my compost. Composting action requires nitrogen if you grow plants in unfinished compost they will have a nitrogen shortage. I have experemented and mulched my plants with leaves, grass clippings, saw dust, wood chip to keep out grass and weeds and the plants turn yellow from nitrogen shortage so I don't do that anymore. I think uncomposted organic material in a hole with a plant will cause a nitrogen shortage for the plant. You will need to give the plants some nitrogen about once a week.

wordwiz
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As long as one adds "greens" such as green leaves, flowers, grass clippings to the compost pile (I think the ratio is 2:8) there will be plenty of nitrogen available. I have a small compost bin upstairs. A bucket at the bottom, another bucket with holes in the bottom inside it. I add kitchen scraps and dried leaves along with leaves I trim from tomato plants and other greens, then cover it with a thin layer of dirt. I water this then place a third bucket with dirt or rocks (anything for weight) in the middle bucket.

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soil
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ive done this before, you don't want to add only veggie scraps and such. a mix of leaves and veggies, some small sticks and such works best. you can plant right away when you add a small amount of topsoil on top. the plants that grow in these are extremely drought tolerant.
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Dani2
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Back in the '60s a woman named Ruth Stout wrote a book called "How To Have A Green Thumb Without An Aching Back" where she described her method of sheet composting right in the garden. Basically, she spread her compost over the garden and when she wanted to plant something, she pulled back the top layer of compost and put the plant or seeds on the soft ground underneath and put the compost layer back in place. No weeding, no tilling, no watering - just stand back and watch it grow. The book is well worth reading if your local library has a copy.

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GardenRN
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I feel like I am seeing and agreeing with both angles on this. I understand the reasons it shouldn't work, and the reasons that make it seem like it should. I also know that sometimes old timer knowledge of what works can seem to defy science. I think the only way to go will be to try 2 or 3 plants this year with this method. I'll put them in different areas of the garden just so I know that if it works it's not just because the plant ended up in a bed with better soil than the others.
I will add the veggie/fruit scraps in layers with some soil and grass clippings. Maybe I'll see something worth while.
Jeff

USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32.

Failure is only a fact when you give up.

Alicemae
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I personally have not given compost a fair chance but this year may be different as a 'pile' was started last year. Living on a hobby farm out in the middle of thousands of acres of crop fields, there seems to be enough over-spray of the farmer's fertilizers to really help the health and size of my 30' x 150' veggie garden. What a shame that it doesn't help my weed population!!
I appreciate all the information I've gathered here ~ thank you!
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DoubleDogFarm
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there seems to be enough over-spray of the farmer's fertilizers to really help the health and size of my 30' x 150' veggie garden.
I'm sorry, I have to disagree about the health part.
What a shame that it doesn't help my weed population
Their over spray may help here also. :shock:

Eric

Alicemae
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:
there seems to be enough over-spray of the farmer's fertilizers to really help the health and size of my 30' x 150' veggie garden.
I'm sorry, I have to disagree about the health part.
What a shame that it doesn't help my weed population
Their over spray may help here also. :shock:

Eric
Now that you mention the "health" part ~ I guess I do agree. But, unless I put up a million dollar stockade fence or give up my garden, I'm kinda screwed on that deal!



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