AnnaIkona
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What Compost For Tomatoes?

What food do tomatoes like? I need to know so that I can compost it and add to my tomatoes' soil.

If you know, please do share! :)
Zone 8b, Canada

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rainbowgardener
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Re: What Compost For Tomatoes?

People swear by different elements - put eggshells around your tomatoes for calcium, give them epsom salt for magnesium, etc. Personally I think gardening is all about biology, not chemistry. Plants need different food in different ratios at different times in their life cycles; they need more or less of this or that, depending on heat, moisture, stress levels. And just because we put something in the soil, doesn't mean that it is in a form that plants can take up. Much of what plants actually take in and use is mediated by various fungi and microbes in the soil, which convert what is in the soil into forms and locations that are useful to the plant.

Nature is way smarter than we are. It would be like trying to feed your child by tracking and making sure she got the right quantities of each vitamin, mineral, micro nutrient, etc, each day. We don't do that, we just try to give them a complete, balanced, healthy diet. So too with plants. I just try to make sure the soil is well enriched, with lots of different organic materials. If everything needed is in the soil, the plant can just take what it needs.

So make sure your compost is diverse, no more than 10% any one ingredient, with lots of different kinds of greens and browns. It will then be a complete food for your soil AND it will have lots of soil microbes of fungi to help process everything. Then let plants take what they need.
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AnnaIkona
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Re: What Compost For Tomatoes?

I live where it barely gets over -7 °C in the winter, and gets up to 35°C in the summer. Do you think my scraps in the garden will rot during the winter?
Zone 8b, Canada

AnnaIkona
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Re: What Compost For Tomatoes?

Oh my! Sorry! The message above was for another post! Sorry! :)
Zone 8b, Canada

HoneyBerry
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Re: What Compost For Tomatoes?

I make compost from whatever appropriate ingredients are available to throw on the compost pile. I make and use compost in a general sense. My compost is not specifically formulated for each plant. Tomatoes like the soil to be slightly acidic so I stir coffee grounds into the compost & bark mulch at the base of the tomoto plants. I do this for other acid loving plants as well, such as my blueberries. I love coffee, so I always have coffee grounds to throw on the garden. They are dark in color and blend right in. Sometime I put the used coffee grounds on the compost pile.
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imafan26
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Re: What Compost For Tomatoes?

Compost should be made from a variety of sources, but good organic matter will do. Compost is not fertilizer. Compost will improve the soil tilth and water holding capacity. You still need to fertilize the tomatoes. In the ground, a soil test every few years is a good thing to do.

The compost that is available to me test at a pH of 7.8, so I don't add more than 3-4 inches a year. I only have one acidic plot the others are alkaline pH 7.4 and pH 7.8. I added peat moss to the one that had a pH of 7.4 instead of compost. It was actually cheaper than the cost for compost and peat moss is acidic. The other garden, has drainage issues that keep the soil community more fungal based. I still only have access there to a compost of around pH 7.8, so I contantly need to add sulfur, and the only thing needed is nitrogen and sulfur since the other nutrients are high or very high. I use sulfate of ammonia and sulfur there.

I grow tomatoes best in the plots with the pH 6.4. Tomatoes are doing better in the plot that I added peat moss in. They have not grow n well in the plot with pH of 7.8. They produce but the vines are very small by comparison.
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jal_ut
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Re: What Compost For Tomatoes?

Compost............ well my take on compost is that you should toss garden scraps and grass clippings and other organic matter in a pile. You may want to turn it now and then? Any way, at end of season when the crops are finished, haul the pile to the garden and spread it out and till it in and let winter work on it. Yes, this added organic matter will improve your soil.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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