fertilizer « Tag

Posted on 04 July 2012 by tomatocasual.com

Tomato Gardening Made Easy through Winchester Gardens Tomato Spikes

Photo Credit: Gerry Joeng, Winchester Gardens

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

It seems that every year I get busier and the demand on my garden space gets larger.

When it was just my husband and I, a small plot of land and a few container gardens was all that was required.

Both of these “gardens” produced enough fresh food to get us through the season along with some to can.

Then, when my twins came along the demand on the garden space was increased. Not only did I need fresh vegetables for the adults but I also needed fresh and organic produce for my kids’ baby food. While I utilized some different techniques to address these new demands, I always seemed to come up short and always forgot to fertilize.

Since my gardens were organic, I tried to create my own fertilizer. This included compost and manure tea. I also mixed worm castings into the soil but wished I could find something that was organic, slow-release, inexpensive, and easy.

Today, even though I am an empty nester, my schedule is more Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 02 April 2011 by tomatocasual.com

The Weirdest Things to Use in the Tomato Garden

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Sometimes the oddest things are the best things when it comes to the garden.

To prove my point, think of the reaction of the pilgrims when the Indians showed them how to plant corn with a fish.

Or in recent times, using gray water in the garden.

Sometimes it makes one go hmmm…

So here are some not so unusual items that are add to the garden soil and some quite unique items that may make one go hmmm…

  • Banana Peels - These lovely kitchen scraps contain a bounty of potassium. This potassium is easily transferred into the soil and up the plant when the peel is placed in the hole before planting.
  • Epsom Salt – This old drugstore standby is great for the garden especially where tomatoes are going to be placed. Simply put ½ cup into each hole before planting the tomato. Also, dissolving Epsom salt into water that is going to used on tomatoes is another approach.
  • Eggshells - These provide calcium to the soil. Dry out the shells in an oven or in the sun, crush, and add to the hole prior to planting. Another approach is to place the dried, crushed eggshells to the water and let set for at least 24 hours. Then use this water when hydrating the garden. Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted on 15 July 2010 by tomatocasual.com

The Tomato Chronicles: DIY Fertilizer

comfreyBy Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

DIY tomato fertilizer is easy to make, inexpensive and not very time consuming.

Some of the fertilizer recipes below require ingredients that are in your kitchen cabinet or out in the barn while others can be found at the drug store or grown in your backyard.

But regardless of which one you decide to try you will be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Comfrey Fertilizer

Every garden needs comfrey. This very valuable plant is a very vigorous grower with deep roots that pull up nutrients from the subsoil. These nutrients are then stored in the leaves of comfrey. These leaves can be used as a nutritious mulch, compost activator or fertilizer for your tomatoes and other fruiting plants.

How to Make Comfrey Fertilizer

Harvesting comfrey is the first step in making this organic fertilizer. Comfrey is a very vigorous grower so this step Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 24 May 2008 by tomatocasual.com

TC Reader Question: Should I not use potting mixes with fertilizer when starting tomato seeds?

By Michelle Fabio

One of our readers recently received seeds from Totally Tomatoes and with them came a note: “We don’t recommend using potting mixes with fertilizer for starting seeds.”

The reader is wondering why Totally Tomatoes make this recommendation.

The truth is that seedlings really don’t need fertilizer until they develop their first set of leaves, and indeed, starting with high amounts of fertilizer can actually cause more harm than good to your tomato plants.

Inorganic fertilizers, in particular, have been known to “burn” seedlings as their nutrients can be released too quickly, inhibiting germination.

Also, if you have leggy tomato plants, Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 14 May 2008 by tomatocasual.com

Feeding Your Food

By Michael Nolan

In a minute I’m going to rant about fertilizing your tomato plants, but first I need to cover something that is a little more important.

This topic was supposed to be saved for another couple of weeks, but when I read the news today, I felt that I should go ahead and write it now.

A popular brand of fertilizer products has been recalled and you need to know about it as soon as possible.

The products are all made by the Scotts company, and the specific items that are recalled are: Read the rest of this entry »

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