Calcium is king! Some light foliar sprays of very diluted Calcium Nitrate very early will develop super strong stems.DrkAngel wrote: ↑May 13, 2018 10:19 pmImportant to go low Nitrogen fertilizer for good tomato blooms!
High Nitrogen promotes green growth but stifles blooming.
Determinate tomatoes stall growth and tend to ripen all at once, restrict Nitrogen at, or before, 1st bloom.
Tomato cage might be adequate.
Indeterminate tomatoes grow continuously for prolonged production - restrict Nitrogen at, or before, 1st bloom, benefit from judicious pruning.
Can grow very large or tall, poles or wrapped twine to overhead frame for proper support.
When I was brewing compost teas for my garden I had great results. From tomato plants to lemon trees they all loved it.
As long as there's sufficient activity and soil biology both will provide the nutrients you are looking for. Compost rules!e-beach wrote: ↑May 21, 2018 2:18 pm
Calcium huh? I add crushed egg shells when planting my tomato seedlings, and we have plenty of nitrogen in our compost, I have added banana peels for potassium, (plus the worms love to munch on them) now I think that I need to add ground pumpkin seed for phosphate....
Any thoughts on that combination?
Keep it simple. The idea is to grow out more bacteria and fungi. Adding protozoa is also helpful. A few days of straw smoking in water will grow them out. Use NO nutrients in tea except a small amount of fish fertilizer to feed the herd. A very small amount of molasses and liquid or powdered seaweed are also good.DrkAngel wrote: ↑May 23, 2018 4:13 am"Compost Tea" sounds interesting.
Have lots of seasoned horse manure and fairly decayed vegetable mater.
Interested in trying a small 12V air pump with my old 2 sq ft solar panel! ... ?
Will also try blending egg shells ... in blender, with water and Epsom salts. Stirring frequently while applying.
Any advice on re-washing used coffee grounds before applying, to further reduce acidity?
Will original brewing be sufficient?
I buy 1 kilo bags of Ascorbic Acid on eBay. A great way to treat water. Vita C Chor web site has a calculator for treating chlorinated water. I ALWAY dechlor CompostTea water.DrkAngel wrote: ↑May 24, 2018 1:45 amAt the food pantry, we try to use rainwater collected from the main building for all watering needs. Ofttimes. storage comes up short and we have to rely on city water, (with that chlorine stink). Emergency solution is adding Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) then filling barrel with city water. Normally I add 1000mg per 20 gallon of chlorinated water.
55ga barrels are located at 3, of 4, water downspouts. Future plans call for a 250 gallon collection tank and possibly a sump pump to hose water and, eventually, feed a redesigned watering system. Previous spray and drip systems deteriorated and used city water.
When forced to bathe in city water, I crush up and throw 1000mg into bath a few minutes before hopping in. Showering is dangerous for me. sometimes the chlorine stink is strong and feels like it is burning my skin ... I have to rinse off with a sprinkler can of vitamin C water.
Muriatic does not work the same. and the tiny amounts of ascorbic used don't have any effect of Ph. Ascorbic is used to dechlor. Sometime letting water stand isn't very efficient to dechlor and Ascorbic is very inexpensive. When large volumes are need and I don't wan to manage a holding tank, ascorbic makes quick work of blowing off chlorine.
Chlorine is very detrimental to making compost tea. It's also damaging to the critters in compost. Irrigation sprayers that create smaller droplets do almost eliminate all chlorine in the air before hitting the soil. Again a simple microscope look at soil before wetted with chlorinated water will prove this outdogman dan wrote: ↑May 25, 2018 5:55 amFrees up the nitrogen mostly, other nutrients don't bind to the clay like the nitrogen does. The chlorine is not going to harm plants in any way, but if the water is hard, the calcium in it will latch on to your nitrogen almost as much as clay does. That might be the real benefit you are seeing from the treatment you are doing. For sure, any plant has one limiting factor, the quality of its water. Its important.
Typically Calcium nitrate is a better stem builder. Just a teaspoon of two in a 1L sprayer, and a light mist every few days. No need for 10 10 10. 10 10 10 is perhaps one of the most misused fertilizers. Foliar nitrogenous much more effective. Best to have a simple soil test every few years and target the soil nutrition scientifically.dogman dan wrote: ↑May 25, 2018 5:55 amGive those tomatoes higher nitrogen fertilizer in the first 4 weeks, while they need to grow leaves and roots. Then switch to bloom food once you see the first flower. I look for 10-10-10 that is cheap in big bags, rather than go with high cost miracle grow tomato formula.
I taught horticulture students, lectured and traveled doing lectures on compost tea. Tea can be used in any garden. I NEVER till in compost. Rather use it like a natural forest. Treat the soil with tea, layer good thermophilic compost, sometimes followed by some oat straw for cover and the microscopic critter, bacteria, fungi, worms , Soil Microarthropods, and other insects will develop a healthy aerated incredibly diverse soil. Runoff from a compost pile is NOT compost tea. It can be and often is putrified water, unless it's a thermophilic pile that has gone through several heat cycles. Again can be seen with a microscope, and anaerobic(less desirable) bacteria dominate.dogman dan wrote: ↑May 25, 2018 5:55 amCompost tea is the way to go if you are doing it fully organic. Even if you are using chemical fertilizer, make tea with it. Don't sprinkle and burn the roots, make real weak solutions that fertilize very often. When you compost, absolutely catch that tea, or at least compost where the tea runoff does you some good. The resulting compost is great stuff, but letting that tea with all the nutrients run away is wasting 90% of what compost is good for.
Ideally, do your composting by tilling all that collected material into the soil in the fall, assuming its not loaded with weed seeds.
FWIW, I have a horticulture degree, right now my tomatoes are 7 feet tall. So this is a subject I do know my shit.
Impressive project! I'd like to see more and more neighborhood gardens. Something we've lost in the last 50 years. Every kid should be able to sneasout of the house and swipe a few tomatoes under the dark night. A right of passage! Like a stomach ache on swiped green apples. None will ever taste as good. Oh to be 12 for a night...DrkAngel wrote: ↑May 25, 2018 11:09 amBuilt 1 more 8' x 4' cement block beds.
Pantry got a pallet of growing onions, greens and fresh roots. Hate to waste, so I Filled the holes in new bed and bordered a couple more beds. Some were large, must make sure I harvest while they still fit out the block holes.
Trying hot caps on many of the heat preferred plants. Watermelons show remarkable improvement!
Using gallon milk-water jugs.
I cut around bottom line, 3 sides plus curved corners, then fold bottom around.
I seat cut portion firmly into soil and brick on folded bottom secures in place.
Traps-amplifies heat and moisture and excludes snails-slugs, just make sure none present before placing.
YES on heat! I like horse and cow manure that has been fed to red wigglers (worms Eisenia fetida) The vermicompost is some of the most diverse we ever tested.e-beach wrote: ↑May 25, 2018 10:10 amWatering away the beneficials by over watering the compost around here is sometimes a problem. When we are filling a bin or shredding horse manure somebody is put on hose duty to moisten the pile while others shovel in the hundreds of pounds of plant waist or manure (depending on what we are doing). However because the hose duty is light duty, sometimes they don't want to stop it and pick up a shovel. Nothing like trying to get a lazy hard-head off the hose while all the good stuff is washing away down the walkway.
Just make sure the compost pile gets hot enough.
That's what one of my friends up at my garden was doing with great results. We get hundred of pounds of horse manure each Tuesday from the city. Some of it gets shredded and composted. Some of it goes into a big bin where it sits for a while. I finally bought a $10.00 batch of Eisenia fetida worms a few weeks ago. I am (hopefully) making them happy enough so they will do their little wormy wiggle and make more worms. They are living in a plastic Tupperware container under my bathroom sink at the moment. Sometime in the late summer or fall they will get a new house in my garden full of composted horse manure to munch to their content.
When I used to travel and lecture, I always quipped, whether you are are creationist or or believe in evolution, the lowliest of critters, worms, define th3 biological success of a garden. Rock on, you are a good gardener.e-beach wrote: ↑May 25, 2018 5:45 pmThat's what one of my friends up at my garden was doing with great results. We get hundred of pounds of horse manure each Tuesday from the city. Some of it gets shredded and composted. Some of it goes into a big bin where it sits for a while. I finally bought a $10.00 batch of Eisenia fetida worms a few weeks ago. I am (hopefully) making them happy enough so they will do their little wormy wiggle and make more worms. They are living in a plastic Tupperware container under my bathroom sink at the moment. Sometime in the late summer or fall they will get a new house in my garden full of composted horse manure to munch to their content.
Very nice!DrkAngel wrote: ↑May 25, 2018 8:12 pm5 Cement Block Beds
Likely all for this year
Onions planted 3 days ago!
Newest 8' bed with big onion sets!
8 foot bed.jpg
Ornamentals on the corners (Pansies)
Ornamentals on the corners (Marigolds)
2 Watermelon hills transplanted at same time:
#2 Covered with gallon jug "hotcap"
The additional heat and humidity seem to provide a definite advantage!
Sound like good news!