Home > Tomato Care, Tomato Nutrition, Tomato Science > Where Does Your Tomato Live?

Where Does Your Tomato Live?

Every year I get a ton of questions about the best soil for Tomatoes. So we’re in April now and it’s just about the right time to think about planting. Where do we want to plant our Tomatoes?…..Well, the best place is in Great Soil!

How’s My Soil?
The best way to test your soil is through the local Federal or State Cooperative extension service. For a nominal fee they’ll give you everything you ever wanted to know about the soil content in your particular garden. Google your particular area for “Extension Services City, State” and you’ll get headed down the right track for testing your soil. Some states test for free and others charge a nominal fee between $10.00 and $25.00. You can also purchase a soil testing meter on line. The meter will give you a pretty accurate analysis of the PH in the soil but really not too much more. I recommend test your soil every 3 to 4 years and make adjustments as suggested by a cooperative service. NOTE: If your sample comes back with a suggestion of large amounts of Lime to be added to the soil I would follow the suggested application and leave that plot of soil untouched for the current year….I know…NOT good news! I recommend this because Lime is generally recommended only for HIGHLY acidic soil….or “Sour Soil” as the old timers used to call it. Apply the recommended amount and give the soil a year to adjust and next year you’ll have an ideal spot to place those Tomato plants!!

How Can I Improve My Soil?
There are TONS of folks that will tell you TONS of methods for improving your soil, but there is ONE machine that will do more than all the advice good folks will give you, and it’s actually right next to FREE!!! I’m talking about the common Earthworm…..Nightcrawler….fish bait if you will. The Earthworm is a constant worker. They perform some mighty important functions as far as any garden goes. One of the things I love about the Earthworm is their duties of aerating the soil. Oxygen is one of the MOST important aids in good crop yield, but nobody pays too much attention to it. Golf Courses have known the benefits of aerating the soil for centuries….literally! Keeping a flow of oxygen to the roots of ANY vegetable is a grand benefit….and our buddies the Earthworms do it for free and do a damned fine job of it. While doing their aeration duties they perform another invaluable service, they condition the soil. The Earthworm likes a soil composition that is just about perfect for any plant, and they’ll do their damnest to create the environment they like and plants love. The Earthworm “churns” the soil bring soil upwards from as far down as 6 1/2″. This churning creates a perfect blend of all the components critical to the perfect soil composition for the garden. On top of all of this work to make our gardens better they fertilize the soil while going about their duties. “Worm Castings”, or worm do-do, provide nitrates, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and calcium. manganese, copper, zinc, cobalt, borax, iron, carbon and nitrogen….ALL in a reliably absorbed form. You might be wondering how you can add Earthworms to your garden soil…..that’s easy, buy them! There are bait shops all over the landscape….stop in and pick up a dozen or two AND they’re cheaper than running to Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Menards and laying down bundles of cash for store-bought fertilizer.

What About Regular Fertilizer?
I’ve spoken about fertilizers before, generally aiming at the proper blends of the big three….Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. As a result, I’ll be looking to give you folks some directions with some of the lesser known soil additives. I’ll go over “Fish Meal”, “Bone Meal”, and “Blood Meal” as soil additives. Until then do a little snooping around on your own…..You’ll be amazed at the information out there on improving your soil and thus your garden!

 

Posted Saturday, April 1st, 2017 by by admin, under Tomato Care, Tomato Nutrition, Tomato Science.

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