My challenge this year has been my tomatoes. I can not get them to produce to save my life. Now its just too hot, I'm hoping for fall tomatoes. But here are a few things I have learned to improve my crop next year.
1 Food! apparently compost for me isn't enough. I have too much nitrogen and not enough of anything else. I am now using Epsom salts bi weekly and side dressing with Garden Tone. I have also treated my whole garden with Sulfur.
2 Pruning! They need this if for no other reason than air circulation. Especially in more humid environments. I had to do a pretty hard prune on mine since I hadn't done any all year. but now I will keep lower limbs pruned and all suckers.
Go for it! I called a complete stranger that I'd heard raised chickens, he also does co,outer maintenance for a business I know of. So now we are friends with him and his wife, I dropped off some veggies, herbs and zucchini bread halfway thru the season as thanks for the manure. He also gives me free eggs whenever I visit because they have chickens to keep down the ticks n their horses and show dogs, not really up for eating the chickens, it's more of a hobby for them. So they don't use a lot of chemicals. .
Also, consider getting a bag of Gypsum which will add some calcium to your soil - very important for tomato growth. Or some powdered lime, made from limestone. Both of these add calcium and can be found at Lowes or garden centers.
Gypsum is also good to help break down clay soil, while adding the nutrients.
Add the gypsum whenever your current garden is finished, let it overwinter. It's not a fast fix, but a good one. After the gypsum, add any of your other amendments, such as chicken poop, compost, leaves, whatever you have, kinda like a lasagne bed, with layers. Then, come spring it will be ready for anything and everything!!!
hmmm I can collect ashes from when hubby smokes in the smoker. Our fp is gas. I will have to start collecting them. thank you for the tip. Gypsum is prob going to be avail at Lowe's. I haven't checked yet but its on my list next time we are there.
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