Okay, so I have a growth issue going on. It’s pretty obvious that there is a nutrient deficiency in my garden.
If you look at the above photo, you’ll see 8 Roma tomato plants green and luscious. Loaded with fruit. No problem here. Old, nutrient rich dirt several seasons old.
Here are a few open pollinated Porter cherry plants holding their own. Old dirt, plus homegrown compost.
Black Krim, Big Rainbow, Arkansas Traveler. Crap. Crap. Crap.
Mortgage Lifter sandwiched by a few cherry type.
The issue? New dirt. When I added the big mo box this winter I brought in new dirt. Not dirt bought in bags from the store, but a truck load of dirt (sand/compost/topsoil mix) from a rock/dirt yard. I’ve found that it’s cheaper to get dirt this way. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn my lesson from last year when I did the same thing, only it was pepper plants that were sucking.
The two small pots in the above photo contain compost I harvested myself from the pile I have behind the greenhouse. 70% grass clippings, 30% garden waste.
So, I’ve taken to amending the soil.
First off was a suggestion by fellow Sprout contributor, Misti. I took to making a liquid fish concoction. I picked up a bottle of the concentrated fish formula at Marshall Grain and made up several batches to apply to the sickly tomato plants.
I’ll give this a few weeks before adding another application.
Note to self: a few cover crops this fall and winter will do lots of good.