Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Plant WHAT With Tomatoes???

It has been way too long since I posted and I am sorry for that. In the last month, we had company for 5 days, finished homeschool, planted our gardens, had a BIG garage sale for 5 days, celebrated my daughter's birthday, went on a trip... and more.... and I already suffer from adrenal and thyroid issues as well as sleep deprivation and a foot that keeps going out of joint, so blogging didn't happen at all. :(   I hope to be regular with it again.

Anyway,  I thought I would share about how I plant my tomatoes since it really works so well. I have done this for a few years and it really helps. I had found some of these from different books/sites, but I used some of those and added some others.




We have been saving banana peelings and egg shells in the freezer.... just waiting for time to plant tomatoes... We had so many that my husband said he wanted them OUT of there! :)  We usually put them in the compost pile, but at this time of year, I save them to give the tomatoes extra nutrients.

Both items are so good for tomatoes and help them to grow, providing some needed nutrients.
 Here I am adding epsom salts to powdered milk, and other items... which will end up being part of the mixture I will put into the planting hole for my tomatoes.

Epsom salt has magnesium and sulfur and the magnesium helps to keep the rich green color in the plants....
 More of the items.........

Now, some of you have your own cow manure, but I am a city girl and we have to buy it... so here is a bag of composted cow manure..... it provides the base of my "recipe".  :)








 Using a wheel barrow, we start with the bag of composted cow manure.... then add the other items...............

Here I have added the epsom salts and other stuff I mixed up in the kitchen.

After stirring it all up..... it looked like this.......

This mixture is mixed into the dirt in the hole.... it is an additive and I do not fill the entire hole with this rich mix.... it would cost too much to do so and it doesn't need that much of it.






We are planting the tomatoes quite close together, but that works well for us.... We stake them up so they don't sprawl........ The holes are being dug with a post hole digger.... we try to go down about 18" if possible, but at least 12" deep.... I would love to dig 24" deep, but we can't seem to do it with our beds... roots, hard clay, and rocks prevent it.
In the bottom of each hole, we put at least one banana peel and one eggshell - more is great. As you can see, these are still frozen - sometimes I let them thaw first and sometimes not.... it still works great.








  Now, the mixture gets added over the egg shells and banana peels....  The mixture is pretty powerful stuff and gives the tomato plants a great boost from the very beginning and lasts through the growing season.

I always break off all of the lower leaves from the plant and bury it quite deep.... it will grow more roots on the buried stem which makes the plant stronger and better able to absorb nutrients. I think that keeping the lower leaves from touching the ground helps to reduce pests on the tomatoes and allows for good air flow.... and it looks neater too. Since my space is limited, I have found that doing these things helps to increase my quality and yield... even in a small space.

 I do buy plants - this is one that I just bought and planted today... it was on clearance and was about 18" tall - I buried several inches of it.

One reason I buy plants is that the growing season isn't terribly long and I like to start with plants so we can get tomatoes faster. I am so busy that starting my own plants isn't something I have the time/energy to do, so I do it this way.
These are the tomato plants that I planted a few weeks ago - sorry that I didn't take any pictures when I planted them.... they are doing quite well and have easily doubled/tripled in size since they were planted.






My "Recipe" for planting tomatoes.....
Epsom Salt
Powdered Milk
Sugar
Worm Castings
Composted Manure
Kelp Powder
Bone Meal
Baking Soda
Molasses
Egg Shells (not cooked)
Banana Peels

Mix all ingredients together except the banana peels and egg shells (put those in the bottom of the planting hole). Scoop the mixture on top of the peels and shells and plant tomatoes, adding more of the mixture with the dirt added to the hole. Remove lower leaves of tomato plants.  I have found that this "recipe" is so rich and helpful and if I am out of some items, I just don't put those in and it still does well. I don't want to spend a lot of money doing this... and I found all those bags of ingredients at a garage sale a year or 2 ago or I probably would not use all of them.

I also use this recipe in the planting holes for my pepper plants.... and I have seen a HUGE difference in the peppers that were planted with this recipe and those that were planted later and didn't have the recipe. This year, I have used the extra recipe mixture as a topping on my potted plants that have some worn out soil.

I am so glad to have the garden growing.... and we are looking forward to tomatoes. :)  Even if you are only able to add 1 item or a few items from the list... it should be a help for your plants.


Thank you for visiting my blog today.......... enjoy your gardening. :)

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82 comments:

  1. Who knew? Certainly not me. This is our first year to have a garden (in 38 married years). Our lives involve travel and the planting, watering and harvest isn't feasible. My daughter and almost son-in-law have planted it and are caring for it. They'll love this. They're learning as they go.

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    1. That's great! We have learned as we have gone also - and it works great, but it is so nice to learn from others too and shorten our learning. :) I love that we can do that. I'm glad you have a garden this year - there is just nothing like those fresh, garden-ripened veggies and fruits..... I just picked some thyme and chewed it while I gardened a few minutes ago.... so many nutrients packed in the garden. Hope you enjoy yours this year. :)

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  2. We're going to have to try this next year. I remember my mother using cut-up banana peels and smashed eggshells on her roses (i think) - it was somewhere amongst the veg and flowers in the yard. :O)

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    1. I have also wanted to get an old blender and blend up such to make a special nutrition "drink" and then dilute it in a bucket to give my plants a boost at times. :) Maybe someday...... Thank you for visiting my blog today.... have a great day. :)

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  3. Interesting mix!
    Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop!

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    1. Yes, I know it seems strange.... but it does work. :)

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  4. The tomato plant looks healthy and well cared ! Thanks for the inspiration...

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    1. You're welcome.... thank you for visiting. :)

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  5. These are some wild tips, but your plants look good! Found you on the Homestead Hop. I think you should link up to Mostly Homemade Mondays. You'd fit right in there!

    http://www.thesustainablecouple.com/2014/06/mostly-homemade-mondays-week-84.html

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    1. Thank you.... I don't tend to just always use the "norm" and love finding simple things that work. .... Thank you for the idea of the Monday link up.... :)

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  6. I will have to try this! I love home-grown tomatoes!
    Thanks for linking up at somuchathome.blogspot.com
    God Bless,
    Chris

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    1. There is no substitute for homegrown tomatoes!!! :) We are sure looking forward to when they ripen! Thank you for the link up. :)

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  7. We love home grown tomato s but, I won't be home for 3 weeks = a burnt garden here. I'll have to keep the tips for next time we plant. Pinning to my garden board. Thanks for sharing @DearCreatives and hope your having a great week. Theresa

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    1. Glad you are saving them.... too bad not to have a garden this year... that is sad.... hope you can have one next year..... Thank you for visiting. :)

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  8. Wow, I am going to have to tell hubby about the banana peels and egg shells. We love frugal garden additives! Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!!

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    1. I do too..... they are so much better (and cheaper) than chemicals produced for the purpose..... and much better for us also. Thank you for visiting. :)

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  9. Giving your post a shout out this week.Theresa @DearCreatives grab a button if you like!

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    1. Thank you.... and thanks for stopping by. :)

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  10. Thanks for sharing on Mostly Homemade Mondays! Join us again today: www.thesustainablecouple.com

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  11. Great ideas! Its like freezer composting!

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  12. I did not know about the banana peelings and egg shells! Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. They really are so helpful... glad you stopped by. :)

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  13. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I never have the yield I hope I will when I plant my tomatoes. Hopefully this year will be a bumper crop!

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    1. I hope you do wonderfully well with them... homegrown tomatoes are delicious! :)

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  14. I never would have thought to use a banana peel, but I will now! I wonder if this would help my sad looking blueberry bush.

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    1. I don't know if it would help the blueberry bush... good idea, I will have to check into that. I use pine needles as a mulch for my blueberry bushes... they like the acidity from the needles..... thank you for visiting. :)

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  15. Great tips! This is motivation for me to get my tomatoes in the ground. Thanks! #laceyslegacy

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    1. Thank you.... it is getting close to that time... need to get the soil warmed up more here, though.... the tomatoes don't like to be cold.... we do have the beds almost ready. :)

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  16. Now this was very, very, very interesting! I had no idea, my friend :) Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us at Roses of Inspiration.

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    1. Thank you.... so many things are learned by trial and error... and I love finding things that work well.... and these have for the tomatoes. Thank you for visiting.

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  17. I didn't know this!! My parents often plant tomatoes, will share the tip with them :) Thank you for joining us at the Oh My Heartsie Girl Wordless Wednesday! I look forward to seeing you again next week!

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    1. This works especially well when the soil is a bit depleted, but it sure gives a great boost to the plants. I hope it works for your family also... thank you for visiting and for the great blog party. :)

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  18. I love your ideas to plant banana peels and egg shells with your tomatoes. Found you at So Much at Home link up.
    You might enjoy my link up: “Tell Me a Story.” http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you... it sure is nice to use the "trash" in a good and productive way. :)

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  19. This is great tips... I will be adding this to our tomato prefeed setup. They also like air dried coffee grounds (we tried still semi wet and they still liked it but better results with the dried), we add this on the side they will be planted and till it up with the ground and add it around the plants periodically during growing. Majority of the time we grow by seed and it has made a difference. This year also we have chickens with a deep litter in their run which will be our compost also, but will be using this as an addition to our growing too this year.

    Love your creative ideas.

    #BigTopBlogParty

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    1. Thank you... these tips have really worked well for us. I have wanted to try the coffee grounds, but haven't had any to try.... I really need to do that and I appreciate the tip on using them dried. I hope you have a wonderfully productive gardening year. :)

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  20. I pinned this because when I plant tomatoes in about a month I want to use your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Great! I hope you find that it works well for you also... it has been great for us. I hope you have a wonderful garden this year. :)

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  21. Well, mine are already in the ground for a few weeks now. I will have to pin this for next year.

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    1. Wow.... you must be in a warm climate... it's still too early to put mine in yet... but it is coming soon. :) Thanks for visiting and pinning.

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  22. Hello!! Just wanted to let you know I will be using this in a round up (posting soon) from the Teach Me Tuesday party! Very much appreciate you linking up with us ;)

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    1. Thank you... I will be watching... and thank you for the great link up party. :)

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  23. That is a very informative post, our readers on Fridays Blog Booster Party will love all that information. So good that so much that goes to the garbage can be put to good use to make the vegies grow.
    Thanks,
    Kathleen

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    1. Thank you... I love learning things that work... and do not cost a lot of money. :) So glad to have found your party. :)

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  24. This is great. I've heard egg shells are good for many different types of plants but I've never heard of using banana peels. I can see how after a certain time your husband would grow tired of them being in the freezer :) I also didn't know about the buried stem growing more roots, that's very interesting to me. My wife told me the only thing she wants for Mother's Day is for me to make her some garden boxes. You are giving me great ideas for what we can plant in them. Thank you. And thank you for linking up to #BigTopBlogParty

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    1. Garden boxes are WONDERFUL and a great gift for Mother's Day... :) I love my raised beds... and we are working on them today - I am planning to make one of them into a strawberry bed this year..... Banana peels are also good for rosebushes and probably other plants as well. My husband didn't like the stuff in the freezer -it did pile up quite a bit before we used it, so we keep it toned down now. :) We need to start saving them again so we have them when the tomatoes go into the ground..... He laughs at some of my ideas... but he does appreciate the money we save. :)

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  25. Thanks for sharing at the Homestead Blog Hop! Hope to see you again this week! :)

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    1. Thank you... I really appreciate the blog party. :)

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  26. This is perfect timing. In my neck of the woods, its not quite planting time, but I have been obsessing over natural fertilizers and hoping for a lot of veg growth this year!! Thanks for joining us at Idea Box. I hope you link up with us again this week!

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    1. Good, I'm glad you are getting it in time and I hope it really helps your plants. :) Thank you for the great link up party. :)

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  27. Great post. I was just telling my son we have to save our eggshells for the next few weeks. Guess i'll have to start saving those banana peels as well :) Congrats on being chosen as a featured post on this week’s Wildcrafting Wednesdays! I hope you'll join us again and share more of your awesome posts.
    http://www.herbanmomma.com

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    1. Thank you... I know I have recently told my kids we need to save ALL of the eggshells and banana peels and I wonder WHY I didn't start sooner.... I think we will have to make banana bread this week... a lot of it... to build our supply of peels and egg shells. :) Thank you for the feature and for visiting. I appreciate your blog party.

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  28. I'm starting to feel guilty about my garden. Thanks for linking up and sharing with us at Funtastic Friday. I hope you can make it again this week.

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    1. Me too... I need to get the planting done right away! :) We have been working on the beds, so we are started, but I am feeling behind. :)

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  29. Hello,

    I love reading through your blog, I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wish you best of luck for all your best efforts..

    Please follow my link Sulfer-rich

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    1. Thank you! I appreciate the comment-glad you visted. :)

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  30. Great tips. I planted two tomatoes on Sunday. Wish I had read this.
    I want to buy a few more some I can try your tips!
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It would be be interesting to see the difference between those 2 tomatoes and the new ones you plant with all of the additives.... a Science experiment! I have seen a big difference in mine when I have done that. Thank you for visiting.

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  31. I already planted our tomatoes, but I wish I had read this first. I do save egg shells and put them in water for about 12 hours and then dump the calcium water on my plants.
    Never heard of the bananas.
    Thanks for sharing at Over The Moon Party. Hope you come back next week so I can stop by again. I hope you will stop by Thursday Favorite Things tomorrow.
    Hugs,
    Bev

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    1. Wow, you plant your tomatoes earlier than we can here.... I have also seen an idea where you take bananas, eggshells and coffee grounds and blend them w/ a little water and put them on already planted plants. I have had good results with some similar things. Thank you for visiting.... good to "see" you. :)

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  32. Very interesting! This year I don't plant tomatoes but try for the next one. It should also work with other plants, I think. Thank you for sharing.
    Warm regards from Hungary,
    Szvetlana

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    1. Yes, it should work for other plants too... I have used it very successfully on peppers.... and would have used it on other plants, but I ran out of the ingredients. :) Thank you for visiting.

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  33. Wow...I've never heard of this! So neat! :)

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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    1. It has worked quite well for us. :) Thank you for visiting.

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  34. This is great! I have always added egg shell, to help prevent blossom end rot. However, it never occured to me to add banana peels. I have a son who eats a ton of bananas. I will be trying that soon!

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    1. The bananas store nicely in the freezer until needed... though they do take up a bit of space. :) Thank you for visiting.

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  35. I put a fish head and egg shells in with my tomatoes. Found you at #WednesdayAIMLinkParty

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    1. I have heard of that and it is a great idea... I didn't have access to fish heads, but would use them if I did. :) Thank you for visiting.

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  36. Thanks for the tips. I save my egg shells all winter for use in my spring garden, but haven't heard about putting them in the hole before planting tomatoes. I also make a gardening tea using banana peels. I use it to prevent aphids. I'll use the peels left over from the tea making process for planting my tomatoes. - Margy

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    1. Sounds great.... I love it that we can use our "trash" to fertilize the garden and not "have" to buy expensive garden fertilizers. I love that it is healthier for us also. Thank you for visiting.

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  37. Thanks for the tips on the banana peels and egg shells! I have used banana peels in the past to help with my roses but I didn't know you could use them with tomatoes as well!

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    1. I love learning these types of things... my kids have thought I was crazy to use these for roses or tomatoes, but now I think they are used to this "strangeness"!!! :) Thank you for visiting.

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  38. Thanks for attending the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty, I shared your post.

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    1. Thank you for hosting the party... and for sharing the post. :)

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  39. I love growing heirloom tomatoes from seed, but have never tried adding egg shells or banana peels. Thank you for sharing these gardening tips at Tuesdays with a Twist! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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    1. They are nice to add as they help the tomatoes... and it is better than tossing them in the trash. :) I love saving money on little things like this. :)

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  40. Congrats! Your post received the Most Clicks at the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty. See here: http://grammysgrid.com/wednesday-aim-link-party-13/

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    1. Wow! Thank you! I look forward to joining the party again tomorrow. :)

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  41. Wow your tomato plants are going to be huge, you got them off to a great start!

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    1. They really seem to do well on this mixture... they even lasted well into the summer heat. Thank you for visiting.

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  42. Great garden tips! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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