How to Make Organic Compost that Tomatoes Will Love, in Twelve Weeks-Shredding and Getting Soil-Part 2

Hey again tomato guru’s! Hope the garden is going well. As you already know (well, you probably don’t seeing that I’m the only loyal follower of this blog so far!), yesterday I started off writing a series called How to Make Organic Compost that Tomatoes Will Love, in Twelve Weeks, you should read it first if you haven’t as yet. This is part two and in this article I will delve deeper in this topic and lets see how far I can go.

Again, I have not yet completed this series and am writing as it comes to me, so forgive me if the structure is not perfect. I would rather write this article and concentrate on providing solid info as compared to worrying about the technical details. Hope that you feel the same way!

Don’t forget to read part 1 on How to Make Organic Compost that Tomatoes Will Love, in Twelve Weeks-Collecting Organic Materials first.

Just to quickly re-cap yesterday, I spoke about what you should use in your tomato gardening compost heap, and what you should not use.

Very briefly:
USE: Leaves, hedge stems, woody twigs and dry branches, tree bark; Grass cuttings and weeds; Old cardboard boxes and newspaper; And the best off all Cut Tomato Plants.

DON’T USE: Any cooked food and dairy products, and human faeces.

Okay then tomato gardeners, shall we get our hands messy? Yes? Great! You should put some gloves on first. You do know why right? To keep germs off your hands off course!Get ready to make organic compost that tomatoes love! I’m done babbling sorry, time to get to work! Lets make some great organic compost that tomato plants will absolutely love. They may even reward you with some great tomatoes! Oh, no I’m babbling again aren’t I…

1) Shredding all of the organic matter into smaller pieces:
Since the aim of this project is to make compost really quickly, we need the matter to decompose as soon as possible. Shredding up all of the branches and twigs will greatly reduce the time that it takes to breakdown and release stored nutrients.

There are two ways of getting the shredding done, and NO, I don’t mean getting someone to do it for you! You could either use a metal shredder that you can purchase from most gardening stores. I’m not really sure about the price of them coz’ I don’t use them. They are however, apparently much more quicker to use and therefore may be great choice for you if you have the money to spend. Also, they cut up the branches into much smaller pieces and this will help it to decompose faster.

The cheaper method is to manually chop up the branches into finer pieces. You can do this by using the side of a spade like a jackhammer. The edges of a spade are usually quite sharp and with some force it will easily rip through a small tree branch. I recommend that you lay the braches and twigs flat on the ground and then start chopping away. You should do this in a vacant piece of garden soil as a miss with the spade could easily damage a concrete floor. Take note though, this method is really hard work!

Now that you have all of your materials in small pieces, we can move onto the next step of making organic compost that tomato plants really love…

2)Getting soil to mix with the rest of the organic matter:
the next thing that you need to get is soil for your compost heap. You can just add all of the organic matter into a compost bin and expect it to decompose! I suggest that you get as much soil as you can (well, a barrel full should be enough. Don’t be a “real” tomato gardener and order a truckload!). I suggest that you get se good quality topsoil, which you can get from most gardening nurseries or even from your own garden. The reason we need top soil is because it will have microbes in it that play a vital role in decomposing the organic matter. Wherever you get the soil from you need to make sure that it doesn’t have Any weeds in it or even any seeds as they will grow and spoil your tomato gardening compost. That’s why I suggest that you get the soil from a nursery, as it will probably not have this problem.

Okay tomatoes, and that’s it for today. No, its not that I’m lazy to write more its just that its human tendency to NOT take action if given too much of information at once. For today you will need to shred up all of your gardening materials and then get some topsoil for your organic tomato compost heap.

Tomorrow I will try to close up this series on How to Make Organic Compost that Tomatoes Will Love, in Twelve Weeks. now that you have collected the materials and are going to cut it up, all that’s left is to actually make the compost. That’s the fun part and also the easy part! I’m going to tell you about a way that will allow your organic matter to decompose as quick as possible.

I hope that you are enjoying this series so far? Am I doing this blogging thingy right? Do I need to provide more info? Should I have just turned this whole series into one Long article (around 2500 words)? Please give me some feed back tomato gardeners, I really Do want to provide solid info that benefits all of you guys! Chat tomorrow guys, don’t forget to water the tomatoes!

Check out the final part of this series, How to Make Organic Compost that Tomatoes will Love, in 12 weeks-composting-part 3

How to Make Organic Compost that Tomatoes Love - Part 1

Hey all you tomato gardening fanatics, how’s the tomatoes growing? Well, if they look a bit down and dreary rest assured you can help! I wrote this article to walk you through the steps that you need to take to make your own tomato gardening compost that tomatoes love. The best part of this all? You can have your organic, and nutrient rich tomato growing compost ready in as little as twelve (yes, 12) weeks. Never again will you have to worry about your tomatoes being well nourished, and producing poor crops.

This article will probably span out into two or three parts, I’m not sure because I want to write as it flows. In this part (part one) of the series, “How to Make Organic Compost that Tomatoes Will Love, in Twelve Weeks” I will tell you about the types of materials that you can use in your tomato heap and will also tell you what you should not use.

The thing that I really like about making my tomato gardening compost compared with buying it is that you get to control what goes into the heap and what stays out. If you don’t want to add something to your compost heap, no problem, its totally up to you!

Another great thing about making your own organic gardening compost for tomato plants is that it saves money, a lot of it! Now every body wants to save a buck or two, or maybe even three or four, so why not try making your own tomato planting compost before you rush out to buy it.

Lets start off by looking at what you COULD use in your organic tomato heap:

1. Grass cuttings and weeds

You’ve heard it before but it's so true! But, what you probably haven’t heard is that they are nitrogen rich and will do a world of wonders for your tomatoes. You have to have grass cuttings in a compost heap for this process to work, and honestly I don’t see any excuses you as to why you can’t get any. You could mow your lawn, or better yet mow the neighbors’ lawn! You’ll get grass for your garden and a thumbs up from the neighbor’s, it’s a win-win situation really. Wherever you get it from, just make sure you have some for your tomato-composting heap.

2. Leaves, woody branches and twigs, hedge cuttings (like rose stems), and even tree bark

These contain carbon and are essential for the healthy growth of your tomato plants. However, since they decompose super slowly, you need to keep them to a minimum if you want your tomato gardening compost to be ready in twelve weeks.

3. Cardboard, newspaper, and egg cartons

This is one of the simplest types of materials you can find and will work well in a tomato compost heap. The reason being is that they decompose fairly quickly and they are environmentally friendly so that makes them pretty cool to use for tomato gardening. A note here: Don’t use any thing that has to much of color on it, as the color ink is not so environmentally friendly. Also, shy away from the glossy types they take much longer to decompose.

4. Old tomato plants themselves

The Granddaddy of compost material for growing tomatoes in. did you know that old tomato vines are one of THE BEST materials that you could use in a compost heap for tomatoes? Well, its true! Tomatoes just love growing from the nutrients provided by decomposing tomato plants, I don’t know why, but they do. To use tomato vines for a compost heap, you need to first shred the vines up into smaller pieces so that they can decompose faster and be ready for the tomato gardening in around twelve weeks.

Now, let us go on to the material that you should not use for your tomato garden

I’m just going to list them very briefly as there is much to say except, DON’T USE THEM. They are: Meat (raw or cooked); dairy products like milk etc.; cooked food fruit or vegetables included; dog or human feces (you’d be surprised at how many people think that you can, but you CAN’T); and anything inorganic like plastic, glass etc.

That’s it for this article folks, now its your turn to get involved. How about we set a challenge for today. Try to gather as many and much of the things that you are going to be using for your tomato compost heap today, and tomorrow we will go into how to use them. Get some grass cutting, leaves anything that will be going into your tomato gardening compost heap, and you can put them into a plastic bag for now, or a compost bin if you have one. But, before you do that, why not tell me what You think should go into our tomato gardening compost heap? I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments section. Oh, and check back tomorrow for part two of this series in making organic compost that tomatoes will love.

Read part 2 of: How to Make Organic Compost that Tomatoes Will Love, in Twelve Weeks-Shredding and Getting Soil.

Or, check out part 3: How to Make Organic Compost that Tomatoes will Love, in 12 weeks-composting-part 3

Growing Tomatoes In a Tire-Its Fun, Easy and Interesting

If you live in a climate that is warm but dry, and often experiences frost-growing tomatoes in a tire is for you! This is a simple method of gardening that allows you to grow large, round, juicy and tasty tomatoes without having to spend a lot of money or time. Also, it works well when conditions are not so favorable to tomato plants like wind and heavy rain. You will soon be able to overcome these problems however by growing tomatoes in a tire.

It’s really simple to start growing tomatoes in a tire and its very inexpensive. I will go through the steps that you need to follow when you are using this style of tomato gardening. If you want to grow great tomatoes all the time, then this technique will suite you quite nicely.

First let me explain exactly what I mean when I talk about growing tomatoes in a tire. It basically requires you to place old tires around some organic, nutrient rich compost and then planting your tomato plants in the compost. The tire surrounding the plants acts as a barrier to the elements.

To start growing tomatoes in a tire, you need to gather up a few old and large tires (which you can get for free if you politely ask the guy at your local service station). Depending on how many tomato plants you are growing, you will need two tires for each plant. The larger the tire, the better for your tomatoes, and it also enables you to grow up to three tomato plants per tire.

The process of growing tomatoes in a tire is really a simple one. First, you need to add some compost to a small area (just a little larger than the circumference of the tire) of ground and mix it in thoroughly. Then you need to place the tire onto the ground and slightly push it into the ground so that it stays firmly in place.

You will now need to plant your tomato seeds in the compost. The depth of planting will be the same as regular tomato gardening so I will not go into detail here. If you chose a tire that is fairly large, then you will be able to comfortably plant about three tomato plants.

After you have sown the seeds in to the ground, you will need to fill some water into the sides of the tire. On almost all tires, there is a sight “trough” around the inner part of the tire. You need to fill this part up to the brim with water, but don’t let it overflow as it will make the soil soggy.

Now, you will need to cover the top of the tire with a plastic bag/ sheet. I suggest that you use clear plastic so as not to interfere with the tomato plants ability to absorb the radiant energy from the sun and produce large sweet tomatoes. You just need to pull the plastic sheet over the top of the tire and then you can pin the overlapping sides into the ground. You have to make sure that no moisture can enter the tire so and no heat can escape.

The plastic over the tire creates a warm moist environment for the tomatoes to thrive in. during the day; the tire will absorb the heat energy off the sun therefore warming up the air in the tire. The water will also warm up. At night, the warm water will cool slower than the surrounding air (this is because water is transparent and stationary unlike land which is opaque which only allows the top layer to be warmed) and will therefore keep the tomato plants warmer for longer.

Once your tomato plants start growing and blossoming, its time to remove the plastic so that the plant can get fresh air and produce healthy tomatoes. You can still leave the tires around the tomato plants if you want, as they will continue to protect the tomatoes form the elements and possible damage.

There now, its not that difficult to start growing tomatoes in a tire is it? If you follow my advice, you will surely be able to grow great tomatoes all of the time and enjoy having a tasty and nutritious snack available at any time that you or your family desires, or I Could Follow Your Advice, Do You Have any Ideas/ Tips to Share. What’s you experience with growing tomatoes in a tire?

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