My tomatoes and compost heaps

dr rockerdr rocker Regular
edited May 2011 in Life
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These are from Roma VF seed. I think they were started at the begging of February - my Father grew the from seed in his conservatory - as space where they could get light was limited, and due to them coming from 3" pots - they are a little leggy (long). They should have been put in 5" pots 10 days to two weeks ago, but they will come good.

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These are Alicante - quite an early tomatoe - I hope to be eating these the third week in July. In future years I will sow and plant earlier and heat the greenhouse - I will be looking to get a crop coming off the first week in July. They have a beautiful taste and smell.

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These are Sweet Million - a very tasty cherry tomatoe - I think I will be keeping my salt pot in this part of the greenhouse. You will also see some in 5" pots - these are a mix of Roma and Alicante - I will let them recover in the 5" pots with more space and then sell them - it will cover the costs of pots, seeds and seed compost.

The greenhouse has only been up fully for a week. It is built on 10" high kerb edging stones, with a brick wall path I build down the centre with the paving stones on top of the bricks. The bricks are on top of cinder blocks. The soil space was filled with 4" inch of two month old manure, 2" of ridled loam, 2" of made compost and 2" inch of bought compost, which worked out as eight 100 litre bales.

You will also see some plants coming on. Some cabbages which are pretty good for nothing as they have gone really leggy chasing light (I have more in my seed bed so no worries), some leeks (Mussleborough) and some onions (Kelsae). I have some onion sets in at the moment I put in a week or so back (Sturion). The onions from seed I will plant out in the next couple of weeks, the leeks I will plant soon as an early crop, I allways plant my winter leeks in the potato bed when I take up my potatoes which will be late July to mid August depending on how I feel they are doing.

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I have also been turning one of my compost heaps. It is lined ar the back and sides with 3'x2' paving stones to it is 16' long at the back with a divider in the middle to seperate compost breaking down from fresh and stuff that is read to go.

This one mostly contains stable manure - wood shavings, shit and piss; pature manure - manure picked from the pasture to keep it clean and seaweed.

The sea contains all of the minerals ever needed, and as such, seaweed is a brilliant garden suppliment. I live about 10 miles from the coast and make a couple of trips a year to fill up the back of my truck. It is hard work getting the bags off the beach as the place I go you have to walk up and down steps in a cliff.

A lot of people do not like stable manure with wood shavings in it as it takes a relativly long time to break down as compared to stable manure where straw was used as bedding. Good staw manure can be used in 6-8 weeks for any purpose, but it can take up to a year to get it like the following with wood shavings in the mix.

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Any wood shavings you can see on that stuff have come from the neighbouring heap. You can see it is ritch. To get that volume of compost I would have started off with a pile 30' x 12 x 8' of raw material. I also add crushed basalt / granite mix - volcanto give a long term release of minerals and chicken manure pellets. These are their to help give a source of nitrogen to break down the wood, as it takes a lot. The bags of pasture manure help give a nitrogen boost but to really get the compost flying I add pelleted chicken manure. The price has gone up 30% this year on last so that is pretty crap. I also have to pay haulage on my crushed rock where as delivery was free in the past, but if you want good compost, you have to make the effort.

You will see that with the first compost heap it looked damp - I was turning it all using a manure fork and my long handled spade shovel thing - they both have 5' handleds and are easy to work with if you are strong enough, a lot less bending.

What do you think?

Comments

  • DfgDfg Admin
    edited April 2011
    What do I think?
    Well, kudos for having a greenhouse for the plants and bravo for the details. I don't garden but I have been to many stores and I have seen various compost. The mixture we tradionally use is full of cow dung and and other dead leaves. NARC [National Agriculture Research Center] using a special blend of compost that's all natural and uses dead leaves and other minerals.

    They have a huge area and tons of greenhouses. They have different variety of tomatoes as well. I got some Tomatoe plants from them not long ago and they're doing quite well. It's a special breed but I can't recall the name. I will post a picture of it ASAP.

    Again, thanks for sharing and great work.
  • BoxBox Regular
    edited April 2011
    lol at bitches and their gardens.:facepalm:

    oh well :D
  • dr rockerdr rocker Regular
    edited April 2011
    Interesting that Pakistan has NARC and they are into composting - the real science behind it was developed in India (which PK was a part of) in the last century by a British guy. One of his main books is available here.

    DFG, your soil looks pretty bad - like it all clay. Do you live in a new build or has the soil not been looked after?
  • DfgDfg Admin
    edited April 2011
    dr rocker wrote: »
    Interesting that Pakistan has NARC and they are into composting - the real science behind it was developed in India (which PK was a part of) in the last century by a British guy. One of his main books is available here.

    DFG, your soil looks pretty bad - like it all clay. Do you live in a new build or has the soil not been looked after?

    Well, it's not greenhouse and you're just seeing a small garden being over used. So, yeah the soil isn't that good. I am thinking of getting it redone but it will require some time which I really don't have nowadays.
  • dr rockerdr rocker Regular
    edited May 2011
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    Look at those bad boys. I would be very surprised if anyone else at my longditude in the UK has tomatoes that size in an unheated greenhouse yet. I would be very surprised if it was the same for the rest of the world too.

    Couple of weeks and they will be ripe.
  • LostInTheWoodsLostInTheWoods Regular
    edited May 2011
    Good locking plant, got 3 tomato plats too but mostly growing peppers.

    I think i might have planted too many, got over 50 plants atm. And with the weather being so shitty and not having any greenhouse they are indoors under lights, thought i would be able to plant them out earlier than this really.
  • dr rockerdr rocker Regular
    edited May 2011
    Where about are you? The problem I am having with my outdoor tomatoes, cucumbers and squash at the moment is the wind - it is just drying plants out.

    My wife grows peppers and chillis - next year I should have a 12x10 greenhouse for her for stuff like that and section a bit off for indoor cucumbers. She grow chillis on the windowsill and usually does very well, although this year we were too busy to set seeds away.
  • LostInTheWoodsLostInTheWoods Regular
    edited May 2011
    Im in sweden, should be similar growing season to the UK.

    Biggest problem atm is the rain, chilis dont like being overwatered from what i understand, and the heavy rain knocks them down hard sometimes.

    The ones under light are doing great, already got fruit on a few that should start to ripen any time now.
    If i get good resoults im thinking of building a simple greenhouse for next year, just PVC pipe and plastic probably but atleast something to protect the plants while they grow.

    This was my first year growing anything so im suprised i got this good resoults.
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