The Great Tomato Experiment 2014

I garden in Zone 5/SW MI. This season I decided to experiment with my tomatoes and well composted horse manure. I planted around 34 tomato plants in three different ways. In theory horse manure is on the acidic side but tomatoes like acid soil right? Same tomatoes bought from same nursery but planted differently. All have been watered pretty much the same, receiving copious amounts of water to get them well rooted and started off. All plants have been planted for about two weeks, none have been fertilized yet. Here’s what I have found so far:
1) The tomatoes in the recycle bags filled with composted horse manure are green and healthy looking. These have yellow flowers already.
2) The tomatoes in the ground of the raised bed (filled with composted horse manure) are green and healthy looking too.
3) The tomatoes in the ground planted in our lean, oak savannah forest soil covered only with bark chips (in the south side front of our home bed) are yellow and need fish emulsion. (This bed of our soil had been amended for 5 to 7 years with chips but nothing else. This bed has been used for tomatoes before and has received organic Treetone tomato fertilizer in previous years.) Isn’t this interesting?
For more info. on using bark chips in your garden (flowers or vegetables) go to Back to Eden Gardening or Google YouTube.
The greenest and healthiest looking tomatoes are being grown in pure well composted horse manure in recycle bags. (I ran out of space in our raise beds.)
The iffy, yellowish tomatoes being grown in the sandy soil of our garden without any amendments except bark chips. They will be receiving organic fish emulsion fertilizer today!
The yellowish tomatoes in the ground bed.

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Donna McCown
    on May 13, 2020

    Does the bag mold? Do you have it off the ground a bit so ants etc don’t get in?

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