tomatoes

This is the first year that I have planted brandywine. The plants are turning purple... is this normal?
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The plants need phosphorus. Fertilize them with a "high middle number" fertilizer. Like an 8-32-16 or something.
If you're trying to be organic, bonemeal is the middle number organic source, but I don't know how fast a plant can uptake it...
Jan
--
Bedouin proverb: If you have no troubles, buy a goat.

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Rock phosphate powder supposedly has a quick uptake, but yet is released long term as the plant needs it.
http://www.yardener.com/RockPhosphatebyEspoma.html
Care charlie
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Thank you guys sooooooooo much... How did I live without you.
Thx Barbie
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Huh. The more I learn about this stuff, the more I realize that I don't know squat. I'm just learning about soil microbes and stuff.
Decided not to till this year -- just kept my old mounded beds from last year, dug holes for each plant, put a handful of composted cow manure and a tiny bit of prilled lime in each hole and planted. So far, the little plants are looking *really* happy.
My neighbor, the Goddess of Organic Gardening and a founding mother of our local Farmers Market, just gave me a 50# sack of codfish bonemeal that got wet. The bonemeal clumped, so I'll have to smash it into powder again.
She said that our young, glacial soils are way deficient in phosphorus, so to use 5# per 100' row of bonemeal! (That's a LOT, sports fans.) Where we live was buried under 100' of ice as recently as 8,000-10,000 years before present. In geologic time, that's yesterday. Or late last night.
Look for this book: "Teaming With Microbes," by Jeff Lowenfels. It's expensive, so see if your library has it. If not, ask them to buy it. Or ILL it. (Interlibrary loan.)
Jan
--
Bedouin proverb: If you have no troubles, buy a goat.

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Should work. That is the beauty of raised beds and happy soil. Another plus for the raised beds is it is not so far down. :-)

Thanks for the memories. My high school English teacher moved to Palmer probably thirty years ago to be with their daughter and family. She was into gardening and the Rodale way before they moved. On a visit back, she was telling me that gardening was sure different there than in the midwest.

Thanks
Charlie
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Jan, you said the frost goes pretty deep there. Do you still have earthworms? I mulched pretty good at the end of last year and this has been the best year for my soil. I believe one of posters in this NG (simy1) was saying that he mulched and when he wanted to plant he pulled the mulch aside and planted. Got the feeling that he was in a permanent state of mulching and side dressing. It should do wonders for the worms. That's where my gardening is going until I feel the need to make a change of course. This turning the soil every year is a young guy's game. Time to turn to technique instead of brawn.
I added "Teaming With Microbes," by Jeff Lowenfels to my back log of books. When it comes in, I think I'll need it. I just started a new one about people's general lack of interest in genocide. Seems like I spend too much time looking at the beast when I should be concentrating on the strawberry. But, I guess that is what this book is about.
Have a good day mucking about.
- Billy
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We have earthworms up the wahzoo anywhere that commercial fertilizers haven't been used. Since we're lazy, we don't insist on everything being neat, clean, groomed and "just so." We let the weeds grow, die, mulch the ground and feed the worms and the soil.
Our soil takes it's sweet time warming up in the spring, so I pull the mulch off my beds as soon as the snow goes off them and don't put any back until things are up, growing good and looking happy.
My neighbor said to side dress the raised beds in the garden with compost or composted cow poop, so the soil microbes can eat the stuff and flourish. Sounds good to me!
My hens go nuts for earthworms. Since the hens produce so much good stuff for my soil, I don't begrudge them a few worms. They also eat bugs, weeds, weed seeds and anything else they can get to. (I have to cage my plants until they're fairly big, or the biddies will eat them or scratch around them and dig them up. My main veggie gardens have 8' tall moose fencing around them, made out of old drift net -- commercial fishing net.)
People are confronted with horrors on a daily basis on the network news. It's hard to stay good & pissed-off about something as common as genocide when people are afraid of freeway snipers on their daily commute, about being in the 7/11 when some bonehead junkie with a gun decides to rob it, and all of the other random violence that seems to be the norm down there in the small states. (And people ask why I moved to Alaska? Haha. An armed society is a polite society, and up here, *everyone* is armed. We're not at the top of the food chain here.)
You can read Jeff Lowenfels' weekly gardening column in the Anchorage Daily News. http://www.adn.com I think he publishes every Thursday. There's an archive of old columns. It's in the "Life" section. Hit the links. Holler if you get lost on the way and I'll try to write specific directions to get there.
Another cool thing is Marion Owen's weekly newsletter, The Upbeet Gardener. http://www.plantea.com/mailinglist-current-issue.htm
Marion lives over on Kodiak Island, a 12 hour ferry ride from me. Her newsletter is often the highlight of my week. She's all about organic gardening, producing your own food, edible landscaping, thinking outside the box; her list of 163 things you can compost is well worth a trip to her website -- http://www.plantea.com/compost-materials.htm
Okay, I have to go get dirty. I've got a couple of flats of stuff that are waiting to be transplanted.
Jan Bedouin proverb: If you have no troubles, buy a goat.
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Gee, you guys have quite a reach. I heard about your discussion of Teaming WIth Microbes: A Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web. My ears were burning....I am so glad you like it. I hope you have a second printing which corrects the mistake on pages 41/42 in which the definition of pH was incorrect......reversed...low pH acidic....high pH alkaline is correct.
Anyhow, buy the book. You will want your own copy! And by all means, do team with your microbes. Let them do the work
Cheers,
Jeff Lowenfels
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snipped-for-privacy@gardener.com wrote:

I always like to get it from the library to test drive. If I want the info I buy it. I've reserved a copy from my library.
Kind of opportunistic of Jeff but flattering all the same.
- Bill Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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Not that expensive, you can get it for $15.65 used from Amazon (Amazon.com product link shortened)81177058&sr=1-1
--
Ann
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Gee, thanks Ann! We've all been buying autographed copies for full retail price here...
Jan
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