I am growing two tomato plants in large pots on my patio. I got one Green
Zebra and one Purple Cherokee. Both say they need full sun. On my patio
they get sun from about 11 AM till about 6 pm. I bought Miracle Grow Potting
Mix. (this one: http://tinyurl.com/dovco )
I put the plants in the pots and my Fiancée started putting used coffee
grounds and used herbal tea bags on top of the potting mix. She says her
grandmother swears by it. I never heard of this. Any thoughts? I also was
reading posts on the web about putting whole bananas or just the peels on
the posts too. We have had the plants in the pots about 1 week. Should I
add peels or whole bananas now or is it too late? I have never heard of
putting banana in either.
I have noticed both plants have a couple leaves each that have ends curled
up and brown. But only one or two leaves on each plant and they are the
leaves that look closest to the soil/coffee grounds/tea bags.
She also made a water/dish soap mixture up and put some on the plants a few
days ago. She said it keeps harmful bugs away.
Any suggestions to ensure best production of tomatoes?
As a side note although I like ripe tomatoes, I LOVE fried green tomatoes. I
used to drive my mom crazy picking her biggest green tomatoes and requesting
she fry them up.
I'd love to get a lot of big tomatoes out of these two plants. So I can piss
off my fiancée picking a lot green.. ;)
Any help is appreciated.
Deer and shade have driven me to planting tomatoes in pots on deck. My sun
time is similar to yours and I get lots of tomatoes. I would not add any of
the stuff you mentioned but I do need to add a couple of handfulls of
limestone to prevent blossom end rot. Last year I made the mistake of
adding fertilizer too early and nearly killed the plants - best to wait
until they have some growth. Water needs to be more frequent than if they
were in the ground. Not familar with what you planted but I plant Big Boys.
Pots are 20 inch across top.
I wouldn't mess with them too much after transplant. Plants have a
habit of no top growth for a week or two after I transplant them, then
thye take off. The only fertilizer i every give to young and
transplants is liquid seaweed. I've never gone wrong with that stuff.
It focuses on micronutrients and those that help roots & the plants
internal systems. It has no nitrogen, so it does cause the plants to
become leafy which can ruin chances for flowers/fruits and weaken the
The bananas are a source of potassium and something else. If you read
a variety of sources for composting, bananas, egg shells, coffee
grinds and various others are added to give the compost a more
complex, and hopefully balanced and rich nutrient makeup. I don't know
about just leaving these things on top of the soil. I do mix in a few
things into the hole I make for tomatoes. Eggshells are one of the
things, since they break down into calcium which is important for
avoiding blossom end-rot. I think coffee grinds can contribute to
swinging the ph some. Can't recall in which direction. I know coffee
grinds on hydrangeas is the layman's way of shifting the ph and trying
to encourage certain colors on the hydrangea. Decomposing materials
can very chemically active ("hot") and I don't know if I would risk
that with a young plant. I would use the compost tea made from
banana peels, but not the peels. I would mash/chop peels up, let them
decompose and then turn them under some dirt or form a compost. I also
hate the smell of banana and rotting banana can't be good.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email)
Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound
3rd year gardener
I have roma tomatoes that volunteer in my dog run each year. They grown in
horrible, compacted clay soil that has about two inches of river rock over
it. The run is on the north side of my house and there is a large sycamore
tree that provides even more shade. My neighbor grows tomatoes in
containers in a similar location. Although they probably prefer full sun, I
know they will grow in partial shade and in the worst soil, with absolutely
no fertilizer or care.
Personally, I wouldn't bother with the coffee grounds and bananas. If you
do use the grounds, etc., I would wait until the plants are growing well -
like after you have consistently hot days. You can give them a tablespoon
of a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10 each week, or a specially formulated
fertilizer for vegetables that has a larger middle number. As for the soap
solution, I'm not sure that it will prevent insect infestation, but it is
often a good approach to controlling insects. I mixes some up yesterday to
treat an aphid infestation on my spirea. I use dish detergent, vegetable
oil, and baking soda in a spray bottle and give the new tender foliage a
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