Have you composted around tomatoes with pine needles?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by OUVickie, May 6, 2004.

  1. OUVickie

    OUVickie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have 2 grape tomato plants that I just transplanted. They are about 10" high at this point and starting to fill out. This is my first try at raising tomatoes. I read somewhere that they like acidic compost and I have plenty of pine needles, but I don't want to overdo anything and lose them.

    Here's what thier planted in:
    1/2 whiskey barrels

    1st layer: about a foot of pine bark & cedar mulch on the bottom. (recycled dog house bedding)
    2nd layer: about 8" red clay/sandsoil w/leaf, cow manure and top soil mixture.

    I thought of adding the pine needle mulch on top.
     
  2. mamajohnson

    mamajohnson Knitting Rocks! Supporter

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    Being in Northeast Texas, we pretty much have the same soil types you do.
    I use pine mulch for everything. Mainly because that is what we have, and we have tons of it! :rolleyes: The tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, squash, cucs, have all loved it. I cant seem to get carrots to grow, but maybe that is because it is so rocky out here. I dont know.
    Good luck, and I would say, mulch away!
     

  3. OUVickie

    OUVickie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wow, I didn't realize it was good for so many plants! Now I know I can put it to good use. Thanks! :D
     
  4. Idahofarmergal

    Idahofarmergal Well-Known Member

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    Just watch your acidity level, as pine needles tend to make the soil more acid. Maybe that's good in your soil. Mine is acid already, so I throw a handful of lime around before spreading the pine needles. Tomatoes appreciate the calcium, too.
     
  5. OUVickie

    OUVickie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I figured I'd try one application and see how that goes. Our soil here is a sandy/clay mix and usually tomatoes do pretty good for my neighbors. If they need calcium I could use banana peels like some do for roses.
    They're already getting pretty good size and I pinched off the first flowers because I read that would make make first fruits healthier if it didn't bloom too soon. It's gotten a little cool at night here, although its been way above freezing.