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Member discussion regarding the methods, varieties and merits of growing tomatoes.

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Old November 21, 2010   #1
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: mo.
Posts: 37
Default Additives?

I know tomatoes taste different, depending on where they are grown.
What I'm wondering, does what you add to your planting hole, before the tomato goes in--make a difference in final taste?
I 'm guessing that using trace minerals makes for healthier eating--but is there additives that you wouldnt do without?
Mine-- I save eggshells for planting before the tomato...
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Old November 21, 2010   #2
feldon30's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 5,352

I do believe that what is in the soil has an impact on the flavor of the tomato. I have personally experienced the difference in tomatoes grown in soil that was almost entirely compost, vs. soil which is not quite so rich. I think the addition of compost is the single biggest improvement you can make to your soil, and by extension, any of the ingredients that go into compost such as coffee grounds, egg shells, apple and carrot peels, etc.

I do also use pelletized organic fertilizers as they provide a convenient, balanced mix of nutrients that would take endless measuring and testing if I tried to replenish entirely with compost.

I think the addition of egg shells may not provide quite the benefit you are thinking of -- I speak of the old adage that egg shells will contribute calcium, eliminating BER. BER is more complex than that, and egg shells aren't really the silver bullet. however strictly as a soil additive, egg shells are just fine.

If you are looking for what ingredients work best in making compost, there are many websites as well as an area of Tomatoville dedicated to the subject. You don't have to have a compost pile to produce rich soil. Lasagna gardening is the addition of compost-friendly ingredients in layers in late fall and allowing them to blend and "settle" during the winter so that by spring, you have rich soil.
I've relaunched my gardening website -- *

*I'm not allowed to post weblinks so you'll have to copy-paste it manually.
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Old November 21, 2010   #3
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: mo.
Posts: 37

My biggest sorrow here, is that I cant make compost
I have 5 acres of lawn, plus another 40--all covered in oak/maple leaves. Plus a horse barn, and chicken house.
BUT I have Bermuda Grass all over!! and so far, even a smoking compost pile cant kill seeds.!!
I have to work hard to keep it from creeping in my raised beds!
So, I add to each hole...
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Old November 21, 2010   #4
TZ-OH6's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mid-Ohio
Posts: 841

If your soil nutrients are out of balance it is going to affect flavor and texture. Yellow shoulder, puffiness etc are nutrient disorders and flavor suffers. disorders of tomato.

About the only "additive" I know of to enhance favor is sodium (table salt-sea water). There have been studies with flooding fields with dilute seawater to boost flavor and anti oxidants. Sodium buildup in soil is bad for plant growth, but in areas with decent rainfall the sodium washes out each year.
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