I recently started reading “The New Organic Grower” by Eliot Coleman and it has been interesting so far. Of course, his intended audience is a market grower and not a home gardener but I think his information can be scaled down to smaller gardens.
He suggests adding compost or organic matter to a garden plot at the rate of 20 tons per acre. That equates to 0.92 pounds per square foot or, in my case, about 32 pounds per raised bed. Each of my beds are 4 feet by 8 feet in size.
He recommends adding Greensand at a rate of 2-4 pounds per 100 square feet. For my beds, that equates to about 1 pound per bed if I use an average application of 3 pounds per 100 square feet. Greensand, or glauconite, is an ancient seabed deposit that contains potassium as well as a broad-spectrum of micronutrients. Coleman recommends applying this every 4 years.
I changed my tomato plants the other day and decided to try starting more seems rather than buying plants this year. If all goes well, they will be ready by the end of April. I had plenty of determinate seeds on hand and I picked up a couple of indeterminate varieties the other day. I started some Martino’s Roma (determinate), Marglobe (determinate), Bonny Best (determinate), Box Car Willie (indeterminate), Black Krim (indeterminate), and Thessaloniki (indeterminate).
The determinate varieties should start producing around 73 days after I set them out. If I do that on April 28, they will be July 10. The indeterminates should start producing around 70-80 days after I set them out. That will be from July 7 to July 17. I still might add a couple of cherry tomato plants or a Cherokee Purple to have some a little earlier.
Let’s hope they make it!