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Hello from Newville, PA

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Hello from Newville, PA

Post  mrs. miller on 3/8/2012, 12:51 pm

I'm a mom to a 4 year old and a 6 month old. They keep me busy so I really like the small scale gardening. Plus there was no existing garden when we moved to our location 2 yrs ago. Sgf is going to work for us very well. Last year was my first try at sfg. I put out two 4'x4' boxes. I got beautiful large plants, but they produced smaller fruit and not very abundantly. Is my soil missing something? Plan to put out two more boxes this year. Ready for the warm weather to stay so we can enjoy the outside.

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Re: Hello from Newville, PA

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 3/8/2012, 12:53 pm

Hello Mrs. Miller.....it's always nice to see a fellow Pennsylvanian!

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Re: Hello from Newville, PA

Post  jpatti on 3/9/2012, 10:51 am

Hullo! We have another member from Newville here.

I am in Dickinson Township myself, just off Rt 11, closer to Carlisle than Newville.

Plants that grow huge but don't do much fruiting are from too much nitrogen.

One year, as a complete newbie back when I lived in Downingtown, I had tomatoes that grew over an eight foot fence and halfway down my neighbor's yard and almost no fruits. I had overfertilized like crazy with composted manure.

While all plants need nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, nitrogen is more for stem and leaf growth, phosphorous for root growth and potassium for fruit growth.

So it's important not to use high nitrogen fertilizer for fruiting plants if you want the fruit. High-nitrogen fertilizer is for lettuce, greens, kale, chard, etc - stuff where leaves are what you're going for.

Also, if your compost is mostly manures, that is high nitrogen. Even if it's five kinds of manure, it's too much nitrogen. Start composting more other stuff, like straw and cut grass and kitchen scraps to balance it out.

A good source of potassium is wood ash, so I'd suggest adding that now to correct things. Keep in mind that it is alkaline, so don't use for acid-loving plants like blueberries. But for most fruiting plants, wood ash is a good amendment.

Also, when planting tomatoes, I add some eggshell (for calcium) and epsom salts (for magnesium so the calcium can be used) to the soil to avoid blossom end rot.

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Re: Hello from Newville, PA

Post  sfg4uKim on 3/9/2012, 1:28 pm

Hi and welcome to the Forum! I hope you're enjoying your time on the Forum so far. I'm the host for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Forum - check us out some time for area-specific topics.

When you ask if something is missing in your "soil" . . . are you using Mel's Mix, bagged soil or your existing garden soil? If MM, what did you find for your 5 different types of compost? This will (hopefully) help us pinpoint your problem.

Again, welcome!

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I have seen women looking at jewelry ads with a misty eye and one hand resting on the heart, and I only know what they're feeling because that's how I read the seed catalogs in January - Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


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Re: Hello from Newville, PA

Post  Tuxdad on 3/9/2012, 3:36 pm

Howdy Neighbor

I'm in the Newville area as well !! This'll be my first attempt at sfg'ing...

Tuxdad

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Re: Hello from Newville, PA

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