Re: [tomato] light, not heat (
Thu, 4 Mar 1999 11:19:13 EST

This is just my situation; many thanks for your research.  Three years ago, I
started tending this particular plot, which is actually outside of a
consenting neighbor's apartment.  The first year I merely twice turned the
heavily compacted clay soil to a depth of 8 inches, removing construction
debris like roof tiles.  The second year I added 10 40-lb bags of composted
manure on top of it.  I bought the cheap stuff from Home Depot and I
discovered that the stuff seems to be about half sand and rocks; it is rated
.05-.05-.05.  I planted the tomatoes directly in it.   Both years I planted
store-bought seedlings of tomato varieties like Early Girl, Better Boy and
Celebrity.  I thought they tasted lousy, certainly no better than store-bought
tomatoes which are also pretty unimpressive to me.  I might as well have
planted flowers.   Since Chuck Wyatt did me the very great favor of
recommending and sending Burbank and Red Mortgage Lifter VFN tomato seeds, and
since I only have room for at most six plants, I plan to plant only the
Burbank.  I live in Memphis, Tennessee, which has zone 7B hot and humid
summers.   I live in an urban apartment complex and have little access to and
no means of transporting composted manure other than the store-bought variety.
I have contacted one of the better nurseries here and found that they sell a
pure form of composted manure (I take it this means no sand and rocks) for
$9.00 a forty lb. bag.   If the information you mention below is correct, does
it not seem that mycorrhiza might be beneficial to my situation?  After much
consideration of evidence which you and others have provided, I think it seems
possible.  What I really, really want is good tomatoes,  this year.  

Thanks for your advice.

Linda Kuczwanski

In a message dated 3/4/99 9:55:47 AM Central Standard Time,

 "The bottom line, say mycorrhizal researchers, is that if you already have
 healthy soil that contains a lot of beneficial microorganisms, you probably
 won't derive much benefit from mycorrhizal inoculants.  If you have just
 moved to a new development where the topsoil was replaced with fill dirt
 and construction debris, mycorrhizae may be beneficial if used in a program
 of organic soil amendments and if use of pesticides and quick-release
 synthetic fertilizers is kept to a minimum.... >>