Re: [tomato] light, not heat

margaret lauterbach (
Thu, 04 Mar 1999 09:29:22 -0700

At 11:19 AM 3/4/99 EST, you wrote:
>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
>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,
>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
>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,
>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
>possible.  What I really, really want is good tomatoes,  this year.  
>Thanks for your advice.
>Linda Kuczwanski
Mycorrhizae probably would be beneficial in your situation.  $9 for 40 lbs.
of composted manure is way out of line, IMO.  We can usually buy steer
manure (dried, no weed seeds, etc.) for 50 cents for a 20 lb. bag from Home
Depot or KMart in spring.  Margaret