Thursday, 15 May 2014

What's The Best Homemade Tomato Food?

To become more self sufficient I need to progressively stop buying more and more things. In the garden that means things like compost, plants, seeds and tomato food. This year I'd like to make my own tomato food but they are so many recipes out there its difficult to know which to use.
Nettle Tea?
 Both of my grandfathers used to use sheep daggings, the mucky trimmings from round the sheeps bum, left in a hessian sack in a drum of water as a plant food. I'm not sure if they added anything else to this or not, the knowledge has been lost there.
Sheep daggings?
The others I read about involve making a compost tea using either nettles or comfrey, but is this enough for a complete food? Would the addition of wood ash help add other minerals to it? And is there any way to stop it stinking to high heaven, because when I've made it in the past it has stunk the place out! 
I might make a couple of batches up, one comfrey/ nettle tea and the other a mixture of everything (sheep droppings, wood ash,, comfrey, nettles) and see what does best. 
What does everyone else use? Does it work as good as the stuff you buy in?

26 comments:

  1. I remember the stink of "daglocks" (near Banbury) in the water. That and the flies.

    Despite that it is a good memory of my father.

    I'll be watching to see what advice is given for feeding tomatoes.

    Helen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I should imagine they stink a bit. It was all before my time. As for the flies there must be a herb to grow to stop them.

      Delete
  2. I just use horse manure with a dusting of wood ash during the winter. I don't stake tomatoes but put down old hay and let them lay on that so that they don't dry out staked up in the hot breeze.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the first time I've heard of not staking tomatoes unless you grow the bush types.

      Delete
  3. Compost and manure.Then they are on their own.
    My Dad always used 'poo tea' but I was too afraid of e coli on the plants to use it.
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well that one comment has put me off using poo tea! As mine are in the greenhouse I find it's best to feed them as they soon run out of nutrients to produce the volume of tomatoes that I want from them!

      Delete
  4. I vaguely remember in Victorian Garden the old chap making plant food with sheep poo - soaking it, straining it and then diluting it...you of course have an abundance of chicken poo and it seems to be doing wonders for my little patch - although the chickens are doing their best to eat everything;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've got the serie on dvd so I might have to look that up (and I've got the book as well-it was good series considering it was made around the time I was born!)

      Delete
  5. When I plant my tomatoes I put a egg in the bottom of the hole. This feeds them calcium and other things is my understanding. I am usually covered up in eggs courtesy of the girls (chickens) so it is no problem for me to put in eggs. I experimented this year and put a egg in with my peppers as well. I happened to be swimming in eggs at planting time LOL. I also add to my soil goat berries (poop) which do not need composting prior to adding to soil. My chicken coop cleanings go in my rows when they are not planted, lightly. Otherwise it goes in the compost pile for later use. Like Sunnybrook we use a light layer of wood ash from the stoves as well when the rows are not planted. I am working on creating a large comfrey bed, its my understanding its wonderful garden fertilizer plus its suppose to be great to help the compost pile go... chickens love it for food and it has many human medicinal uses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard of putting a fish under a fruit tree when you plant it but not an egg! I'm increasing my comfrey each year so hopefully I'll have loads I years to come.

      Delete
  6. I am going for worm tea this year, its the liquid drawn off from the worm composter, I have done the comfrey before but it does stink.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've got a worm composter but no worms at the moment! I need to get some from someone local. When the wormery is up and running I'll be using that as well.

      Delete
  7. My first year and I'm trying Comfrey, besides I dont' know any sheep that well ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I'll go for one lot of comfrey and one lot of nettle and see how they go.

      Delete
  8. Plain old human urine diluted 20 to 1 is supposed to give them a nitrogen boost (or anything else for that matter).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've read it's meant to be good but the neighbours already think I'm odd!

      Delete
  9. My Dad ONCE used the sheep stuff (daggings) and that is not what my Mum called them when she wanted to put the washing out!
    I've used the nettle and comfrey 'tea' before but, it stinks so! So does pelleted chicken manure in pop bottles with water in, the subsequent liduid is shaken in the bottle, pour about a teacup full into the watering can and fill to the top with water,stir and use as a feed.
    This year, I'm going to do some with just the chicken manure and some with the chicken manure and chopped up dried seaweed (obtained fron the asian shop in Leicester city centre). I'll have to mark the plants that each one is watered with.........watch this space!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great idea. Let me know how you get on!

      Delete
  10. If you look after your soil microbes (compost etc) they will feed your tomatoes. The latest thinking is aerated compost tea, I haven't tried it yet, but it is supposed to really encourage and support soil microbes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The aerated sounds quite complicated and power dependant! Although it does sound like it works well.

      Delete
    2. True, we want to set up something that runs off 12 V battery - you only need a small aquarium pump for a 20L bucket though. I have all the gear sitting there to try a small batch, I just haven't go around to it!

      Delete
  11. I compost the horse manure over the winter then add it to the soil for the tomatoes. Seems to work. I can the tomatoes and then use them throughout the year (still have a couple of jars from last season). I grow the tomatoes in a poly tunnel to prevent blight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poly tunnel may come one day for me but In the meantime its the greenhouses for me. We always have loads of tomatoes in the summer but never enough to preserve so hopefully we'll have more this year and be able to make things like ketchup and sauces.

      Delete
  12. I bury a handful of comfrey leaves under the tomatoes as I plant them , then they feed the tomatoes gradually as they rot down . I make my comfrey tea without water....just fill a bin with the leaves and it rots down and turns to liquid less smelly than the tea version. nettle tea used here to for leafy plants . I use sheep fleece (dags and felted bits unsuitable for spinning) as a mulch for fruiting plants as I am told it is high in nitrogen...it also stops weeds :) wood ash is dug at the base of fruit bushes in winter . Chicken poop needs to be well rotted as although high in nitrogen it will burn plants if used green. Good for you trying a more natural /thrifty approach

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why nettle tea for the leafy plants? I llanted my broad beans over a trench of comfrey so I'm keen to see how they get on.

      Delete
    2. It is my understanding that nettles are high in iron and therefore best used on leafy plants .........but that could be another one of those old wives/farmers tales. :)

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...