Posted: 01/06/2012 at 09:56
In future I will use sterilized compost to germinate seed, but wondered if my compost can ever be used for tomatoes if left untreated (when transplanting)? It was well broken down (crumbly and earthy smelling) and I don't reuse tomato soil from previous plants, in case of disease. My courgettes, cucumbers and raised beds don't seem to object to my compost. Should I just stick to shop bought compost for toms?
(Bit of background...I'm new to forums) I have grown tomatoes and various other veg for a few years now with few problems. I normally buy grow bags but finally had a decent quantity of what I thought was good home made compost. This year, germination didn't start well on anything, but I think I've learned from that and finally got some results. It was a while ago now, what with a late start and prolonged cold/wet weather, but I think I might have tried germinating my seeds with my homemade (unsterilized) compost, not knowing that this is not recommended.
After germinating indoors, my veg plants (tomatoes, courgettes and cucumbers) have been in my shed, by a little window, waiting until I can harden off/plant out. All looked well (lots of green healthy lookng leaves and a few flowers starting) but I noticed this week that nearly all the tomato stems are brown/ some slightly deformed (tough and woody) for an inch from the soil. I have disposed of them assuming they're diseased, which is very disheartening after finally getting them started off. I have little other use for compost other than raised beds and a few house plants.
Thanks in advance.