Final Report for FNE94-048
Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE94-048.
For field crops I found this method of planting very successful under the conditions which I created (removing all topsoil to simulate poor or marginal land). The tomatoes and field crops grew very well. The first and second set of fruit on the tomatoes were of a large size with excellent quality and taste. However, after these sets I feel it necessary to take a leaf analysis and apply fertilizer as indicated by the analysis.
There was one additional problem, I intended to use no chemical weed control and after the second set of buds on the tomatoes the weeds began to grow with a vengeance. For this years field crops I have purchased a plastic layer and plan to cover my rows of compost with black plastic and run a drip tube under it and feed as necessary.
In the greenhouse tomato crops I found the control house was getting too much food, noted by more branch growth and branches growing out from the fruit sets. The test house zone #1 (with 10% less water and fertilizer) was somewhat better. Zone #2 was markedly better and production and fruit size were normal. I did, however, find that when I pulled up the plants after production ceased that the root zone was not developed as well as plants grown in commercial media (70% peat moss, 30% rockwool). Thus, for greenhouse tomato production I would suggest a mix of 60-70% commercial media, with the additional 30-40% consisting of compost (70% compost, 30% inert materials).