Early blight tomatoes and compost. What a combination! This year I was much more successful combating early blight on my tomatoes. I used a lot of compost in the holes at planting time and as mulch around the tomatoes. Here is a picture of one of my tomato plants. You can see that it has been attacked by early blight near the bottom but then the top of the plant grew strong without any disease. This happened to several of my plants. One plant was almost dead from early blight and then it had a rebirth with lots of new growth and green leaves and now there are tomatoes on it. This plant in the picture is from a disease resistant heirloom called Mortgage Lifter which you can order from Burpee seed company.
Even the Brandywine Tomatoes Grew
I had quite a few volunteer Sudduth Brandywine tomato volunteers. Usually I pull out volunteer plants for 2 reasons:
- they might have disease from the soil
- they might be a hybrid and not produce a good product
I recognized the very distinctive leaves of the heirloom Brandywine. Since I hadn’t planted any I nursed these volunteers and have harvested lots of Brandywine tomatoes with still more coming. One plant did succumb to early blight, though I still got several tomatoes from it. My other 2 volunteer plants are beautiful–healthy and strong with some early blight at the bottom of the plants.
Early Blight Tomatoes and Compost-Great Success
So based on my experiences this year, I would say that the compost had a very good effect on my soil. I bought some of the compost from Veterans Compost in Maryland and some I made myself in my Compostumbler and in my wire bin composter. Read more about Tomato Blight and Compost for a possible scientific explantion.
Check out your local Starbucks for free starbucks coffee grounds. There is one store that is located near where I live. If I call in the morning they will save coffee grounds for my to pick up. And then I use them in my garden or in my compost! Even though coffee is acidic, the acid goes into the coffee leaving the coffee grounds almost neutral.
I Used Free StarBucks Coffee Grounds in My Last Batch of Compost
One difference with my last batch of compost is that we discovered free Starbucks Coffee grounds. Some stores package them and leave them out in silver bags in a wicker basket, free for the taking. Even though the grounds are brown colored they are considered greens and not browns because they are high in nitrogen. They have to be mixed with browns or carbon to compost properly. The shredded leaves worked great for this process.
Getting StarBucks Coffee Grounds on the NJ Turnpike
We had a very good experience with a Starbucks store on the NJ Turnpike. We asked for used grounds because their basket holding the silver bags was empty. There was a long line waiting for coffee so they said no they are too busy. Then this young guy reconsidered and said, “Sure, I’ll get some for you!” He emptied the whole trash can into a plastic bag which was very heavy. And then he decided he needed a break so he carried it to our car. What great service and what a lot of coffee grounds! You don’t get nearly that much in a silver bag. I think all the used Starbucks coffee grounds greatly enhanced and sped up our composting process. Thanks to Starbucks–a company contributing to our environment by recycling all those coffee grounds and keeping them out of the landfills.
Creating black gold with my compost tumbler is one of the delights of composting for me. Compost is called “black gold” because it is so good for building up the soil. It is an amazing miracle how you can put all those rotting, stinking vegetables into the composter and they transform into black, crumbly, earthy smelling compost. Of course, it is not just kitchen scraps alone.
Creating Black Gold with My Compost Tumbler by Balancing Greens and Browns
The vegetable scraps have to be balanced with the browns or carbon. I use shredded leaves. Another miracle is when you mix the greens and browns together. The kitchen scraps can smell awful and after you mix them with lots of shredded leaves the smell goes away very quickly and the composting process begins! The compost can also be too wet. When you mix in some browns or carbon the moisture is absorbed.
Second Batch of Compost Was Much Quicker!
My second batch with my compost tumbler finished in 7 weeks instead of 3 1/2 months like the first batch. I am understanding the green and brown process much better. This batch was much hotter. When I removed the door I could see steam coming off, even on a hot summer morning. I could feel the heat. This means the compostumbler was working great.
I Highly Recommend the Compact Compostumbler
I am using the Compact Compost Tumbler. It is so easy to turn, aerating the compost to speed up the process. I got 3 wheelbarrows full of compost this time. It is great to have that much compost to spread around the garden. This is the mid-sized compostumbler.
This composter is well worth the price because it is easy to turn. It produces great compost almost effortlessly without any worry of wildlife visitors. It is very well designed and well made. It can easily handle all the weight of the compost when it is full. The gears are designed so it is easy even for a small person to turn it, even though it is heavy.