Growing tomatoes is a too tricky job, even for professionals. Tomato plants are sensitive and require loads of reasonable care and attention to thrive.
This article will discuss the common problems faced during tomato cultivation, ways to tackle those problems, and deliberate on mushroom compost usage as a probable fertilizer for yielding red, ripe tomatoes.
Why Is Growing Tomatoes Tricky?
Multiple reasons make it difficult to understand the needs of a tomato plant. People often forget that a tomato is a fruit and needs to be treated as one. It requires constant checks and, at the same time, needs to be kept hydrated, fed, and loaded with sunlight.
The tomato plant basks in full glory under the light of the sun. You need to make sure that your plant is planted where it can sit under direct sunlight for at least 5 hours. At the same time, the plant always requires an adequate supply of water.
It would help if you were on your feet and never let the soil go dry. This makes harvesting tomatoes a tough job. Sometimes, professionals also experience failed crops due to simple mistakes or inadequacy of light, water, or nutrition. While the varieties differ in plant type, the production and caring procedures remain the same.
Right Fertilizer for The Right Produce
The plant needs to be fed with a good fertilizer to yield a ripe bunch of tomatoes. To produce quality harvests, one needs to prepare the soil for planting the crop. The nutrients present in the soil determine if your crop will flourish or not.
Adding fertilizers increases the soil’s nutritional value, which is absorbed by the plant roots. Think of it as a human body. If we do not eat anything with great nutritional value, our body will eventually become malnourished and perish. The same goes for plants.
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Many beginners and sometimes, professionals get confused while choosing the best fertilizer. It is essential to understand that each crop-producing plant requires a different type of setting. For instance, tomato plants require alkaline soil to thrive. Acidity in the soil will keep it from growing and producing fruits. Therefore, you need to check for such minute details and work accordingly.
We read a whole lot of various articles that talked about the advantages of using mushroom compost. It is well known for its alkaline properties and can be a great addition to your crop. We will talk about the goodness and richness of it in the next section.
Gets Infected Easily
Tomato plants are prone to various diseases and rot quickly. Looking after signs of unhealthy plants or rotting will help you stop spreading the same in other healthy plants.
Molds are a common problem for tomato leaves. Yellowish patches appear in the leaves, which eventually rot and infect other leaves. This makes the whole plant go bad. If your plant is not kept in a well-ventilated area, chances of molds’ appearance are likely.
Another problem faced by harvesters is known as blossom end rot. This creates dark patches at the lower parts of the plant that eventually rots up. It is due to lack of watering and occurs while often in tomato plant cultivation.
Mushroom compost helps in many ways, including safeguarding the plant from such diseases too. Read on to know its benefits as a fertilizer.
What is Mushroom Compost?
Not many people know, but the name mushroom compost does not mean that the compost is made up of mushrooms. It does not have any traces of mushrooms at all.
The compost is made by mixing organic materials such as hay, chicken manure, peat moss, corn cobs, etc. It is kept untouched under heat for 30 days, supporting fungi’ growth that resembles mushrooms, hence, mushroom compost.
It is recommended to mix the compost with garden soil before introducing it to the tomato seeds or plants. It is so because the heat produced by the organic compost is high enough to kill delicate baby plants and seeds. On the other hand, it is incredibly beneficial for killing any weed or harmful bacteria feeding on your tomato plants.
Making mushroom compost is easy, and it will last you for months as a minimal amount of the compost is to be mixed with garden soil. You can also keep it uncovered for months before usage without hampering the quality of the fertilizer.
You can add a whole lot of organic ingredients and wait till the mushrooms grow over it. This indicates that the compost is ready to use. You can add it to the soil as a fertilizer, mix it with water to create a liquid that can be sprayed on plants, or spread it as mulch over the garden soil to safeguard the plants from falling prey to weeds.
To know more about the benefits of this compost, read on.
Benefits of Mushroom Compost:
You can string out multiple uses from organic fertilizers. A small compost works robustly for providing multiple benefits to the crop, soil, and produce. Talking about this specific compost, there are various benefits linked with its usage.
Mushroom compost works exceptionally well in retaining soil moisture. Soil moisture is essential for yielding quality tomatoes. As mentioned earlier, tomato plants require sunlight but cannot remain in dry soil.
Not providing the required amount of soil moisture will quickly kill the crop. Hence, using mushroom compost will create a moisture barrier in the soil and keep the soil from drying out quickly by creating a nest to hold the water.
Improves Soil Alkalinity
The compost adds an excellent level of alkalinity to the soil. It is a well-known fact that tomatoes thrive in alkaline soil. It increases the concentration of calcium in the soil to boost the production of red, ripe tomatoes.
If your soil has a higher acidity level, the chances of survival of an alkaline loving plant are nil. Adding the compost to acidic soil will help turn it alkaline, creating suitable conditions for the plant to grow and bear fruits.
Safeguards the Plant
Another well-known benefit of mushroom compost is using it as a spray to kill harmful microorganisms and bacteria. Tomato cultivation becomes ten times trickier due to pesky pathogens eating up the sensitive plants.
Therefore, it is a task to keep these harmful components away from the crops, always. Using the compost in a liquid form, also known as mushroom compost tea, works exceptionally well to kill these pathogens and create a safe environment for the plant to grow and thrive.
Great Food for Plants
The compost works great as plant food too. All the nutrients formed during the ingredients’ decomposition seep into the soil to provide adequate nutrition for the plant. This ensures that the plant thrives and produces top-quality tomatoes. Organic fertilization produces crops that do not have any side effects on the human body. It yields organic produce that benefits the body in its most natural form.
Keeps Weeds Away
Not only does it provide food for the plant, but it also provides a significant barrier to keep away weeds from stealing the nutrients. The compost does not smell nasty; thus, you can add a thick layer to keep pesky weeds away. Using it as mulch will benefit the soil, plant, and, at the same time, does not create an awful smelling garden.
Growing crops is a tedious task when their requirements are particular but many. The use of artificial insecticides and fertilizers assures an excellent harvest, but such products’ human consumption is hazardous for health.
Using mushroom compost for the same will not only increase productivity but, at the same time, will increase soil nutrition and give you a healthy yet foolproof way of growing your tomatoes.