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Old May 25, 2016   #1
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1
Default Fertilizer confusion

Hello! I just received my plot in our neighborhood P Patch, and have planted my tomato seedlings in a raised bed filled with newly purchased gardening soil (sand + manure). I would like to fertilize as is appropriate (plan on making manure tea, mulching with compost and wood chips, but don't want to over do it. With brand new soil, is all this fertilizing going to over do it?

Also, what about adding worms?

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Old May 27, 2016   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,369

You can't manage what you don't measure. I.E. you need to send a sample off to a lab to know hat you have before you start adding nutrients. Otherwise, you are just guessing.
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Old May 27, 2016   #3
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Location: Vernon, BC
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Crittergirl, welcome by the way!

Pureharvest is rite, if you just fertilize then who knows what your N/P/K ratio will be. Otherwise, adding worms is probably a great idea.

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Old May 27, 2016   #4
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Location: Illinois, zone 6
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mulching with compost and wood chips

I don't think you want to mulch with compost. Just the wood chips. Leave them on top of the soil, not worked into it. So next year, just scrape them off if you need to work anything else into the soil.

Everyone approaches fertilizer differently, plus everyone has different soil, so I doubt there is one right answer to your question. In general, compost and organic matter will make the plant uptake nutrients more efficiently. Some people get great results with just compost and don't have to add fertilizer at all. I would like to be that way, but I always cheat by injecting small amounts of soluble cal nitrate and 4-18-38 into the drip irrigation.
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Old May 27, 2016   #5
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Location: Newfoundland, Canada
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If you're looking for a natural potassium source, you can choose kelp meal, greensand, or wood ashes but the ashes really raise pH too so can be tricky to guess how much.
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