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Composting tomatoes - bad?

Posted by samanthab 5 (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 14, 10 at 9:13

Hello,
Recently my aunt told me that it is bad to compost tomatoes. She didn't give me a reason but she said I shouldn't do it because she has never done it.

...is it bad to compost tomatoes?


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RE: Composting tomatoes - bad?

I do but will warn you that you will have baby tomato plants everywhere you spread that compost. Also if you don't hot compost and you throw plants that have blight and spread that in your garden that you plan on doing tomatoes I hear you will be spreading that blight.
Sandy


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RE: Composting tomatoes - bad?

Until this year, I just had one of those black plastic cold composters. I do get baby tomato plants everywhere - no big deal, I just yank them. I also get volunteer squash. This year, I have some curbit family plants that I can't quite yet decide 100% what they are. I'm leaving them until I figure it out, simply because it amuses me. Again, no big deal.

Because I was doing cold composting, I never composted anything remotely diseased. I still don't think I'll do it, just in case. It's not worth it to use the greens, and then struggle with blight or whatever other diseases!


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RE: Composting tomatoes - bad?

g'day samantha,

might depend if you mean the plant or the fruit? unless the plant had a serious health issue when it was pulled then composting them is ok. the fruit of course well for us here where we get tropical fruit fly is another story during the growing season any damaged fruit or parts of fruit are frozen then put into the garbage bin on colletion day wrapped up in a suitable plastic bag. this to ensure we don't make our fruit fly problem any worse than what it already is.

so if you have no problems with fruit being atacked as above then compost it, transplant some of the volunteers out that may appear you never know what you might get. for us volunteers are a good way of getting crops without having to actually buy seedling or seed.

len

Here is a link that might be useful: lens garden page


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RE: Composting tomatoes - bad?

I think the fruit/seeds are problem. I had lots of end root rot last year, so I would just put them in compost. Also, I put kitchen scraps in compost and there is a lot of tomatoes. This year I have baby tomatoes everywhere, one even became a big plant in the compost pile itself, and I know my pile was 140F last year.


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RE: Composting tomatoes - bad?

Agreed. I hot compost and I had tomato plants out the wazoo this spring. everywhere I put the compost they were coming up thick. I bet I pulled over 100 tomato plants from just one 5'x16' bed. On the positive side my PL pink brandywine seedlings were a dud this year. Since it was my only PL tomotoe last year I had literally dozens of plants to choose from. :) Anyway from now on all my tomato scraps go over the fence into my neighbors yard. She has a few free range chickens back there that just love tomato's.


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RE: Composting tomatoes - bad?

  • Posted by hortster 6A, southcentral KS (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 14, 10 at 21:49

Sincere question. Do you guys get good composting of tomato STEMS? I haven't even tried to compost tomato foliage or stems and pepper stems because I used to dig them up two years later hardly broken down. While I am at it, hardy pamapas grass canes don't work too well, either.
I have always understood that acidic foliages (tomatoes) limited or stifled micro-organisms ability to do their thing as most liked neutral to alkaline. Having said that, my oak leaves seem to go down pretty well. Confused. Somebody set me straight on this. Oh, and I get the billions of tomato volunteers when I rototill the garden because I let some tomatoes rot at the base of the cages when I should have reached in and cleanded the rotten, highly odoriferous things up.
TIA, hortster


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RE: Composting tomatoes - bad?

  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 14, 10 at 22:36

I compost tomatoes and tomato plants, with few if any problems. We have a slow pile, that is about 50% shredded maple tree leaves. I remove finished compost from the pit beneath the pile once a year, in the spring. That material will have been in the pile for about 18 months. Our pile is mostly browns, and I don't think it ever gets hot. Warm, maybe, but not hot. Over time, the pile seems to kill most seeds, and eliminate most plant pathogens.


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RE: Composting tomatoes - bad?

I compost tomato and pepper stems. I just run them over with the lawn mower first.


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RE: Composting tomatoes - bad?

There is nothing wrong with composting tomatoes or the spent tomato plants, except maybe tomato seedlings where you use that compost afterwards.
A soil that does not fairly quickly digest any organic matter placed in it probably does not have a good active Soil Food Web.


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RE: Composting tomatoes - bad?

I do not compost tomatoes or tomato plants, but get many volunteers the next year anyway. They are welcome, and some are transplanted to fill space if a basement-grown seedling needs to be pulled (two this year, usually Early blight).

Tomato seeds are very hard to kill, and can go thru municiple sewage plants intact.


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RE: Composting tomatoes - bad?

  • Posted by hortster 6A, southcentral KS (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 16, 10 at 19:57

In lieu of a shotgun, dynamite or flame thrower I just bend down and pluck the suckers. Sooner or later they quit for the season. Gives room for the dill to try again in the fall! ;-)
hortster


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