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What percentage of grit do I add to my own ready compost for Tomato plants next Spring?

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  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,165

    that would depend upon the texture of your compost. 

    I've never added grit to tomato plants, only those plants which need sharp drainage.

    Devon.
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,454

    Tomatoes do not need grit in the compost.

  • Hostafan:  I've hand sifted 600 litres.  At the moment it's a cross between sand and cooked mincemeat texture.

  • Berghill:  As the texture is so fine surely it needs some aeration/drainage to stop it compacting?

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,107

    If it's for use in pots, the perlite would open-up the texture and help with drainage

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Plant-T-100L-Perlite-Bag/dp/B0085UXVUI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1514665866&sr=8-1&keywords=perlite+100+litre

    I bought this last autmun - the bag is HUGE!

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Pete8:  Perlite is good but does it disintegrate in time (I'm thinking enviorementally?)

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,165

    given that tomatoes seed everywhere in my sodden, clay soil, whenever I spread compost, I'd assume they're not overly fussy.

    Personally, I'd not waste my money on grit ,or perlite for tomatoes.

    Devon.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,107

    Perlite (volcanic rock) and vermiculite (silica) are both natural products.
    Vermiculite won't last more than a season, perlite should be ok for 2-3 seasons.
    I always use perlite for pots (it's very good used alone for cuttings) - it weighs almost nothing and does a good job.
    I only use grit in open ground

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,454

    If the compost is as fine as you say then you would be better adding some larger particles of humus(not the word I am looking for, but my brain is still asleep) rather than grit or perlite or vermiculite. Sounds to me like you may have put it through too fine a riddle.

    We grow our tomatoes in unsifted compost from the compost heap. They grow well.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 64,502

    I think it sounds as if Berghill is right and the compost has been riddled too fine.  In that case I think I'd buy some peat-free multipurpose compost and mix it in with your fine garden compost at a ration of about half and half ... tomatoes should be happy with that. 

    Last edited: 31 December 2017 11:12:14

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