Tomatoes: A not-so-scientific growing experiment. Week 3 update

Updated: 3 days ago

The tomato plants are growing so well!


Following up to last week, all of the plants seem to have fewer yellow leaves towards the bottom of the plants. While I decreased how much water they were getting, the more consistent answer for all of the plants is that they were getting a little transplant shock as their roots spread out into their new home in the various compost and soil mixes.


Plant number 3 is struggling. Its leaves are wilting and I’m not sure why since all of the other plants around it are doing well. I’ll try to do more research to see if there is something that I could do across all of the plants to make it better. Otherwise, I’ll have to make the decision to let it slowly die, or to take it out of the not-so-scientific growing experiment and try and save it by itself.


I noticed this week that the plants in topsoil with a lower percentage of compost tend to be slightly taller and each plant has a few small tomatoes forming. In contrast, the plants that are in topsoil with mid and high percentages of compost are slightly smaller and only have 1 fruit (if any), but are much fuller.


Below are this week’s measurements. In fairness, I didn’t do good job counting the small tomatoes that were forming :/



Plant 1:

0% compost, 100% topsoil

Height start: 14.5”

Height today: 33”

Growth: 128%


Plant 2:

10% compost, 90% topsoil

Height start: 16”

Height today: 34.5”

Growth: 116%


Plant 3:

20% compost, 80% topsoil

Height start: 14”

Height today: 26.5”

Growth: 89%


Plant 4:

30% compost, 70% topsoil

Height start: 14”

Height today: 31”

Growth: 121%


Plant 5:

40% compost, 60% topsoil

Height start: 16.5”

Height today: 34.5”

Growth: 109%


Plant 6:

50% compost, 50% topsoil

Height start: 16.5”

Height today: 33.5”

Growth: 103%


Plant 7:

60% compost, 40% topsoil

Height start: 14.5”

Height today: 33.5”

Growth: 131%


Plant 8:

70% compost, 30% topsoil

Height start: 13.5”

Height today: 32.5”

Growth: 141%


Plant 9:

80% compost, 20% topsoil

Height start: 13”

Height today: 34”

Growth: 162%


Plant 10:

50% compost, 50% topsoil

Height start: 15”

Height today: 32”

Growth: 113%


Plant 11:

40% compost, 60% topsoil

Height start: 10”

Height today: 27.5”

Growth: 175%


Plant 12:

30% compost, 70% topsoil

Height start: 10”

Height today: 24.5”

Growth: 145%



About us

We make premium and local compost, mulch, and topsoil in Manassas, VA. They are specially designed to increase the health and productivity of our local soils, and with our focus on sustainable practices, this lets the environment and your garden grow good, together. We sell bulk and bagged compost, bulk natural mulches, bulk and bagged dyed mulches, and bulk topsoil.

Compost for sale

Browse our compost, topsoil, and natural and dyed mulches.

Food waste for composting

Learn about recycling food and yard waste at Freestate Farms.

Compostable items ->

Proud member of:

US Composting Council Member
Prince William County Chamber of Commerce member logo