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Tomatoes: A not-so-scientific growing experiment. Week 7 update

Updated: Jan 19, 2023

We’re really close to our first harvest in the compost / soil experiment! Two tomatoes are particularly close but aren’t quite ready to be picked.

Tomato plants in various amounts of compost and topsoil
Week 7 update: compost / soil experiment

I am still getting some yellowing of my lower leaves across the majority of plants. My guess is that it may be nutrient-based. For example, they could be giving their nitrogen to newer leaves (because it happens as the plants grow). I don’t think that it is an iron (this usually shows on the newest leaves and they are looking great!) or magnesium (usually shows as spots and I am not seeing this) deficiency.


It is also possible that it is disease based. However, since the plants are in different pots using a freshly made topsoil—a mix of varying levels of soil and compost—I’m not guessing this is likely. The plants are also spaced 24 inches apart (I wish I had given a little more space) so I think that the tomato plant leaves are able to dry out from any moisture.


Here are this week’s stats:


Plant 1:

0% compost, 10% topsoil

Height start: 14.5”

Height today: 56.5”

Growth: 290%


Plant 2:

10% compost, 90% topsoil

Height start: 16”

Height today: 53.5”

Growth: 234%


Plant 3:

20% compost, 80% topsoil

Height start: 14”

Height today: 39.5”

Growth: 182%


Plant 4:

30% compost, 70% topsoil

Height start: 14”

Height today: 45”

Growth: 221%


Plant 5:

40% compost, 60% topsoil

Height start: 16.5”

Height today: 54.5”

Growth: 230%


Plant 6:

50% compost, 50% topsoil

Height start: 16.5”

Height today: 51”

Growth: 209%


Plant 7:

60% compost, 40% topsoil

Height start: 14.5”

Height today: 55”*

Growth: 279%*

The plant fell over in week 5 and had about 10 inches of sideways growth that is not reflected in the numbers.


Plant 8:

70% compost, 30% topsoil

Height start: 13.5”

Height today: 55.5”

Growth: 311%


Plant 9:

80% compost, 20% topsoil

Height start: 13”

Height today: 54”*

Growth: 315%*

The plant fell over in week 5 and had about 10 inches of sideways growth that is not reflected in the numbers.


Plant 10:

50% compost, 50% topsoil

Height start: 15”

Height today: 45”

Growth: 200%


Plant 11:

40% compost, 60% topsoil

Height start: 10”

Height today: 53”

Growth: 430%


Plant 12:

30% compost, 70% topsoil

Height start: 10”

Height today: 52”

Growth: 420%



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Freestate Farms makes premium landscaping products—compost, topsoil, and mulch—by recycling food and yard waste in Manassas, VA. Our composts, topsoil, and mulches are specially designed to increase the health and productivity of local soils, and with our focus on sustainable practices, this lets the environment and your garden grow good, together. We sell bulk compost, bagged compost, bulk natural mulches, bulk dyed mulches, bagged dyed mulches, and bulk topsoil.

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