Can I Keep Planting In the Same Place?????

kingosis(SE/Mi.)June 15, 2007

This will be the third year I have planted my 20 - 25 tomato plants in the same place. At the end of the growing season I pull the plants (Give to the City to Recycle) and then dig up the first 6 to 8 inches of soil including the mulch and add it to my multiple flower beds. After that I add about 2 inches of pine mulch to the beds to rest over winter. In the following spring I rake up the left over mulch and add compost, cow manure , peat moss and potting soil back to the beds. I always test the Ph of the soil before planting. The bed I'm planting in is about 80ft. x 3ft. It is very time consuming but I dont mind. Please let me know if I'm flirting with disaster?????

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kubotabx2200(Zone 5b NH)

I don't think it's such a great idea to plant tomatoes in the same spot year after year, because you start getting cutworms, nematodes and fungal diseases from one year to the next.

It isn't just the soil chemistry you can correct for that, it is more the pests and diseases that start to thrive in that one spot.

Just my opinion, I'd like to see what others have to say.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 11:33PM
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sunsi(z5 NY)

Here is a link that covers a lot of good basic knowledge. When you get to that site check out the link for "organic gardening" at top of page which encourages crop rotation too. So answer is no don't replant in same location but I forget how many years you have to wait to replant there. It's the same for all nightshade plants though like tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes. Tomatoes do real good being planted where beans, peas were planted the year before I remember that much :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Good Basic Tomato Growing Information

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 11:41PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

While it might be nice to rotate them if you can, many here have posted on this question before (a search will pull up prior discussions) that we have been planting in the same place for years with no problems. Some by choice, some because they have no other space available.

Personally I have been growing tomatoes in the same garden spaces for years. I add lots of fresh compost to the bed each year before planting.

Here is a link to one of the recent discussions. Hope it helps. ;)


Here is a link that might be useful: Can I keep planting in the same place?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 12:04AM
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jtrent(z7 TX)

I worried about this, too, but if you only have one spot in which to put tomatoes, it's a moot point. I add lots of compost, have my soil tested and add ground citrus rinds at planting time to fight root knot nematodes. This has been the best year ever and I plan to have a fall crop in the same spot.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 8:47PM
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Some of us HAVE to plant in the same place year after year.

But by continually amending the soil, you're taking care of
it and rejuvenating it. I do similar, but don't disburse my
old dirt. It stays right there and I amend heavily.

Never had any problems. In fact, have pretty good crops from
year to year from the same spot.

Like I have a choice! I'm in suburban Los Angeles and there
just isn't that much room (that I can afford anyway).

Commercial growers plant in the same place year after
year. If it works for the pros, it should work for us too.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 2:34AM
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bigoledude(SE Louisiana)

I'm so limited. Katrina's contamination forced me into building elevated planters. My bad back and large belly appreciate the elevated part. But, I certainly have no choice. Just figured if someday the soil became so contaminated, I'd have to replace the soil.

Then, I began to read the incredible effects of using compost tea. It's somewhat technical and difficult (for me) to understand some of the articles on the micro-organisms and their effects on soil, plants and other micro-organisms. However, the evidence is astounding! The tea-maker itself is very very simple to build. I have just bought an aquarium air-pump to start making my own. To me, it sounds like a miracle brew for many reasons. Check into it, you'll be gettin' your bucket set up.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 3:38AM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

There are ways to make the same replanting spot safer. Compost helps, covering the spot with plastic afterwards helps. Pouring boiling water into the planting spot helps a lot.

I only have one good spot for tomatoes, too.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 3:52AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

AS Dave said above, there are many many threads here in the back pages that address the same question.

For me and many others I know of the question is one of build up of various foliage pathogens in the soil, both bacterial and fungal.

The best way to get around this problem is to turn over the soil each fall. Not tilling, but turning over the soil so as to bury the pathogens that have been shed from infected plants.

There's no problem replenishing the soil in any number of ways with any number of amendments, so that's not the problem.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 5:27AM
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tomstrees(z6 NJ)

I've been planting in the same garden for about 4 seasons. I really don't have any other option. One thing I can tell you is every fall I empty my entire compost bin into my garden.

Strong transplants, even watering, and heavy mulching have helped me out a lot.

Fingers crossed for another banner year ~


    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 1:21PM
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If you continue to plant year after year in this spot,try soil sterilization. The web has lots of ways. I don't think it's such a great idea to plant tomatoes in the same spot year after year, because you start getting cutworms, nematodes and fungal diseases from one year to the next.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 7:25PM
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My veg bed has a favorite movie...

Finding Nemo ....todes

My Early Girl met an early death. In the span of 3 days, a lush healthy plant faded and croaked. Every year I defy the fates and plant again - is it really possible to organically replant? How do the commercial growers do it? =^,,^=

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 11:32PM
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I read a great article in this month's Mother Earth News on garden soil. The article suggests mulching, no tilling, and cover crops. Specifically on tomatoes, the article suggested to plant peas in the fall. When they die, cover with mulch, compost, etc. Said peas are a great companion to tomatoes.
There's also a nice article in Hobby Farms this month on heirloom tomatoes.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 4:42PM
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naturalstuff(Z6 / CT)

LOL! I wonder if farmers plant tomatoes in the same spot every year or maybe they sell the farm and plant them elsewhere. LOL (sorry, i had to)

I plant in the same spot every year cause I have to. Last year(my 3rd yr) was bad but only because May/June were horrific. 2nd year was the best because I learned my lessons from the 1st year.

This year I added compost and fresh top soil and so far so good. I also use Red Mulch all the time.

good luck with your decision.

P.S - Boiling water..hmmm, maybe a great idea to kill off any bugs in there...but I wonder what it does to the nutrients. Something to explore for sure. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 6:40PM
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A lot of different answers and good thoughts, with the exception of boiling water I would think.

In your soil there is organic matter that is vital to your soils health and excessive heat and commercially made chemicals kill those microorganisms off depleting your soil of much needed inoculation against things like fungal infections and pest infestations.

Even watering with most city waters affect soil health(chlorines and flourides kill off a lot of the beneficial organisms in your soil)

So the answer to your question is yes you can, with the proper care.

Insects do not generally attack healthy plants, they attack plants that are unhealthy. Plants become unhealthy as a result of unhealthy soils. Kind of God's way of telling you that you have a problem.

But my plant produces beautiful tomatoes every year.So what if I have a few bugs and a little Verticillium Wilt?

And I say yes with regular fertilization you are feeding your plants which is great, but most home gardeners do not realize that while they are getting the nutrients to produce fruit, the soil beneath isn't really all that healthy, it leaches a lot of the nutrients it needs but once it is used up then what? Yes you feed each plant the minimum however you aren't improving the soils health. For long term plantings and to avoid pests and fungal problems, try this in the same spot;

After this years harvest pull up your plants, rake your bed,integrate,lime, diatomaceous earth,bone meal,kelp,and blood meal, plant some hairy vetch at 1lb per 1000 sq feet of garden. Let it winter over and in spring after it blooms, take a soil knife and cut the vetch at the soil line(leaving the roots in the soil) and roll up like a carpet until you get to the end of your bed. Once you have done so roll it open back over your bed and cover it(this will help keep weeds out,help retain moisture,solarize your soil, and add green manure into your bed.) When your transplants are ready in the spring, pull back the mulch and plant your tomatoes. Water in very well, then once a week make a good batch of compost tea with liquid kelp,compost(vermicompost is the best),and fish emulsion. Once a month side dress with a good organic compost(dry)In addition to your weekly spraying of compost tea. And water properly using aged city water,rain water or pond water(which works really well).

If you do this, you will rebuild your soils health and create healthier plants for yourself and then it really won't matter where you plant.

Bugs will attack stressed plants. Plants that are stressed convert their starches to sugars and sugar attracts pests. Get your soil healthy and you will do great!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 3:51PM
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