Growing Tomato

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10 Aug 20 Gina (USA - Zone 10b climate)
I grow everything in pots due to lack of any place to have a full garden. After the tomato plant is done for the season, what can I grow in the container that will enhance the soil for the next year's tomato plantings? In years past, if I reuse the same soil the plants do not do very well year after year. It is not easy to dump the old soil and start fresh - again, no real space to do so. I had two San Marzano plants that did very well plus one small patio tomatoe Any suggestions are appreciated. Thank you!
12 Aug 20 colleen (USA - Zone 10b climate)
I suggest growing a legume you like--or a succession of them. You could start with beans and then peas when the days get very short. If you like fava beans, those are very useful--you can eat the tender shoots and leaves, and they make big beautiful plants with pretty flowers that look so cheerful in the coolest months (but they take a LONG time to make beans!). When the beans/peas are done, leave their roots behind in the soil. They'll add a little nitrogen, though not as much if you let them grow to maturity. You will still need to replenish other nutrients with compost or a good tomato-specific fertilizer in the spring. One thing to consider is that tomatoes catch a lot of diseases that accumulate in the soil year after year, so that might be why you have trouble when reusing the soil. You could try solarizing any infected soil by covering it with clear plastic in full sun for a few hot months (March through June minimum), but that's tough when garden space is precious!
11 Aug 20 Sally O'Neil (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Compost and/or Manure
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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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