I didn't respond to your question very well, so I'll take another crack at it. I don't think you need too worry much about adding trace minerals. If you focus on getting the PH and NPK rating right for whatever you want to grow, you'll get better results pretty fast.

You might also try a different seed and plant supplier. Local suppliers often have better plants, and your ag office will provide the names of the variety of plants that do well in your area. I've learned to go with what they recommend first and play with other varieties in small batches.

I've also read you should move your tomatoes from year to year, so if you've planted them in the same spot for a few years now, you might try moving them to a different one.

I've taken an all organic approach that focuses on making sure there's enough organic material in your soil to support good organisms that help with getting your plants what they need. They break down the added organic material into forms that provide and help your plants use the trace minerals they need. Without them, I suspect that some amendments might not work at all.

I've read that to keep the worms and bacteria in your soil healthy you shouldn't till it real deep, or even at all after you have it going good. And you should chop off your old plants just above the ground and leave the roots in the soil. The roots and worms and bacteria are all necessary to having soil that is rich and can supply your plants what they need. The old root systems provide channels for the new ones to follow and makes it easier for them to reach deeper quicker.

But you can't use a lot of pesticides and herbicides when you go this route. Even many "organic" pesticides and herbicides will kill off the good guys, so you have to keep that in mind when going that route.

One other thing I think works good is to plant in succession. It's true that if you plant too early, or late, you might get burned, but it's also true that you might make out great. So I'll start planting seeds and putting in transplants a few weeks early and plant a few every week until I'm a few weeks late. This has worked great for my cucumbers and the lettuce I planted last year.

This afternoon I finished weeding my asparagus bed and dressing it with lime and fertilizer. Next week I'll put some compost down and lightly mix it in with the top half inch of soil, then I'll put a thick layer of mulch down. There's already a lot of dill growing in that bed from seed that fell from last year's batch. Hopefully a lot more will sprout up when things warm up.

The bed the asparagus is in was the last one I really worked on to enrich the soil, and it was the worst of the bunch when I started. The last few years I've mixed in a lot of compost deep into it and it's finally looking good this year now too. The weeds I pulled came up roots and all and the soil is soft and crumbly. That's good because I can't till it anymore now anyway, The asparagus crowns I planted there last year were two years old and that is a permanent home for them. This year, and from now on, I should be able to eat it smile


"You want to go where?"