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I have a two-part question.
1. Should I use Miracle-Gro to make my tomatoes produce more? I have seen some say never to use it because it will just make the plants grow tall with little fruit. Others dislike it simply because it's not natural/organic. Then, I hear of others who swear by it. Some say not to use it until the plants start to flower and then use it. So, is it a quality product that will make vegetables produce more or is the company making millions with a worthless product?

2. Can I use cow manure to make a "tea" to fertilize. In a similar fashion, I've seen people say to never use it because of bacterial concerns. That sounds reasonable, but farmers dump tons (literally, tons) of raw cow manure on farm fields as fertilizer to grow our corn, beans, peppers, etc., and our nation is not being swept by raging contagions (good name for a band)! So, what's the real deal? Is raw cow manure a quality fertilizer or should farmers be banned from using it as fertilizer? One or the other needs to be the case. Can I use it in my gardens as a root soaking fertilizer?

Please give me your thoughts!
 

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hi, i'm Larry . i believe cow manure tea is an awesome idea ! youd probably have to make a concentrate then use that to make a weaker verzion due to very high nitrogen content(dont want to burn em up), llama manure on the other hand,is completely safe as is !! you can stick ur shovel under the llama ,let it fill n chunk it straight in ur garden!!!! 1 cup of manure will make tea ten times in a one gallon jug!! i add a little Garden-Tone as well n let it sit for a few days!! then pour around the drip line then water the heck out of it !!
As for the miracle gro! i wouldnt use it ! Garden tone is completely organic and much better product!! if ur tom. plnts are indeterminate , you can pinch the blooms for a lil while to get them much taller! blooming and setting fruit take energy from vegetative growth! so pinch those blossoms for a lil while!
 

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Larry is right on about manure tea!! I use manure tea made from horse manure. And he knows what he is talking about with llama manure not burning when used fresh and you can do the same with rabbit poop. But with the horse manure I make it in a 5 gallon bucket byr filling it 1/2 full with manure then finish fillinf with water. let it sit for 3-4 days, then using a piece of screen, pour it off into another container. then I put 1 part of the tea to 10 parts water. that usually weakens enought to not urn foliage. After the plant is up and growing, about every 3 weeks I will pour 2 "cups" of this mixture on the soil around the roots. The reason I make such large amounts I have to keep neighbors & friends supplied after they seen what it would do. Garden tone is good as Larry suggest, but miracle gro would be safe to use also, but like Garden tone it is to spray on foliage, and to get a quick boost, but neither takes the place of correctly perparing the soil before planting with plenty of compost, and composted manures. use some bone meal, epsom salt, blood meal, and rock phosphorus (rock phosphate) which willstrengthen root system and promotes "flowering" which means more fruit!
 

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Hi, I use a comfrey tea for my tomato, pepper and fruit plants. Just cut the comfrey leaves, cut them up and place them in a bucket(with a tight fitting lid) and cover with water. Put on the lid- leave for two to three weeks. By this time the resulting brew smells evil! Strain the leaves keeping the liquid- you can throw the leaves on the compost heap. Dilute the brew down to the colour of weak tea and feed to your fruiting plants.I also use the leaves as a mulch under my raspberry canes.
 

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Hey Froglet, thats a great idea, I never thought of using comfrey leaves! Maybe some others will let us know their special brand of "tea" for organic fertilize.
 

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I use Miricle grow on the tomato's and top the plants at 4 foot high. First time I've done this, seems to control growth and I'm getting about 4 tomato's per week from 3 plants.
 

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Jack you are doing good, thats the way some of the commercial tomato growers do up in this part of the country. the get more tomatoes and seems most are all about the same size. I have never top my plants but have been given some thought of trying afew. do you use determinate or inderterminated tomatoes? And do you think there is a certain types of tomatoes that this would work better on?
thanks
Errol
 

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for those who don't have livestock most boarding stables or people that have farms will let you have all the manure you want usually for free unless they have to load it. all you have to do is ask and most will show you the pile and say have at it! I know I do just because I can't use all my animals produce and will give it away to who ever wants it. if they want it delivered I will charge for fuel costs and labor but if they come get it and do the shoveling it is free.
 

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Livestock manure is just as safe to use as anything you can get. I used it on the farm for years. If people think that livestock manure is a bad thing and that it should be banned, then the cattle, and all livestock will have to be banned, for if their manure is unsafe then what about all that meat you eat? after all farm animals are vegetarains, they only eat green. even the drylot cattle. So if you can get livestock manure then get it.
 
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