[NAFEX] weirdly useless soil

Road's End Farm organic87 at frontiernet.net
Wed Sep 2 08:47:19 EDT 2009

On the other hand, maybe, in all innocence, they used hay or straw in 
their mix that they didn't know was contaminated with long-lasting 
herbicide. Or, if it includes ocean products, maybe there was a spill 
in the area these were harvested from that they didn't know about; in 
which case it could be almost anything.

I would really hesitate to spread it anywhere until you know what is 
wrong. Can you just set the pot aside somewhere and contact the 
company? If it's a good company, they would probably appreciate hearing 
about problems. You could also try googling their name to see if any 
other complaints or relevant news stories turn up.

You could also try growing other things in the pot to see what will and 
will not grow -- it's unlikely that a lot of different crops would all 
have virus problems, though some people have had trouble with basil as 
well as with tomatoes this year (it's a different disease, but there is 
disease going around through both crops; though fungal, not bacterial.) 
It also seems unlikely to me, if it's a disease problem, that the 
diseases wouldn't have spread to the plants in your other pots; though 
I suppose it could be something only that only travels through the 

Finger Lakes NY; zone 5 mostly

On Sep 2, 2009, at 6:02 AM, ghg3 at heirloomorchardist.com wrote:

> Ginda,
> I'm a New Englander, and I think I recall hearing about that Coast of 
> Maine stuff advertised on the radio.  It's a compost mix isn't it?  
> Made with local organics and shellfish waste etc....[ . . . ]
> I think you are right on the money with your virus theory.  The Coast 
> of Maine mix could have had a lot of wilt in it.  I'd just dump the 
> stuff where it won't be mixed with compost that I'm apt to use for a 
> few years.  Or maybe you can distribute it under some 
> rhododendrons...or other woody shrubs.
> George Gifford
>>  -------- Original Message --------
>>  Subject: [NAFEX] weirdly useless soil
>>  From: Ginda Fisher  Date: Wed, September 02, 2009 12:29 am
>> [ . . . ] this spring, when I bought a big new pot for one more tomato
>>  plant, I bought a bag of expensive "Coast of Maine" soil to fill it.
>>  I have 4 big pots, each with one tomato plant and some smaller stuff.
>>  (3 have basil, 1 has a seedling currant I decided to try to grow out,
>>  and one also has an alpine strawberry that came from I know not 
>> where,
>>  possibly it's a feral seedling that I didn't weed out.) The tomato in
>>  the new one looks horrible. It lost all but one or two leaves, and it
>>  just a 2.5' stalk. I don't think it ever flowered.
>>  I attributed the tomato's failure to viruses and whatnot - it's some
>>  random thing advertised as being from Russia, and didn't claim to be
>>  resistant to anything. (The 4 tomatoes are each different
>>  cultivars.) But I just noticed that the basil in the pot has also
>>  failed to grow. Yes, the cold rainy summer wasn't kind to basil, but
>>  the basil in the other two pots is 2 feet tall and has gone to seed,
>>  and the basil in this pot is only a bit larger than when I planted 
>> it.
>>  Any theories?
>>  I'm also wondering what to do with a giant pot of bad soil. I don't
>>  really want to dump it on the mulch pile, as I've started to mine 
>> that
>>  for loam. I suppose I could dump it next to the mulch pile, where a
>>  pile of dirt won't be an eyesore.
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