Tomatoes & Fish Heads

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Tomatoes & Fish Heads

Post: # 258397Post The Riff-Raff Element
Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:23 am

I thought I'd share this link with anyone thinking about tomatoes and also to seek opinions on the advisability of using raw fish heads as a planting aid:

http://www.growbetterveggies.com/growbe ... t-a-t.html

There appears to be a faint whiff of pseudo science about this lady (she adds aspirin to the planting hole to "kick-start the plant's immune system" and justifies this with a link that doesn't work, so leaving us none the wiser), but the fish heads sound like quite a good idea. And I can get them - we buy our fish from a van and the bloke always has a big bin full of heads, tails & innards on board.

Anyone ever tried anything like this???

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Re: Tomatoes & Fish Heads

Post: # 258403Post demi
Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:11 am

iv not tried it but iv heard that planting your placenta is good for your tomatoes :lol: obviously not your placenta, but its the same idea isnt it?
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Re: Tomatoes & Fish Heads

Post: # 258410Post chickenchargrill
Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:17 am

Not tried fish heads but my mum used to swear by aspirin. There are quite a few bits about it if you google it, apparently the acetylsalicyclic acid works to keeps bugs and viruses at bay and help cut flowers last longer. Not something we've tried as I'm allergic to the stuff, not something we keep in the house.

Having said that, the bits I've looked at about it all say pop a bit of mild liquid soap in there too, that in itself helps keep bugs away when sprayed on the leaves.

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Re: Tomatoes & Fish Heads

Post: # 258423Post MKG
Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:15 am

It may all work. It may be great. Although treating your tomatoes for headache seems a bit OTT to me. And if you didn't bury those fish heads deep enough and you have rats anywhere near, they're going to have 'em. And at the depth she plants, I suspect that only the tap root will get down there, and that takes up only water (the principle behind ring cultivation). Still, it may work. Actually, with the amount of other stuff she bangs in that hole, I'd be very surprised if something didn't work. I wonder if she's ever done a trial - some holes with everything plus fish head and some without the head. The results would be interesting.

All I know is that last year we had six tomato plants in growbags - planted only two feet apart - and we watered them religiously and fed them with straightforward tomato fertiliser. We ended up with far more tomatoes than we could handle, and the remaining tomato sauce is still in the freezer.

Do I want to put in even more effort to get even more tomatoes? Not particularly. Although this year I may try dancing widdershins around the greenhouse.

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Re: Tomatoes & Fish Heads

Post: # 258425Post Zech
Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:45 am

I was fascinated by the aspirin thing. Apparently there is good evidence that salicylic acid - whether produced by the plants or given to them - provides some protection against various stresses.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/k2182003n348814q/

(I say good evidence - I haven't actually read the full paper so I can't judge the quality myself, but it did at least get through peer review :wink: )
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Re: Tomatoes & Fish Heads

Post: # 258426Post oldfella
Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:56 am

I'm with you Mike, I do like a slice of Widdershin, with my pigs trotter sandwich and Rum Baba, and of course a glass of Widderskin Special." Oh what a good life we rich folk live"
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Re: Tomatoes & Fish Heads

Post: # 258429Post gregorach
Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:21 pm

Zech wrote:I was fascinated by the aspirin thing. Apparently there is good evidence that salicylic acid - whether produced by the plants or given to them - provides some protection against various stresses.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/k2182003n348814q/

(I say good evidence - I haven't actually read the full paper so I can't judge the quality myself, but it did at least get through peer review :wink: )
Sure, but I'm kinda sceptical that one aspirin in the planting hole is going to achieve the "physiologically active concentrations" required... Also, they're talking about soaking the seeds or drenching the seedlings, rather than supplying it to more mature plants. And finally, aspirin isn't very soluble in water, so I suspect that the tablet is just going to sit there...
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Re: Tomatoes & Fish Heads

Post: # 258449Post Crickleymal
Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:28 pm

I posted a comment asking had they done any controls eg. without fisheads and so on. I also was a bit skeptical about the aspirin. Guess what? They didn't post my comments.
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Re: Tomatoes & Fish Heads

Post: # 258456Post The Riff-Raff Element
Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:00 pm

Dancing widershins around the garden is good, clean fun, and should be encouraged.

I think I've gone off the fish heads: I can think of easier & less pungent ways to get the fertility up.

But the aspirin thing intrigues me. The web (and, I now discover, a 1950s gardening book I have) seems well populated with people saying they see benefit from either spraying a dilute solution of aspirin (well it would be: it's only very moderately soluble in water) or dropping 325mg down the hole improves flowering and fruit setting as well as benefiting the general health of the plant. Tomatoes are rich in salicylates, so perhaps there is a connection.

I shall conduct a limited trial - say one third of the plants will get a dose - and I'll see what arises.

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Re: Tomatoes & Fish Heads

Post: # 258457Post Zech
Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:13 pm

gregorach wrote:Sure, but I'm kinda sceptical that one aspirin in the planting hole is going to achieve the "physiologically active concentrations" required... Also, they're talking about soaking the seeds or drenching the seedlings, rather than supplying it to more mature plants. And finally, aspirin isn't very soluble in water, so I suspect that the tablet is just going to sit there...
Fair point - I didn't read the details very carefully. Still - interesting that there is evidence behind this odd-sounding claim. It'll be interesting to hear about the results of RRE's trial.

RRE - you will do control for dancing widdershins, won't you? If you just dance round the aspirin-dosed plants it'll throw the whole experiment!
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Re: Tomatoes & Fish Heads

Post: # 258851Post Henwoman
Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:25 am

You can get water soluble aspirin if you want to sprinkle it around.

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Re: Tomatoes & Fish Heads

Post: # 258874Post Millymollymandy
Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:27 pm

Stinging nettles chopped up (builds up the plants' tolerance to disease, apparently) and Epsom salts go in my planting holes! You can keep yer stinky fish heads. :shock: :iconbiggrin:
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Re: Tomatoes & Fish Heads

Post: # 258882Post battybird
Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:41 pm

Many years ago my in-laws were given some fish which they were supposed to cook and eat :roll: They did not like to say no (the friend could have given it to me...I love fresh caught fish!!) so took it and buried them quite deeply in their vegetable plot. The veg in the area grew huge compared with the others. Cannot remember which veg it was but definetely included tomatos and cabbages. Dont think they danced widdershins round the veg patch so it must have been the fish!
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