I’ve never planted tomatoes in sawdust but my great-grandmother has. When my grandfather died I found this article in some of his papers. It’s my great-grandmother Tillie in the July 23, 1967 Salina Journal giving her tips for weedless tomatoes:
I love the opening line:
Would you like to grow weedless tomatoes that never need hoeing?
In the article she says she learned the secret from my grandfather and:
“I dissolve a teaspoon of fertilizer each day in a gallon of water and pour half of it in each of two baskets,” Mrs. Swenson explained.
Then all you have to do is wait for the harvest and you never have to hoe weeds,” she added.
The secret need not be limited to tomatoes. Mrs. Swenson recently panted some cucumbers in the same baskets and the plants are flourishing.
Tillie lived to be 104. Maybe there’s something to the sawdust. She must have had a lot of sawdust around. I don’t have even an ounce of sawdust…and if I did it would probably be full of pressure treated chemicals.
I did a little research and apparently this only works well with container gardening, and the fertilizer is crucial. I’ve love to know how this made the paper. I’m sure that’s a story in itself! Tillie moved to the Ellsworth address when the family farm was sold. My great-grandfather Harry had been kicked in the head by one of his horses and was never the same. He spent most of his time in the state hospital after that and Tillie took in boarders. Container gardening must have been small potatoes after a life of farming.