Ground Oak Tree Stumps used As Mulch Resulted In Poor Tomatoes

Question From: B. Rife - Utica, Michigan, United States
Q: I recently had two big oak stumps ground up and I took that mulch and put it in my garden. I roto tilled it in fairly deep. But me garden primarily tomato plants [12] was the worst garden I have ever had could the mulch have been too much or too acid for my plants. thank you Bruce Rife

A: Bruce, fresh sawdust should be composted before rototilling it into the garden. When fresh it steals nitrogen from the soil as it breaks down. Also this has been a tough year for tomatoes. Lots of disease. When you clean up your garden be sure to remove all the roots and dead material and do not plant the tomatoes in the same place next year. I would mulch the garden with leaves this winter and use an organic fertilizer when you plant next spring. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy