What Is the Best Fertilizer for Tomatoes?
Every gardener who plants tomato seeds or seedlings would want them to grow up quickly and be healthy enough to bear abundant fruit. Even though the task of successfully growing tomatoes isn't hard, it can be challenging at first. Therefore, read through this guide and it will surely help you pick the beset fertilizer for tomato plants grown in your garden.
Tomato plants grow really quickly and usually bear fruit within 4 months more or less (Of course, this is going to depend on the species you've planted as well as your local weather and soil conditions).
They don't just grow in height and girth, but develop a plethora of branches in most cases as well. Therefore, to support this massive growth rate and have sufficient nutrients in the soil during the period of fruit growth you need to make sure that you find the best fertilizer for tomatoes of the particular species that's planted.
Hence, tomato plants are often called heavy feeding plants. Whether you're an organic or inorganic gardener doesn't matter and all you need to do is add some fertilizer - again it doesn't matter what you use as long as the plant is benefited.
Addition of fertilizers isn't something that you do once and then forget about it. Of course you don't need to tend to it; but, you would need to add more fertilizer right? As already stated - they are high feeding plants and this raises the need of adding more and more fertilizers as and when the need arises. You wouldn't be happy if you're tomato plants manage to grow tall and sturdy using all the initial fertilizer and then give you little or no fruit due to the lack of nutrients - will you?
For tomato plants to grow successfully and for their cells to function normally, they would need plenty of macro nutrients such as Phosphates, Nitrogen, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium and Potassium in addition to a huge list of micro nutrients.
Fertilizer for tomato plants - the right mix
Best fertilizer for tomato plants the debate is still going strong
Fertilizing tomatoes is a part and parcel of growing tomato plants as if at all you want to receive a good healthy crop you would definitely have to use the best fertilizer for tomatoes. So, we do know that we need the best fertilizer when it comes to fertilizing tomatoes; but, which one is the best? How do you know which one to use?
I won’t go into specific fertilizers for tomato plants but will help you determine the best one for your garden. The first step would be to conduct a soil test as it would not just help you determine the amount of nutrients present in the soil but also give you the pH of your soil – you could alter it to make it suitable for your tomato plants as this would result in an even better yield. Let’s consider your garden to have average quantities of nutrients and a stable pH value.
You may be interested in the complete guide I've written titled: How to Plant a tomato plant in your garden or container.
Best ways to fertilize not just tomatoes but any plant!
Watering - Another important step!
Just adding the fertilizers isn't going to do the job. You need to know how to water tomato plants as they need to be watered right. If you over water there could be problems and less watering could result in concentrated fertilizer!
The inorganic tomato fertilizer
Now that you know the results of your soil test you would have to choose the best fertilizer for your tomato plant by determining the exact ration of the three key nutrients needed. Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium are the main nutrients in every fertilizer and tomatoes need them as well and therefore they make the best fertilizer for tomato plants. When you’re off to buy tomato fertilizers there will be a ratio of the nutrients on the packet and you would have to choose accordingly.
The organic tomato fertilizer
Commercial fertilizers usually enrich the soil with just nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. However, the right fertilizer for tomato plants will have to add even the many micro-nutrients that are needed for the proper functioning of tomato plants. Therefore, adding inorganic fertilizers for tomato plants could be an option; but, not entirely the way to go. That’s the reason many gardeners create their very own compost using all sorts of compost material right from dried leaves, to fruit waste and also animal dung. Using compost that comprises of all these materials will surely be more than enough to ensure that your tomato plants get the right fertilization.
Another great way to ensure that your soil has all the right ingredients for a successful tomato season would be to use the method of crop rotation. Grow legumes if possible as they help enrich the nitrogen content of the soil. Crop rotation also helps prevent the growth of soil borne diseases.
You may add fertilizers but if you miss out on certain nutrients you could end up with yellow tomato plants. if you need to know how to prevent the yellowing of tomatoes check out the article I've written as it's got a complete guide regarding the causes and solutions.
What have you decided?
Thanks for being a part of this hub
Thanks to khawkins04 for the picture of the potted plant.
Adding the fertilizer for tomato plants
The best way to fertilizing tomatoes is by following the method below:
First you would need to get your fertilizer for tomato plants ready be it chemical or organic. Once the fertilizer is ready go out into the garden and loosen up the soil around the tomato plant/s by using a fork. If you’ve got mulch around the tomato plants push it aside for some time so that it gives you some place to work. Now, add a bit of the fertilizer around the stem and water the plant. Fertilizers for tomato plants need to be added in the right quantity and ensure you don’t add excess as it would burn up the roots (Chemical tomato fertilizers especially).
Once the tomato plant fertilizer has been applied cover it up with mulch if you wish and the process will have to be repeated every two weeks or as and when you notice the fertilizer is over. Organic fertilizer may take longer to be used up as it would first have to decay and disintegrate.
Caring for tomato plants
Now that you've added the fertilizer and completed all the initial steps - How do you care for tomato plants? You need to maintain them throughout the growing season in order to get a bountiful crop. Negligence could lead to a poor crop after all your initial hard work!