This multiplicity of options can put you in a dilemma of finding the best fertilizer for tomatoes. We will be providing you with sufficient information on how to make the right choice of fertilizer.
It is okay if you want a bountiful harvest of tomatoes after the planting and growing seasons are over. But the fact is, fertilizers are what triggers the rapid growth of tomatoes and there are tons of them all over the market.
But before we delve into that, let’s lay some foundations on tomato fertilizer and some facts you should be aware of.
What is Tomato Fertilizer?
A tomato fertilizer can be a synthetic or natural substance that is included in the soil at appropriate times (which you’ll find out in the course of this article) to promote soil fertility and thus the rapid growth of tomatoes.
- Chemical Composition of a Tomato Fertilizer
Ideally, a potent fertilizer should contain macronutrients in form of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (N, P, K) and some other micronutrients like calcium, boron, iron, molybdenum, and zinc.
- Functions of the Macronutrients and Micronutrients Present in the Fertilizer
The macronutrients are needed by the soil in substantial amounts, while the micronutrients provide auxiliary roles in the fertility objective of fertilizers.
For Nitrogen, it is there to facilitate the growth of lush stems and leaves. Phosphorus and potassium are responsible for facilitating the production of fresh fruits in due season, as well as the promotion of photosynthesis and growth of roots. With this in mind, let’s now look at the crux of the article.
What are the Best Fertilizers for Tomatoes?
To be honest, I can’t just single out one fertilizer and say “this is the best fertilizer for tomatoes”, it doesn’t work that way. You can identify the best fertilizers for tomatoes by the concentration of their macronutrients.
These macronutrients are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium (N-P-K). The best fertilizers should have their concentration in the ratio of 5-10-5 or 5-10-10 and not 10-8-10 as seen in many fertilizers.
Why Nitrogen Should be less
Nitrogen is necessary to promote lush green stems and leaves, but when its concentration becomes excessive, it often leads to the production of longer stems and big leaves, with fewer fruits to account for such mighty foliage.
On the other hand, in soils with Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium with concentrations in a ratio of 8-32-16, it can boost the growth of tomatoes.
In essence, the best fertilizers for tomatoes when choosing should have lower concentrations of nitrogen compared to other macronutrients. You need healthier fruits, not longer stems, and leaves.
Best Fertilizer for Tomatoes
- OMRI listed plant food as suitable for organic gardening
- Presentation: granules
- 2.5 lb
- Organic and natural ingredients
- You need to reapply every 4-6 weeks
- You don’t need to mix it with water
- It is specially formulated for growing tomatoes, vegetables, herbs, and fruits
- It is a 9-2-7 fertilizer (Nitrogen-Phosphate-Potash)
- Prevents blossom end rot
- 18 lb
- Natural and organic plant food enhanced with thousands of living microbes and is approved for organic gardening.
- It is specifically formulated to produce consistently plump, juicy tomatoes
- A complete plant food with all 15 essential nutrients
- Long-lasting, slow-release feeding
- It is a 3-4-6-8-3 (Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potash, Calcium, Sulfur)
- 4 lb
- Contains pro-biotic, seven champion strains of beneficial soil microbes plus ecto and endo mycorrhizae
- OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute), OIM (Organic Input Materials), CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers), NOP (National Organic Program), and Non-GMO Project Verified the highest level of purity and transparency.
- Sustainably made in the U.S.A.
- 3.9 oz
- Made in U.S.A
- Continuous supply of nutrients below the surface
- 18 spikes with pre-measured fertilizer
- 6-18-6 time-release fertilizer for all tomato plants
- 2.2 lb
- Highly beneficial calcium, magnesium, iron, and trace mineral plant nutrient supplement
- It helps maximize yields in fruiting and flowering plant varieties like tomatoes
- This plant supplement prevents blossom end rot in tomatoes
- It has better results using it together with another fertilizer
- You will require to adjust the pH
- Recommended for hydroponics
When to Use Tomato Plant Fertilizers
The most ideal time for the application of tomato fertilizer, are before planting the seeds, and when they are starting to blossom. Meaning, when you start seeing the first fruits, you can apply the fertilizer again. It should be continuous, perhaps fortnightly or weekly until it reaches its harvest time.
Why You Should Apply Them Before Planting
Nutrients like phosphorus are responsible for the growth of roots as well as fruits. If the roots don’t establish themselves faster and adequately, they can’t lead to the bearing of fruits.
Fertilizer for Tomatoes Options
If you want to ditch the synthetic fertilizers for their organic counterparts, they are sold in the market or you can make yours at home. The chicken, peter rabbit, and hamsters manure can be made at home by dissolving their wastes in water.
These homemade manures should be supplemented with wood ash to boost the supply of phosphorus and potassium. The Epsoma Tomato-Tone and Doctor Earth Organic Fertilizers are available for purchase in the market.
Fertilizing Tomatoes Plants
Prepping the Soil
Before applying fertilizers, you should prep the soil. If you are using soil beds, they should be well made and sprinkled with some other organic matter, especially compost. The compost should be about 30% of the mixture of the total soil.
You can use Wiggle Worm Soil Builder, this compost is OMRI listed, which means this product qualifies as organic under the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP).
Tomatoes are voracious nutrients consumers, so they need all of it to develop. You should also carry out a soil analysis to ascertain the nutritional value of the soil, in order to know the kind of fertilizer you’ll be using. You need to also water the soil properly before applying any fertilizer.
Why the Preparations?
The preparations will have to be in order because you will have to prepare your soil bed in a way that it will be loose, and not too compact that you can’t pierce your finger through it uninhibited. Loose soils are favorable for the growth of tomatoes.
The soil analysis is to help determine the kind of fertilizer that will be suitable for the soil. If the soil is remarkably deficient in Phosphorus and Potassium, then you need an N-P-K fertilizer in the ratio of 5-10-10.
Water the soil continuously prevents a lack of moisture, which is very necessary for its growth.
Using the Fertilizer
After tilling the hole up to about 6’ inches deep, add the natural fertilizer at the base of the hole. If you are using a synthetic one, add a thin layer of soil between the fertilizer to avert root burning.
The best fertilizer for tomatoes can be found in any fertilizing product where the nitrogen composition is minimal, because an excess in nitrogen promotes foliage, at the expense of the growth of each fruit.
Fertilizers are necessary for the growth of plants because most soils aren’t fertile enough to grow them. However, the application process of these fertilizers is of sheer importance, as getting them right, often leads to the right results.
You can, however, opt for organic fertilizers for your tomato production, like The Epsoma Tomato-Tone and Doctor Earth Organic Fertilizer, since the bulk of what we’ve discussed were anchored on synthetic fertilizers.
We will be waiting for you at the comment section to field any questions you may have.