Tomato fertilizer can help you grow sweet, juicy tomatoes. In fact, nutrition has a huge impact on the flavor and quality of your tomatoes. So, below are expert tips on choosing the right fertilizer brand to help you grow the best tomatoes.
Choosing The Right Tomato Fertilizer
To choose the perfect tomato fertilizer for your plants, you should consider the following factors:
- Soil selection
- Growth stage of the plant
- Nutrient content of the fertilizer
The first step to growing plants of any kind is to make a soil selection. And the best way to ensure your soil is the best for tomatoes is to buy a soil mix made for vegetable plants. Once you determine which soil to use, you can choose the right tomato fertilizer.
Growth Stage Of The Plant
In general, plants need nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as they grow. However, tomato plants in different stages of growth have distinct nutrition needs.
- Sprouting plants need extra doses of phosphorus.
- Established plants will thrive if you add more potassium.
- During and after flowering, your plant will need increased portions of phosphorus, potassium, and calcium.
Chemical fertilizer is usually composed of three critical nutrients. First, nitrogen (N), then phosphorus (P), and lastly, potassium (K). Manufacturers always list these nutrients on the label like this: N-P-K. Therefore, a 1-2-1 product contains one part nitrogen, two parts phosphorus, and one part potassium.
Nitrogen is essential in foliage growth, phosphorus helps with flower and fruit production, and potassium maintains overall health.
Micronutrients, such as boron, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, sulfur, and zinc, also play a crucial role in the growth of a tomato plant. However, manufacturers don’t always include these micronutrients in their products.
Organic fertilizers come from natural sources. They usually don’t contain high doses of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, but they have more micronutrients. These mixes are less likely to damage plants or contribute to pollution.
Best Tomato Fertilizer Picks For 2021
1. Espoma Organic Tomato-tone Organic Fertilizer
Espoma Organic Tomato-tone Organic Tomato Fertilizer is our top pick. This product’s balanced 3-4-6 N-P-K macronutrient ratio, 15 essential nutrients, and exclusive Bio-tone (a custom blend of microbes and 8% calcium) will help your tomato plants stay strong and grow plump, juicy tomatoes. In fact, it’s university tested to ensure this.
2. Dr. Earth Home Grown Organic Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer
Dr. Earth Home Grown Organic Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer holds the number two spot on our list of tomato fertilizers. It made the #2 rank because its 4-6-3 ratio naturally creates healthy soil to grow high-quality, healthy veggies.
3. Jobe’s Organics Vegetable & Tomato Granular Fertilizer
Next on the list is Jobe’s Organics Vegetable & Tomato Granular Fertilizer, which guarantees to produce more vegetables. In short, this 2-5-3 ratio, 7% calcium fertilizer contains a custom blend of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms.
4. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Tomato Plant Food
Miracle-Gro Tomato Plant Food is number four on our list of best fertilizers for tomatoes. To begin with, this water-soluble product offers an 18-18-21 formula. This will create larger, more fruitful plants. Secondly, it contains a healthy dose of the essential macronutrients copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc.
5. TeaDrops Tomato & Pepper Formula
TeaDrops Tomato & Pepper Formula comes in individually-wrapped packets to avoid a mess and the need for measuring. Additionally, the well-balanced formula is full of pure worm castings and nutrients, which promotes flower growth and grows luscious tomatoes.
6. Neptune’s Harvest Tomato & Veg Formula
Neptune’s Harvest Tomato & Veg Formula is a liquid fertilizer. It contains a balanced 2-4-3 NPK micronutrient mix and a unique combination of fish, molasses, yucca extract, seaweed, and humic acid. Lastly, the all-natural ingredients of this formula will keep your tomato plants happy and healthy.
7. Urban Farm Texas Tomato Food
Urban Farm Texas Tomato Food is a rich blend of macronutrients and micronutrients. In fact, it uses mycorrhizae, worm casts, humic acid, kelp, enzymes, and minerals to help fight off diseases and grow the best tomatoes.
8. Burpee Natural & Organic Tomato + Vegetable Granular Plant Food
Burpee Natural & Organic 3-6-4 formula Tomato Fertilizer is full of nutrients that promote healthy root and plant growth. In short, these granules are easy to apply and provide a constant stream of plant food for up to three months.
9. Jack’s Classic Tomato Feed
Jack’s Classic Tomato Feed is a 12-15-30 fast-acting, water-soluble formula. It has the potassium mature tomato plants need to thrive. Additionally, it has big doses of magnesium and calcium to keep rot away.
10. Greenway Biotech Tomato Fertilizer
Greenway Biotech Tomato Fertilizer is a 4-18-38 formula. It offers a healthy share of copper, iron, manganese, and zinc too. In addition, just 2 pounds of this stuff can make up to 1,000 gallons of liquid fertilizer.
A Final Word on Planting Tomatoes
As with all plants, the three nutrients tomatoes need most are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. So it’s important to figure out the right amount of nutrients your plants need. In other words, too little or too much of any nutrient will affect their growth. Picking the right tomato fertilizer will help you grow healthy plants with juicy fruits.
FAQs About Tomato Fertilizer
Yes, tomatoes are heavy feeders and need an ample amount of fertilizer. If your soil test shows your soil is not very rich in macronutrients and micronutrients, tomato fertilizer can help you grow a healthy plant with plump fruits.
Generally, it’s best if you fertilize tomatoes as soon as you plant them. You can wait until your plants bear fruits before fertilizing them again. When the plants start to have fruits, fertilize them once every two weeks. Read the instructions on the packaging before applying fertilizers.
You may spread granules on the soil surface as soon as you grow tomato plants. As for liquid fertilizers, follow the manufacturer’s instructions in preparing them. Afterward, drench the soil around your plant with it.
Although we ranked tomato fertilizers here, there are variables to consider. As mentioned earlier, the best fertilizer depends on your plants’ needs. Choose fertilizers depending on your soil condition and the growth stage of your plant.
Yes, too much of anything can be harmful to plants, and this includes fertilizer. Yellowing leaves, rotting roots, and crust on the soil surface are three warning signs that indicate excessive fertilizer use.