Tomato fertilizer spikes. The best fertilizer for tomatoes. Homemade tomato plant food. Liquid tomato feed. What to look for in tomato food formulas.
All types of tomatoes prefer a fertilizer which is 1 part nitrogen to 2-3 parts phosphorous to 1 part potassium (NPK). This will read 10-25-10, or 8-20-8, or something similar on the tomato food label.
A fertilizer doesn't have to be labeled as a tomato plant food in order to make a good tomato feed. It just needs to contain the right elements in the correct ratios.
Other than NPK, calcium is an important tomato nutrient. It keeps blossom end rot at bay. You can add this element by sprinkling a handful of horticultural lime over the planting area before setting the plants in. Plants that are already growing will still benefit from a dusting of lime, but it is best to add it before fruit set.
Magnesium and sulfur contribute to stem strength and aid fruit set. If your tomato food of choice does not contain magnesium, you can sprinkle a teaspoon of epsom salt around each plant or dissolve it in water and use this to water the plants. The best time to do this is while the plants are flowering.
Find information about organic tomato food on this page. Make your own homemade tomato feeds. Instructions for making tomato feed. Buy liquid tomato food. Tea feed fertilizer for tomatoes.
You can begin to feed tomato seedlings once they have their first set of true leaves. Use a liquid tomato plant fertilizer diluted to 1/4 strength. Apply this every 2 weeks until the plants are potted up or set out into the garden.
Mix tomato feed into the soil when setting the plants out. Then apply granular or liquid fertilizers monthly until you begin harvesting tomatoes.
More food applied after the fruit begins to ripen will promote foliage growth and diminish fruit production.
If you are using Jobes tomato spikes, use 2 spikes for each plant. Push them about an inch into the soil on either side of the tomato's stem. Spikes are the easiest, least messy fertilizer for tomatoes and they really work.
The best tomato fertilizer to use when growing tomatoes in containers are quick release formulas. These are usually inorganic fertilizers. Most organic fertilizers release nutrients slowly.
Most liquid tomato foods are fast release. So are most granular foods. In fact, any inorganic plant food that does not claim to be slow release, is fast release.