tomato fertilizer ratios?

marcantonioJune 21, 2008

hi gang,

my tomatoes seem to be doing very well this year

i've always looked for fertilizer with high phosphorus

and potasium content and a low nitrogen content.

i now hear that all plants need something like

3-1-2 ratio because plants can only absorb small

amounts of phosphorus and and potasium and to

much phosphorus will lock up other essential nutrients.

i'm confused i use almost all organic fertilizer

but always put at blooming time a pinch of triple phosphate.

plants look good however , have i done wrong?


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I use Espoma Tomato-Tone 4-7-10 as per their directions and everything looks good.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 7:22AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Personally I don't pay much attention to what some folks say about fertilizer ratios.

In the past I've used 5/10/5, triple 10, and my farmer friend would sometimes fertilize my tomato field with triple 18 using a mechanical hopper set up.

And the plants did wonderfully.

What you use is also going to be dependent on what the composition of your soil is, whether you use a cover crop and on and on.

These days I grow more organically and about 600 less plants/season so I use, usually, Espoma or spray Neptune Harvest seaweed.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 9:53AM
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hi carolyn,
so glad to hear from you
now i feel relieved, i also
use espoma plantone as well as tomato tone
i also spray with seaweed.
in the planting row i also
add bone meal and kelp
with a sprinkling of epsom salts.
this year i added two bales of peat moss
and just by lightening the soil what a difference
not a sign of blight and everything looks very healthy.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 12:34PM
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jbann23(6 RI)

In the planting hole I mix a good handful of cornmeal along with a handful of oatmeal. A little peat for drainage, a half cup of 10-10-10 slow release. About a tablespoon of Epsom salts. Then top the soil with a couple inches of vermicompost as mulch. During the season Neptune's Harvest fish/seaweed fert every other watering. Spray the foliage once a week with Daconil and wait. The waiting is the hard part. Plants do very well.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 1:14PM
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lightt(6/7 Northern VA)

Oatmeal???? Never heard of that one before!! What in the world is it supposed to do??

My daughters (both of whom are home for the summer) berate me on a daily basis for not eating breakfast -- "the most important meal of the day". Never thought tomato plants might need breakfast!

Terry Light
Oak Hill, Virginia

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 3:57PM
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jbann23(6 RI)

I'm sure oatmeal will provide some protein (nitrogen) in a gentle fashion, after all it is organic and will break down into soil food. Of course it wasn't purchased for that purpose but since it's been hanging around a year I figured "Why not?" other grains work. Now the corn meal, yes, that was purchased for the soil.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 5:06PM
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Oatmeal... Just what my pocket gophers need.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 7:03PM
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