Question: Best fertilizer for tomatoes?

patgrizzlyhunterJuly 26, 2010

I was wondering what the best N-P-K ratio in fertilizers would be for tomato plants producing fruit already?



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planetes(7b (Cascadia - PNW))

As a general rule Nitrogen rich fertilizers are good for leaf and stem growth. For fruit growth, use a low nitrogen fertilizer that has a good phosphorus content. This is a general statement though and some plants might prefer slightly different mixes. My tomatoes have always done well with high phosphorus fertilizers in the fruit stage.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 10:29PM
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Phosphorus (the second number in the N-P-K ratio) encourages flowering, and therefore fruiting. Once a tomato plant starts flowering, it needs a higher ratio of potassium (the third number in the N-P-K ratio). (Good organic sources of potassium are granite dust and wood ash.)

Two fertilizers specially formulated for tomatoes are Miracle Grow for Tomatoes (18-18-21) and Tomato Tone (4-7-10), a granular fertilizer that is worked into the soil. Tomato Tone is organic and contains calcium, magnesium, sulfur and trace nutrients.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kinds of tomato fertilizer: what nutrients tomatoes need

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 5:16PM
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MG is NOT formulated for tomatoes, regardless of the marketing hype. I have yet to see any Calcium as one of the ingredients.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 11:36PM
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Tomatoes Alive! (sold by Gardens Alive) is another really good one. I've had great results with it this year.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 3:12PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Just because it doesn't have calcium on the list doesn't mean it's not good for tomatoes. If growing tomatoes in the ground there's probably enough calcium already there. Container plants are a different story.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 3:41PM
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True! But because I write a bunch about gardening, lots of people ask questions. One of the most common ones (this is a very urban area and a majority of people grow in containers) is what is causing black spots on the bottom of my tomatoes. I'm guessing about 95 percent, when asked, say they use MG. So I'm on Crusade.

Besides, I have a (never mind) for the company. Was in a pinch one day this winter, needed some potting mix and found some MG. Bought the small bag, found a 3.2 ounce rock in it. Contacted Scott's (not far away - Marysville, OH), sent them the picture and they said they would refund my money. Never did!

IM(not so)HO, Scott's/Miracle Grow and Reimers are two peas in a pod - advertise a bunch, let your name help you attract customers and don't really care if you lose a few thousand each year. There will be more than enough to replace them the following season!


    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 5:58PM
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This reminds me of an age old discussion. "Which oil to put in yer Harley" lol. Ask 7 different people you will get 7 different answers. My two cents on this...... start off with an organically rich soil, maters love the peat moss and sphagnum moss mixed in if ya dont got yer own compost brewin. If ya want the plant to have a growth spurt go ahead and use that MG. after ya got that plant where ya want it as far as size and foliage and such stop ferting it. After a week or two and ya dont see any progress kick in some low nitrogen ratio stuff.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 10:23PM
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I buy crushed oyster shells from our local feed store for
calcium. I add it to my planting medium and am assuming that
it is good for the entire growing season, but don't know that
as a fact. I also have used crushed egg shells, bu the
oyster is easier. LOL

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 11:45PM
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If you live in an area with hard water coming out of the tap and use that to water your garden then it is already getting more than enough calcium.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 12:47AM
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tomakers(SE MA Zone 5/6 or ?)

Last year I used Tomato tone with very good results. In the past I have used 12-24-12 at flowering time. It works quite well also, but TT is organic.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 8:38AM
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I use Gardener's Supply tomato food. It's a 5-6-5 and I use it when I first plant the tomatoes and in mid-season.

When they are just seedlings, I use PHC Seedling Care and the babies are happy little campers.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 11:59AM
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I am composting this year for the first time. Does anyone know the best way of checking the NPK ratio of compost? Any soil test recommendations? Obviously, everyone's compost will be different as everyone has slightly different ingredients. Also, do compost teas have the same ratio as the compost they are made from or are they more/less concentrated?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 5:20PM
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