Now that your tomatoes are hopefully in the ground, container or hanging basket and have a few flowers starting to appear, we need to remember to water, FEED and give them a bit of TLC.
Tomatoes are very hungry plants and need a lot of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphate,potash/potassium, calcium, magnesium, and a few other trace minerals in order to help the plant grow strong and produce healthy juicy toms!!
There are a number of ways to give your tomato plants those all important nutrients but the easiest way is to buy a good quality tomato fertilizer (food) which you will find in any good garden centre or most large supermarkets. Fertilizers are a mixture of 3 important nutrients which are fed to plants; Nitrogen, which encourages leafy green growth; Phosphorus, which is really good for encouraging flowers and so giving you your fruits; and Potassium, which is needed when the plants are in flower to help to produce the fruit. These 3 important nutrients are often referred to as the N P K ratio. If you were in the commercial growing world you would look at the label and these nutrients would be listed as numbers; ie. 10-15-5 which would mean that the fertilizer would contain 10% nitrogen, 15% Phosphorus and 5% Potassium (in that order).
When choosing a fertilizer for your tomato plants you need to make sure it’s not too high in nitrogen (1st number) as this would encourage lots of green leafy growth but not fruit. If you buy a good quality tomato fertilizer then you will have the right combination of these nutrients…..which makes life much easier for us all.
There are many other methods of feeding your tomato plants but I think the tomato fertilizer is great, especially if you are new to growing tomatoes……..and you don’t have to worry about making sure you have the right NPK!!!
I also do a weekly foliage feed of liquid seaweed fertilizer which not only feeds your tomato plants with extra minerals but also acts as a bug deterrent and I find that those nasty little pests stay off my plants. A good spraying of liquid seaweed fertilizer also encourages healthy growth and is excellent when sprayed on new transplants. Try to buy organic if possible.
Whether you are watering your plants or feeding them using liquid fertilizer as a foliage spray, try to do it either early morning or early evening when it’s cooler, which will prevent the leaves from burning (sun-scald)……That’s if the sun is shining 🙂
Read the instructions carefully on the back of the bottle and it will tell you how much liquid fertilizer and seaweed fertilizer (food) you need to add to your watering can or sprayer. Always give the bottle a shake before pouring.
I feed my tomatoes once a week and foliage spray with liquid seaweed every couple of weeks. As I live so close to the sea…..only 1 mile down the road to the atlantic, I actually collect the seaweed and make my own fertilizer but there are many organic seaweed fertilizers available to buy.
Tomatoes grow over a long season so be patient. Feed, water and hope the sun shines!!!!
Happy Growing 🙂
Not much gardening done today as I had to go to the dentist :(. Have had pain for a few weeks now and had to have a filling removed and refilled…..it was an old filling so hoping that has solved the problem 🙂
8 thoughts on “How To Feed Your Tomato Plants”
I think it’s so cool you can collect seaweed and make your own fertilizer! Bravo!
Seaweed is a great idea! If I lived closer to the sea, I’d be collecting seaweed. I read last week that whole seaweed leaves placed around your plants will stop snails from getting to the plants. It is evidently due to the salt and rough texture when dried, but it sounds like there is more to it. I’ve never tried spraying it – I’m going to start doing that. I want big fat tomatoes this year. Thanks for the idea.
Great tips! We have our own tomatoes growing as well.
Thanks for liking my post.
Remember to add a bit of garden lime to your compost if growing in growbags, as this will add calcium and stop blossom end rot. Also, give the soil/compost a dose of epsom salt (magnesium) to stop discolouration of the leaves.
Hi there. Thanks for your comments. I never grow tomatoes in grow bags as I have suffiecient planters in my poly tunnel. I always use epsom salts and egg shells to the planting hole which gives my tomato plants a great start. I very rarely get blossom end rot and the leaves are only usually lacking a bit of magnesium when they are pot bound!
Thanks for tuning in and Happy Gardening
Good tips. I’ve always tended to burn my plants with too much liquid fertiliser in the past. The above will help me for next season. Sadly for a living I cart tomatoes everyday however they look much larger and redder than mine. Always next season.
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