Providing the proper type of fertilizer for tomatoes will help your plants grow healthy and ensure you have a bountiful growing season. The best means of fertilizing your tomatoes is to fertilize them before and during the prime growing season. Knowing the best type of fertilizer for your tomatoes makes sure that they have adequate amounts of potassium and phosphorus to maintain an adequate supply of fruit without flooding the soil with excessive amounts of nitrogen.
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Perform a soil test in the garden before planting to get an accurate measurement of what nutrients you have currently to determine what amount and type of fertilizer you need for your garden. Soils lacking in potassium or phosphorus will benefit from the addition of a complete fertilizer when tilling the garden to prepare for planting. Soil with adequate nutrients in it will benefit from a periodic fertilizer application with nutrient rations of 5-10-5 or 5-10-10 using two pounds of fertilizer for every 100-square-feet of soil. This will help to maintain the soil’s fertility throughout the year and allow your tomatoes to draw the nutrients out of the soil.
The best types of fertilizers for your plants have a low level of nitrogen in them. Applying a fertilizer with high nitrogen content fuels the growth of leaves and stems instead of flowers and fruits. Tomatoes receiving too much nitrogen will grow extremely long stems and won’t produce as much fruit. High nitrogen levels also cause the flowers to wither and fall from their stems, which prevents the plants from producing fruit.
Tomato plants utilize potassium and phosphorus in abundance to produce fruit. Fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in ratios equal to 6-24-24 or 8-32-16 are an effective source of potassium and phosphorus for tomatoes in soils that have low concentrations of the aforementioned nutrients. Before you plant your tomato plant, make sure to apply the fertilizer. Once you have the proper amount of fertilizer in your garden, you can easily apply additional doses using a lower concentration to help maintain a fertile bed for your plants.