While my hunt is still on for this year’s tomato plants I did pick up some fertilizer because I was glad the store had my absolute favorite kind or at least the kind that works best in my garden. Now I do use compost quite a bit whenever possible, but Dr. Earth’s Organic 5 has always helped my produce perform great.
Here’s my typical schedule for applying fertilizer; I throw some down when I do my initial planting, then every few weeks as need be. I augment this with compost throughout. I think this is a great recommended strategy for anyone planting a small lot of cherry tomatoes like I do some seasons.
This year I’m going for larger fruit and planting some varieties that may not be known to grow as well in my neck of the woods so I am going to apply a little extra fertilizer to start, and follow it up with a second dose in a week. I know that sometimes you see very little growth in a week, especially if you haven’t gotten the right rain and sunlight but I am going to go at it a little blindly. You’ll see in the video that I post below that there is a little bit of art and science behind this method. Dr. Earth’s products for fruit differ based on pH levels. It takes 9-14 days for the fertilizer’s nutrients to get absorbed and this depends on the temperature of the dirt. Since I’m starting in a climate that will have cooler soil, there’s going to be less absorption. I’ll need to apply fertilizer a little more loosely for my garden to grow. Of course, after the second fertilizer application in a week, I’ll continue composting and apply fertilizer as needed throughout the season.
One thing I like about Dr. Earth’s is that I know it contains only natural ingredients. As they say on their website: “no bio-sludge.” Like aquaponic farming, there is a lot of fish material in their product. This isn’t necessarily important to everyone, but I’m a picky eater. I like to buy organic and I don’t like junk in my food. You wouldn’t eat fruit without washing it, including tomatoes, but you can’t wash the inside. So the way it grows and what makes up every aspect of that piece of fruit is so crucial to a health nut like me.
Another thing that I’ve noticed during the years I’ve used Dr. Earth’s is that my roots grow deeper. Deeper roots means larger plants and larger plants yield more tomatoes. That’s part of the reason I’m thinking it’s a robust enough fertilizer to fuel larger heirloom varieties or whatever else I experiment on this year. I’m lucky enough to have a great house with a great backyard and with that, tons of garden space. I can support the larger roots and don’t have to stack plants one on top of the other.
Now, reason number three for going with an organic tomato fertilizer like Dr. Earth’s: Milo Shammas or “Dr. Earth” himself. The man started the company years ago and is an avid gardener (and of course businessman). He hasn’t been bought out by a larger corporation (at least to my knowledge) and is still the face of the company. Here is a link to a video of Milo talking about planting in general and how to work with his product:
I know anyone can make a video about their company and Dr. Earth is doing quite well and can afford to produce something, but I really feel that the fertilizer comes from a down to earth place. It makes me trust the label and feel like my tomatoes are getting infused with the probiotics and natural quality ingredients that they say they are.
When I first started using Dr. Earth’s fertilizer I was shocked by all the instruction I could find online. It’s funny that they don’t put it on their website, but if you check out YouTube you can find out all kinds of great tips, and it really helped me learn how to use the product on my tomato plants (they weren’t specific for tomatoes but they instructed the user on how to fertilize for any fruit plant). It certainly helped get me started with the product and now I’ve learned how to adjust to the needs of my own garden. That’s one thing I would recommend. Use any insight you get on my blog or anywhere out there on the web, but take it for what it’s worth. Every area and every garden has different soil and climates with different needs.