For someone who is growing tomatoes in their gardens, you always have to consider the various maintenance needs that come with growing the plant. The most common would be adding fertilizer to the tomatoes. Fertilizer is essential for providing the right nutrients to the tomatoes for them to grow better.
Not all fertilizers are created equal. Some might be good while others not ideal for tomatoes. The best fertilizer for tomatoes is that one that has both macronutrients and micronutrients. The macronutrients include nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. As for the micronutrients, such include calcium, magnesium, zinc, and boron.
As you can see, as part of growing tomatoes, you must not be ignorant about the soil nourishment topic. With the right soil, you should end up with a better harvest. Let us learn more about what makes the best fertilizer for tomatoes below.
Types of Fertilizer Nutrients that Tomatoes Need
The fertilizer requirement for tomato plants varies a lot depending on the stage of growth. It is then important to know which type of fertilizer to apply depending on the stage. Here are the important fertilizer nutrients to help you understand their importance to different stages of growth.
- Phosphorous is important for the growth of the plant. It is also important for the development of the roots and fruits too. As you can see, it is an ideal nutrient when the plant is in its early stage and when in its final stage.
- Nitrogen is important for taking care of foliage. However, too much nitrogen can lead to bushy plants, but less fruits.
- Potassium is essential to help the plant to grow rapidly, produce flowers, and more fruits. It is still an important nutrient to help with photosynthesis and provide tolerance against some diseases.
- Calcium is crucial to help with root and leaf growth. Also, the nutrient is going to produce firm tomatoes.
- Magnesium, on the other hand, is essential for keeping the plant green, improving the fruit quality and encourage more flowering.
- Zinc and boron are good for improving flowering and ripening of the fruit when it is mature.
Organic Fertilizer is also Important
There has always been a debate about whether to choose organic or chemical fertilizer for your tomato plants. We found that the use of organic fertilizer helps to encourage symbiosis in the garden.
How does symbiosis occur in the plants if you use organic fertilizer?
You can take an example such as the Mycorrhizal fungi transporting the phosphorous in the soil to the roots of your tomato plants. In exchange, it gets sugar and starch. So, you can imagine the many other types of symbiosis activities going on in your garden. This can lead to a better environment for your tomato plants to grow.
Another reason why you should consider using organic fertilizer is because it is easier to use and will be better for your environment. Using it more often also makes it good for the local water table. Sometimes inexperienced gardeners who use factory-produced fertilizer end up messing their plants. That does not happen with the organic fertilizer.
Over-Fertilization is not Good for Tomatoes
The lack of fertilizers can lead to a stunted growth and more chances of diseases in the plants. However, some people end up with over-fertilization of their plants too. That is even worse than the lack of fertilization. Too much fertilizer does not always mean it the plant will perform better.
Here are signs that your tomatoes might be over-fertilized.
- Yellowing of leaves
- Too much leaves
- Heavy buildup of fertilizer on the soil surface
- The lower leaves wilt
- The plant suddenly loses leaves
Always take your time to learn more about fertilizers before using them for your tomatoes. The guide above should help you pick the right fertilizer at the right time.