Organic Tomato Fertilizer

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To know what to add to the soil, you must first understand what you are missing!

One of the most common questions we get about growing tomatoes is, “What is the best organic tomato fertilizer to use?” That can be a hard question to answer because the organic tomato fertilizer you use completely depends on the needs of your soil. Anyone who recommends a one-size-fits-all solution for fertilizing tomatoes is not answering the question with the most accurate and sustainable answer.

To know what organic tomato fertilizer you need to add to your soil, you must first get your soil tested. Soil testing kits are available widely, but we recommend a quality test from a reputable lab, such as the laboratory soil tests offered on our website. It’s best to get your soil tested 4-8 weeks before the growing season so that you have time to fertilize correctly.

prepped fertilizer     

Once you know what your soil is missing, you can learn what tomatoes need. You can then add that to your soil, container, or planting mix. The extra step of getting your soil tested may seem like extra work and more money spent. But in the end, you’ll save yourself the cost of unnecessary fertilizer and have the environmental benefit of not overfertilizing.

What nutrients do tomatoes need to thrive?

Your organic tomato fertilizer should have all the necessary nutrients for the production of tomatoes.

Nitrogen: for leaf building

Potassium and phosphorous: for flowering and fruit set

Micronutrients (calcium, selenium, and zinc): add to the plant’s overall health and can contribute to the overall flavor

Beneficial bacteria: These, like the beneficial probiotics we need for healthy digestive systems, ensure that soil life is thriving and contributes to the health of all plants.

Once you’ve identified the essential nutrients missing from your tomato growing area, you can add an organic tomato fertilizer with the appropriate missing components.

How much and how often do you add organic tomato fertilizer?

Fertilizing tomatoes or any crop requires choosing a fertilizer with the nutrients your soil is missing. Next, it’s important to read the product information to know how much to add to your planting. Every fertilizer company, brand, and kind has different recommendations depending on the product’s ingredients. Read the instructions to see the amount of product the manufacturer recommends. Their instructions will provide the most accurate use of the organic tomato fertilizer for your crop.

When do you add organic tomato fertilizer to your crops?

We fertilize at the following times on our farm:

Bed Prep or Before Planting

If soil test results show we lack a particular nutrient, we must add an organic tomato fertilizer to our planting area before planting our tomatoes. Add fertilizer to the soil in the ground, raised bed, or container where we’ll grow our tomato transplants. We follow the organic tomato fertilizer product instructions for the most accurate application.

fertilizer in seed tray

During the Growing Period

During the first 4–8 weeks of growth, before flowers bloom on the tomato plant, our goal is to allow the plant to grow quickly, happily, and easily with access to plenty of nitrogen for plant growth. As you’ll learn in our tomato growing guide, nitrogen is like the carbohydrate of the plant world and helps to energize plant growth. We add an organic nitrogen fertilizer during the plant’s growing period if our soil results show that we lack nitrogen or if the plant shows nitrogen deficiency. Organic fertilizer like fish, bone, or feather meal is high in nitrogen and can be applied specifically to ensure the rapid growth of leaves, stems, and overall plant.

We all know the adage that more is not always better. In this particular case, it is very accurate. Adding excessive nitrogen to fuel tomato growth can lead to pest issues like aphids, whiteflies, and other insects. Additionally, you are likely to grow more plant than tomatoes — who wants that?

At Flowering

Fertilizing at flowering can ensure that your plants have the essential nutrients to grow happy, healthy tomatoes. Nutrients like calcium are important for the prevention of blossom end rot. By adding a fertilizer that contains readily available calcium for the plant at flowering, you can prevent the issue before it arises. It is very hard to stop blossom end rot once you notice it on your tomato plants. Just as we need our vitamins to stay healthy and prevent illness, so do tomatoes.


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