Looking for advice on how to fertilize your tomatoes? This blog post comes to us from our friends at J.R. Peters. For more great information on Jack’s Classic fertilizers, visit www.jrpeters.com or check out their blog at www.jrpeters.com/Blog.html
Things are really moving now in the garden with the onset of the warmer temperatures. Your transplants should be responding to their new environment and producing new growth. The root systems are ready to take up all the nutrients they need to maximize their bud set and flower initiation.
Here is the feeding program I use for my tomato plants and some of the reasons I use it.
- After transplanting the tomatoes I want to get them off to a great start. In order to do that you need to provide plenty of phosphorus to the root system which has not yet spread out in the soil. I use the Jack’s Classic® Blossom Booster 10-30-20 at 1 tablespoon per gallon when I set the plants in place.
- After the first week I come back and make my first application of Jack’s Classic® 20-20-20. This 1-1-1 ratio fertilizer is just what the plant needs to grow in mass with plenty of new leaves and thick stems that will be the factories to produce lots of energy that will give you a high fruit yield. I repeat these feedings every 10 days to make certain there are no nutrient stresses to hold back production.
- Tomatoes respond well to increased levels of magnesium in the feed program. Be sure to add some additional Epsom salts (1 teaspoon per gallon) to your fertilizer applications. Your leaves will develop a deep green in response to the fertilizer applications and the increased magnesium.
- After the first month I switch my feeding program to a combination of 1 tablespoon of 20-20-20 and 1 tablespoon of 10-30-20 in 2 gallons. That combination makes a 15-25-20 fertilizer, which is a great formulation to feed as the plants are setting buds and fruit. Stick with this combination until all your fruit is set and the first of the fruit is starting to turn red.
- From this point on I stick with the Blossom Booster 10-30-20. The high potassium will let the fruit finish nicely. Apply the fertilizers every 10 days or so right through the end of the crop.