arawhcuk
Full Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:17 pm

tomatoes stopped growing, or are growing realllly slow?

I'm getting plenty of tomatoes on my plants. but my biggest two are about slightly larger than a cherry/grape tomato and they're not really getting any larger, or they're at least growing veeerrry slowwwly. is this normal ? any way to speed it up?

femlow
Senior Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:37 am
Location: 5a - Maine

Depending on the species of tomato, that may be perfectly normal, since some large tomatoes grow on smaller plants, and some cherry and grape tomato plants get rather large. If you are getting a normal amount of fruit off of it and the plants aren't otherwise showing concerning signs, then its likely just how big the plants get, but sometimes insufficient growth can be caused by a lack of nitrogen. Normally if this is the case, there is also yellowing of leaves along with it. Be careful about adding too much nitrogen though because it can cause a whole lot of problems, like poor fruit and seed developement. Normally, a decent vegetable fertilizer has a good balance of nutrients, so if you use one, and you are getting healthy fruit and your plants look healthy, its probably not much to worry about.

fem

arawhcuk
Full Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:17 pm

i meant more the actual fruit rather than the plants. the plants are plenty big, but the fruit is taking a real long time to develop. i'll try to find a fertilizer though. right now I'm just giving them miracle-gro once a week

femlow
Senior Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:37 am
Location: 5a - Maine

Sorry, I misunderstood. Nix the nitrogen then and try upping the phosphorous. Phosphorous is the key nutrient to healthy, mature, well developed fruit.

fem

Student of Nature
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:40 am
Location: Central Vermont

Soil Additives

This is my second year for box garden tomatoes. I use organic soil (with Miracle Gro) and this year added my own compost but I've never added anything like nitrogen or phosphorus. I wouldn't even know how to buy it. Tell me more, in case I need it some day. Thanks!
Student of Nature

femlow
Senior Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:37 am
Location: 5a - Maine

If you use compost, you probably won't need to add nitrogen. Nitrogen is released naturally from dead organic matter so compost is great for that and you probably wont need to add more. If you do for some reason though, and you are preparing you bed or pots ahead of time, you can add green plant matter, such as lawn clippings and till or mix it in. They are a great source of nitrogen (much better when they are still green than when they are dry). If you have already planted and think you need more nitrogen, the you can get things like high-nitrogen fertilizers to add. Often ones for lawns and other leaafy plants are higher in nitrogen. Just be careful because as stated above, an excess of nitrogen can cause problems as well. It can actually slow down plant growth, cause the leaves to become leathery, will reduce flower and fruit/seed production, and in excess can cause ground water pollution because it is easily leeched below two feet or so.

Wood ashes (from a fireplace) can be used to increase phosphorus as well as potassium and some other nitruents, and it can be used to raise the soild pH. Because wood ashes can cause root burn if added when the plants are growing, this is best done during the winter. If you think you need to add more when yur plants are already in, you can get a high-phosphorus fertilizer like a starter fertilizer and use that.

If you are concerned about nutrient and pH levels, you can always get your soil tested to see how it needs to be ammended before you plant and when your plants are already int he ground.

fem

arawhcuk
Full Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:17 pm

well i have no clue where to get fertilizers. anything i can add like what you'd add to a compost pile? lor leaves or something?

femlow
Senior Member
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:37 am
Location: 5a - Maine

You can get fertilizers at any nursery, however if you don't want to use synthetics, you can use other things to provide the necessary nutrients for your plants. You can add wood ashes (from a fireplace) during the winter or I think you should be able to find bone meal at a feed store, though I don't know when you should add it. Both of these will up the phosphorus in the soil as well as some other nutrients (especially the bone meal, though wood ashes will add more potassium). Compost is perfectly adequate for nitrogen. However with you plants already in the ground, your options will be somewhat more limited. The easiest thing to do now is to use a synthetic fertilizer (from a nursery or garden store) that has high phosphorus (the middle number), and then this winter, ammend your soil using either of the products above so it will not be necessary to use a synthetic next year.

fem

Newt
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1868
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 2:44 am
Location: Maryland zone 7

Arawhcuk, you should find this helpful in explaining the NPK of fertilizers.
https://www.loudzen.com/garden/soil/index.html

Do keep in mind that adding one element can sometimes cause an imbalance of other nutrients. Using organics will help and be easier on the plants.

Here's some info about the differences in synthetics such as Miracle Gro and organics.
https://www.dirtdoctor.com/view_question.php?id=131

Nutrient Content of Natural Materials and Manure and tables for application:
https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/trees-new/text/fertilizing_tables.html

Newt

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