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What tomato fertilizer works best for you??

Posted: Mon May 28, 2012 7:49 pm
by gardenboy
I'm an avid gardener now for 38 years here in south Florida. I love a home grown tomato over grocery tomato anytime. Was wondering what different people use for their fertilizer? Do you like granular or water soluble? I like to use "organic" if possible and have good results with Tomato-tone 3.4.6 ratio so far. After my transplants are 2 weeks old, I sprinkle 3 tablespoons around the tomato stem keeping 3 inches out from the stem and water after. What do you find works best for your garden?

Posted: Mon May 28, 2012 8:04 pm
by rainbowgardener
Tomato tone is what is usually recommended if you aren't going to just use compost. I just use compost added at planting time and mid-season, with maybe once or twice watering with compost tea/infusion and keeping them well mulched.

Best for tomatoes is just rich organic soil.

Posted: Tue May 29, 2012 11:02 pm
by Tonio
I've been working amendments into my new garden beds. This is my second season here, and finally got some home made compost early this spring. Also added some bagged commercial " gardening compost" , and some ferts.
Finally got some Tomato tone, and appears its some good stuff. I also top dressed w/ some more compost and fish/seaweed "Neptunes Harvest" with some blackstrap molasses for a treat.

My sandy soil is finally getting there, and is holding mositure better. Perhaps in a few years of adding compost , the need for adding ferts will dwindle.

T

Posted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:22 pm
by MyMrSir1112
I started a new spot this year and am doing some of experimenting with tomato plants. I know keeping commercial chemicals out of our diet is a big part of not using them in the first place, that being said, I'm using some.

I tilled a pick up truck load of horse compost into a 17'x17' area then made raised beds within that area. I have 18 tomato plants that I started from seed in dairy manure then transplanted outside at 1 month.

In some, I placed 1 part 10-0-10, 1 part gypsum and 1 tbls 10-54-10 bloom food with 3 parts dairy manure at 8" and mixed. I then covered that with 2" soil and placed the 4" to 5" plants on top of that only leaving a little of the plant sticking out of the dirt, maybe 1" to 1.5".

At week 7, I made a 10" circled mound around the plants and sprinkled 1/4 tsp of 10-54-10 inside. They are 8.5 weeks old and all 4 Sweet 100 plants have 20 to 40 buds with 2 that will open today or in the morning. On the 4 Big Boys, there are multiple small buds, 4 to 9.

I have 4 mixed plants that I planted with the trench method and use 1/4 tsp 10-54-10 per plant when I water. No mix under the plants.

The last 6 I have growing only in the compost rich soil they are a mix of Big Boy, Sweet 100 and Sweet Snack. I also have 9 plants growing in plain yard dirt for a control.

That's what I'm using and have some pics under Reclaimed/Repurposed Garden in the veggie section and will update this week. Prolly on the day of week 9.

Posted: Wed May 30, 2012 8:15 pm
by rainbowgardener
I always like it when people do the experiments and have comparison groups. Keep us posted on how it all goes, preferably with pictures.

But remember, there are lots of variables. Even if your plants with the bloom booster stuff produce more tomatoes, that isn't the whole end of the story. How do the tomatoes taste? How well do the plants do at making it through the season without getting diseased (sometimes when plants are forced like that, they are more vulnerable to pests/ diseases). And what about next year? The synthetic ferts are addictive. Heavy concentrations of them tend to build up salts in the soil and kill off the life in the soil, so then you have to keep adding them more and more. At the end of the season, check your various plots and see which have the most earthworms. Which plots need the most watering?

If you really do this kind of observing and keep some notes, it will be a great experiment!

Tomato experiments

Posted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:36 pm
by gardenboy
Yeah experiments are great learning tools. Never heard of 10-54-10. What brand fertilizer had 10-54-10? Like to try that on my sunflowers. I have lots of worm castings and Tomato-tone 3.4.6 for trade if anyone would like to try them.