POWER STROKE
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Tomato Plant Food

I am new to gardening and was wondering how often I should give my tomatos , Tomato plant food every time I water, once a week, every other week and so on? Thanks in advance for any replys or help.

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RamonaGS
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Re: Tomato Plant Food

Depends on the type or brand of plant food you are giving it. Is it a store bought brand or is it a natural cocktail of plant food goodness?
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applestar
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Re: Tomato Plant Food

It will also depend on whether you re growing them in containers or in the ground and what kind of pre-planting preparations were done.
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DownriverGardener
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Re: Tomato Plant Food

Need more info first: are you trying to grow organic? Or are you using chemical ferts? How was the soil before you planted?

I tried to amend my soil with enough organic ingredients this year so that I don't have to fertilize often. Since you're probably already planted by now, let us know what your soil was like. Since I had fertile soil with lots of biologically enhancing ingredients, I don't normally feed until the plants start to bear fruit.

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Re: Tomato Plant Food

I have the exact same question so I'm going to jump in. I am growing in containers, mostly, I added some all purpose fet a while ago, and some bone meal about 2-3 weeks ago. I'm trying to be organic, I have 'organic' fertilizer.

My soil is 'Planter mix'. I don't think it's as good as the stuff you would buy in bags, but it seems pretty good, light and well draining with lots of organic material in it. and I added some steer manure into each bed a few weeks before planting. (probably not enough). I also used E.B. stone sure start with each store bought seedling.

I added a bit of fish emulsion a few weeks ago (stinky). As I understand it nitrogen can burn the plant if too much is used, is that the case with all fertilizers?

Thank you.

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Re: Tomato Plant Food

RamonaGS wrote:Depends on the type or brand of plant food you are giving it. Is it a store bought brand or is it a natural cocktail of plant food goodness?
Store bought

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Re: Tomato Plant Food

applestar wrote:It will also depend on whether you re growing them in containers or in the ground and what kind of pre-planting preparations were done.
In the ground

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RamonaGS
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Re: Tomato Plant Food

Since it is store bought fertilizer, than it should have directions on it somewhere about how often they recommend you use it. And most of them are designed to be used on plants stuck in the ground rather than in containers.
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RamonaGS
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Re: Tomato Plant Food

Chubwolf, I'm doing container tomatoes too, and I have been giving them a store bought fertilizer, that was designed for ground planted vegetables, and recommended to be given every 3 weeks. I give the green kids an extra week with it though, so I feed every 4 weeks or once a month, and they seem to be doing fine. IDK if that helps you out or not, but that's what's working for me so far. :)
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Re: Tomato Plant Food

Ramona,
Thank you. i think it's been a little over a month and I feel like i've been a bit light with it. I'll see how this month goes,

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RamonaGS
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Re: Tomato Plant Food

Something else I do, is I watch the bottom leaves of the plant for any signs of yellowing. The bottom leaves of tomatoes start to yellow if the plant needs Nitrogen. I've had one or two turn yellow, but for the most part they are fine and healthy, and I got some tomatoes on the way, so I suppose they are happy with my guessing so far. :) So checking the leaves can tell you if they are doing fine with the plant food or if they need more. I hope your tomatoes cooperate! :D
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Re: Tomato Plant Food

I would be careful not to overfeed the tomatoes. Too much fertilizer, nitrogen in particular will cause the plant to grow leaves and not much fruit.

I usually do 1/2 cup fertilizer in the planting hole, relatively low nitrogen. ratio of 1:2:2 plus micros. I use citrus fertilizer for just about everything because it contains micros.

At first flowering I will feed each plant about a tablespoon of balanced fertilize. I repeat fertilizing again when the fruits are half grown and monthly thereafter. My tomatoes are in pots.

If you are planting in the ground, it is easier to get a soil test before you plant. That way you would have a recommendation for what you need.

If not, I would go with how the plant looks. If it is growing vigorously with thick stems and large green leaves and starts to flower at about 3 ft for most plants. You have more than enough fertilizer.

If your plants grow vigorously, have lots of leaves and are very tall. Then you could probably have used less nitrogen, unless you like tall plants. (I do).

If the leaves are a healthy green and not yellow or chloritic and the fruits are well formed then you are giving the plants enough fertilizer.

If the plants have lots of leaves are very tall and not much flowering has occurred, you have given it too much fertilizer.

If the plant looks stunted, the leaves yellow, purple or have chlorosis then you have not fed it enough or it could be a disease causing the problem.

I think from what you have said, you have enough fertilizer and should not need too much more.

Organic fertilizers have lower numbers, but except for the fish emulsion, most organic fertilizers release nutrients slowly so it is best to have them in the soil before you plant.
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amylong
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Re: Tomato Plant Food

I was thinking of fertilizing my plants and i made the mistake of not looking at the NPK ratio:( and i found that it is really high in N (24 percent) and only 8 percent P..:( I know high P is good to encourage fruiting. My first tomato flower just opened a little bit. Is it harmful to feed it the fertilizer? would it be ok to use on my strawberry? The ratio is 24-8-16..and they literally have a picture of a tomatoe to advertize it too=.=; it is water soluble all prupse plant food from miracle gro..:( thank you everyone for all the advice and support. Can I just bury some chicken bones in the soil for P?

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Re: Tomato Plant Food

personally I would not use a 24-x-x on tomatoes.
(actually, never applied any fertilizer to my in-ground tomatoes, but I am on the organic side of "digging in" organic stuff to promote a good soil tilth & fertility.)

if the leaves are nicely green and the plant is growing, try some bone meal if you must.
one general thumb rule on the N-P-K thing is leaves-roots-fruit

so something higher in the K category may be more useful.

amylong
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Re: Tomato Plant Food

thanks for the reply..so something like banana peels would be good for fruiting?? thank you:)

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Re: Tomato Plant Food

Banana peels are good and a lot of people bury a banana peel in the planting hole for planting tomatoes. But of course the nutrients aren't released until the peel breaks down, so it's not a quick fix.

Bone meal is pretty high in P and K and has no N, so it is good to balance things out if you have given too much N. And being ground in to meal, the nutrients are released a bit sooner.

You may be treating a problem that doesn't exist. You said "I may have gone too light" on the fertilizer. What makes you think so? Are you seeing any problems, stunted growth, no flowering, yellowing, etc?

I would not take the directions on the fertilizer package re how much too use and how often too seriously. Remember they are in the business of selling their product, so they want to get you to use as much as you can, short of burning your plants. If your soil is decent, you probably don't need as much as they say. If your soil is not decent, then you should work on fixing that, which fertilizer does not do.

I'm another one who never uses any actual fertilizer (just compost and mulch). All tomatoes need is good rich organic soil.
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amylong
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Re: Tomato Plant Food

I am sorry if I mislead in my post, I haven't use any fertilizer besides tea bags, and a few banana peels when I first put them into the smart pots so I thought maybe it was due to refertilze. I think my plants look ok, they are green and starting to put out blooms. I thought maybe since it is about to put out blooms that it may need some fertilizer. I probably won't use the fertlizer that I brought. I know for bone meal, people make them into fine particles? Is it ok if I bury whole bones? I know it will be slower. I have dried seaweed (like the ones use to make sushi) is that useable? thank you:)

Dillbert
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Re: Tomato Plant Food

bananas are supposed to be a high K thing - don't know if the K is in the fruit or the peel or both.

the one issue tho is it takes time for stuff to decompose to the point the elemental compounds are in a form the plant(s) can use. for a "quick fix" consider green sand or a very weak solution of wood ash.

wood ash is very alkaline - over application can result in not-so-nice dead burnt to a crisp plants - half a cup in a gallon of water is a good starting point. wood ash potassium is highly soluble.

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