gnat
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fertilizer for peppers and tomatoes

I know there are separate forums for the above but I would really like to have one post. I'm trying to figure out what fertile to use. I am getting mixed answers from my research and various garden centers (10 10 10, 5 10 10,
2.5 1 4, and many others that are way off the mark in terms of similarities)

Help meeeeeeeeeeeeeee :(
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gnat
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Re: fertilizer for peppers and tomatoes

Darned phone. Fertizer lol
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McKinney88
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Re: fertilizer for peppers and tomatoes

I use the red miracle grow vegetable plant food. Its 18-21-21. I dilute it down and use it on my seedlings too.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: fertilizer for peppers and tomatoes

'S complicated! Technically you would use at least a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10, or maybe even one higher in nitrogen, like 9-4-9, when they are first planted and you want them to focus on growing roots and leaves. Once they are established and you want them to bloom and fruit, you would use something higher in P, maybe even 6-19-0.

Organic sources of nutrients are always going to be less concentrated, more like 2-2-2 for compost. That's ok, because you just use more. Very concentrated ferts like 20-20-20 are dangerous and can easily be over done and need to be diluted.

But I don't use any synthetic fertilizers. My philosophy is that if you have good, rich organic soil, the plant will take what it needs when it needs it and you and I don't have to worry our pretty little heads about how much of what to provide when. We are not smarter than Mother Nature. It's like trying to meet people's food needs by giving them one dish at a time, vs. putting a whole buffet in front of them and letting them pick whatever they want.

So all I use is compost, mulch, maybe some compost infusion/ tea....
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imafan26
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Re: fertilizer for peppers and tomatoes

Tomatoes are challenging to be grown in BC. You are probably growing in a pot.
First make sure you select the right cultivars. You want the early varieties that will mature in less than 70 days and you will need to start indoors or from transplants early. A lot of the tomatoes that Applestar has will probably work.

The best pot size is 18 -20 inches in diameter. Tomatoes have a lot of roots and you want enough soil mass so it does not dry out.

Peppers can go into smaller pots but since hot peppers can live for me for years, I prefer them in 5 gallon buckets.
Peppers are less demanding than tomatoes. I use either MG potting soil or my homemade peatlite with osmocote. I will need to supplement with additional tablespoon of vigoro fertilizer per pot per month and I also give them a tablespoon of osmocote when I repot them in about 6 months. If you are only going to keep peppers for one season then use a 4 gallon egg can. It is a deep pot and gives the roots more room to spread out.

In a pot, if you are using something like miracle grow potting soil, it already contains fertilizer for the first three months NPK= 0.21 - 0.11 - 0.16. The bag says six months but I live in a hot climate and slow release fertilizer generally lasts half as long. I would supplement every month with a couple of tablespoons of a balanced fast release fertilizer or at least one that has numbers under 15 ( I prefer under 10) with a lower nitrogen. Ideally you want an NPK ratio close to 1:2:2

[b]Any complete fertilizer will work, so don't get hung up on the numbers. If you are using fertilizer with higher numbers, use half as much. Instead of the numbers look at the ratio's NPK 1:1:1, 1:2:2, 1:0:1. 2:0:1

There are specific fertilizers for different types of plants, but anything that says it is for general purpose or garden vegetables will work. I use vigoro citrus and Avocado food because it fits the needs of most of my potted plants. It has low numbers under 10, micro nutrients, and slow release nitrogen.

I only have three kinds of fertilizer.

Sulfate of ammonia because nitrogen should be given to plants in divided doses and not all at once. Nitrogen is a limiting factor of growth and is important that it is available for seedlings to grow. It is also quickly lost through natural processes (the nitrogen cycle) so dividing the total requirement into 2 or 3 applications over the life of the plant or over the year for perennials is better. You want to avoid too much nitrogen for fruiting and blooming plants or they will produce more green and less flowers. My soil tests also indicate that all I need to add is nitrogen since my soil is alkaline in two plots (pH 7.4 and pH 47.8) and pH 6.4 at another and the phosphorus, potassium, and calcium are all high or extremely high. I still get some phosphorus and potassium from the compost I add which is also alkaline at a pH of 7.8, but composts helps to buffer pH so it behaves more neutral. If I add manure, I only use composted steer manure as chicken manure will only make the pH worse.

I use citrus food (Vigoro 6-4-6) from home depot. The NPK is low but the nitrogen is slow release and it also contains micro nutrients. I do use MG potting soil for my tomatoes, but I also add a 1/2 cup of this fertilizer as a starter. I use this as a supplement for my 18 gallon tomato tubs every month. About 1-2 tablespoons. Most vegetables prefer slightly acidic conditions and this is an acidic fertilizer. I could probably use a little less because I have big tomato plants over 8 ft tall, they are very productive. If you want to grow anything alkaline like cabbages, or baby's breath then you either have to have alkaline soil or add lime six months before.

Slow release fertilizer. osmocote , nutricote and apex. I use these in my starter mixes for seedlings and transplants. I make my own soil with 50/50 peat moss and perlite. I also use slow release to feed my orchids. I mix about 1/3 cup in a 5 gallon bucket of peatlite.

I do occasionally use bulb food in pots for bulbs like lilies, onions, amaryllis, and glads.
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jal_ut
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Re: fertilizer for peppers and tomatoes

For growing in a few pots, you would do well to find something that was made for potted plants. The kind that is to be added to water and applied with the water is great. I would look for something with NPK, the three main fertilizer needs.
A 10 10 10 mix would be good. Be careful. Remember if you over-do it you will kill your plants. A little is good, too much is disastrous. Follow directions on the package.
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catgrass
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Re: fertilizer for peppers and tomatoes

I'd use 10-10-10 or 8-8-8, just a balanced fertilizer to start. Don't over think it. If you have problems, yellowing, small produce, then worry about what to change/add or delete.
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gnat
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Re: fertilizer for peppers and tomatoes

I should have given more info, but you guys have me lots of info above thank you.

I actually have no problems with tomatoes and I transplant them into the ground early june. Still have a freezer full from last year haha.

It's peppers that I have issues with. Those effers are finicky. Had my first harvest last year with blossom end rot. Second harvest was ok but took forever to come back in (just the sweet peppers, the hors we're easy).

Anyway, the store told me to use mushroom fertilizer as well as whatever fertilizer I choose and that's where I ran into problems of course.

Anyway I will review the above and decide. Thanks guys. You are all wonderful!
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gnat
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Re: fertilizer for peppers and tomatoes

Mushroom manure, sorry. Maybe I need more morning coffee.
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Rairdog
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Re: fertilizer for peppers and tomatoes

Check your soil ph. I have the same problem with peppers. Tomatoes don't mind the higher ph as much. Also check your water ph if you do a lot of watering when it warms up. My well water is high. You might consider growing some peppers in planters. Then you can add peat to lower the ph and they warm up quicker.

imafan26
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Re: fertilizer for peppers and tomatoes

Yes, mushroom compost is alkaline and peppers like it slightly acidic to neutral. Blossom end rot is basically a watering issue. Some people put additional lime into the pot, but I do not. I just do not like giving lime to an acid loving plant. Peppers do have large root systems and they don't like to to too dry. If they are in the ground adding compost and steer manure does not hurt, but only add in about 3-4 inches of compost and dig that into ideally the first 12 inches of soil.

If they are in a pot then go for a larger pot with a greater soil volume so that there is room for the root system and the pot will not dry out as fast especially when the plant is grown and producing peppers. The fertilizer you use for tomatoes still works with peppers.

I have successfully grown tomatoes and peppers in self watering pots. I do not add any lime and I use 1/2 cup of starter fertilizer (vigoro citrus and avocado food). You can use any complete fertilizer, but I like a fertilizer with micros. I feed them monthly with one or two tablespoons more each month.

I have not had any problems with blossom end rot with my tomatoes or peppers when they are in large enough pots and watered adequately. Tomatoes will wilt in the midday heat, but peppers usually don't. Self watering containers have a reservoir so inadequate watering is not an issue as long as the reservoir has water, there is no uneven watering.

Blossom end rot is a physiological condition and not a true deficiency. When the plant is in rapid growth or if the soil is unevenly watered, calcium cannot be transported adequately to all of the growing parts of the plant, so the calcium is taken from the fruit and that appears as blossom end rot. Even if you have added additional calcium to the soil, if the plant cannot take it up, you will still get blossom end rot.

A five gallon self watering bucket is enough for one pepper plant, but I prefer the 18 gallon rubbermaid tub with a five gallon reservoir. I can get two peppers in those.

Improving the soil moisture holding capacity helps in ground plants, adding compost before planting, mulching afterwards and adjusting the watering schedule. In the middle of summer when plants are growing and putting on fruit, you may need to water more often and feed them monthly.

I don't get a great result with bell peppers, but that is mostly related to the fact that I live in a place where peppers resistant to nematodes, virus, and multiple fungal diseases are necessary. I will only average 5-8 peppers before the plants peter out. I haven't seen BER in years, the peppers usually succumb to leaf spot and thrips. The tropical bell pepper Kaala does live more than one season, but the peppers are small. I have better luck with the Italian, and Asian sweet peppers. Hot peppers are much more productive and more disease resistant, pendulous peppers are more bird resistant.
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