A Detailed Guide On What Type Of Fertilizer For Tomatoes

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Last Updated on May 3, 2022

Tomato being a heavy feeder tells us that the plant is a hungry plant that likes to be fed with fertilizer for them to flourish. What type of fertilizer for tomatoes do you think is best considering the fact that tomato is a nutrient-loving plant?

Tomatoes will thrive well when you supply them with lots of fertilizer or nutrients to grow throughout their season. No matter the type of fertilizer you use (organic or chemical), it can boost the growth and production of tomatoes by providing extra nutrients required for tomato plants to flourish.

But the question we would like to know and discuss is what type of fertilizer for tomatoes is best? We would also discuss about the best type of fertilizer for container tomatoes.

What Type Of Fertilizer For Tomatoes? The Ideal NPK Ratio

When it comes to choosing the ideal fertilizer for tomato plants, go for a fertilizer that has a balanced ratio of the three main elements. These main elements include the regular NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium). So, they should be balanced in a ratio such as 10-10-10.

Alternatively, you can choose a fertilizer where the middle value (which is phosphorous) is greater than the first number (which is nitrogen). An example is a fertilizer ratio value of 2-3-1.

What Type Of Fertilizer For Tomatoes? The Ideal NPK Ratio

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What To Consider Before Deciding The Type Of Fertilizer To Use For Tomatoes

But one important thing to note when considering what type of fertilizer for tomatoes is to know the status of your soil. Get to know the current nutrient content of your soil and you can know this by simply doing a soil test.

After testing your soil, the result gotten will determine the type of fertilizer to use. For instance, if your soil is correctly balanced or high in nitrogen, a fertilizer that has a low value of nitrogen should be used. Then the phosphorus value should be higher. An example of this type of fertilizer is 5-10-5 or a 5-10-10 fertilizer mix.

On the other hand, if the result of your soil test shows it lacks nitrogen or it is a low nitrogen, then a balanced fertilizer such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 should be used to prepare the soil of your tomato plant.

However, if you don’t have the capacity to have a soil test, you can just assume the soil you have is balanced and make use of a higher value of phosphorous tomato plant fertilizer. But make sure the soil has not had any experience of a sickly tomato plant in the past or this may not interfere with your result.

Another important thing to be aware of when it comes to fertilizing tomato plants is to avoid using too much nitrogen. The results of excess nitrogen supplied to tomato soil usually give rise to lush, green leaves, with very few tomatoes.

Therefore, if you have experienced the problem stated above (very few tomato yield), then you can consider providing a bit more phosphorous to the plant rather than a balanced tomato fertilizer.

Dr. Earth Organic 5 Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer Poly Bag

Fertilizer For Tomatoes: The Nutrients Needed

As we have mentioned, tomato requires 3 major nutrients and they are nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. The tomato plant also requires lots of other nutrients apart from the regular NPK as each of these nutrients serves some crucial tasks for plants.

Let’s briefly look at some details on these major nutrients as well as some other nutrients:

  • Nitrogen: Supplying your tomato with nitrogen fertilizer is important and it will help maintain the leaves of the plant. However, when you use excess nitrogen, the resulting tomato plant usually gives rise to more leaves rather than more tomato fruits. Therefore, you may notice a bushy tomato plant and little tomato fruit yield when you use too much nitrogen.
  • Phosphorus: Another crucial fertilizer needed for the tomato to grow adequately is phosphorous. Phosphorous is required by your tomato plant for the growth of roots and fruits. This nutrient is an essential component for the first phase and last phase of the development of the tomato plant.
  • Potassium: Potassium assists your tomato plant to grow rapidly and produce flowers. It is these flowers that end up turning into fruits.

So, apart from the major NPK nutrients, tomato plants also require other small nutrients and elements to grow and some of them include calcium, magnesium, zinc, boron, and so on. Let’s look briefly into some of these smaller nutrients.

  • Magnesium: magnesium helps your tomato plant to remain green and it can help enhance the quality of flowers and fruits of your tomato plant.
  • Calcium: calcium can help in producing strong tomato plants. This element will also help in proper root development and leaf development.
  • Boron and Zinc: both boron and zinc can assist in the flowering process and fruit ripening of your tomato plant.

Best Fertilizer For Tomatoes In Pots – What Type Of Fertilizer For Tomatoes

You can either use organic or chemical fertilizer for your potted tomato. But here are some nice homemade fertilizers you can use for your container tomatoes:

  1. Fertilizer Containing Nitrogen

Corn gluten meal, rabbit poo, and manure are great organic homemade nitrogen-containing nutrients or fertilizers you can use for your potted tomato plant.

  1. Fertilizer Containing Phosphorous

Human urine, kelp meal, sunflower seeds, soya beans, and pumpkin or squash seeds are good fertilizers that is phosphorous-containing that you can use for your potted tomato plant.

Best Fertilizer For Tomatoes In Pots - What Type Of Fertilizer For Tomatoes
  1. Fertilizer Containing Potassium

Fertilizer that contains potassium that you can use for your potted tomato plant includes wood ash, banana peels, potato peels, orange peels, sweet potato peels, and cucumber peels.

Conclusion – What Type Of Fertilizer For Tomatoes

Tomato plants are heavy feeders so it is important you supply them with some good fertilizer so you can enjoy optimal yield. What type of fertilizer for tomatoes has been discussed here and we have also mentioned some nice fertilizers to use for your potted tomato plants.


What type of fertilizer is needed for tomatoes?

The type of fertilizer needed by the tomato plant should be a balanced ratio fertilizer that has the three main elements which are nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium (NPK). An example of a balanced fertilizer for tomatoes is 10-10-10.

What can I use to fertilize my tomato plants?

You can make use of a liquid type of fertilizer like compost or worm casting every 14 days to fertilize your tomato plant.

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