[Tomato Dirt #106] Compare Tomato Fertilizer: Which One Is Right for You?
June 23, 2016
Tomato Dirt Newsletter Volume 6, Number 12
Dear Tomato Dirt reader,
Welcome back to Tomato Dirt! A couple of times a month, we’ll send you this newsletter packed with tips about growing tomatoes and using them.
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FEATURE: Compare Types of Tomato Fertilizer: Which One Is Best for You?
Image: Tomato Dirt
Tomatoes are heavy feeders. Tomato fertilizer helps supplement your garden soil and provide nutrients that tomato plants need at different stages of growth: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, potash, calcium, and magnesium, along with other trace minerals.
Consider composition as you compare tomato fertilizers to make the best choice for your plants and your garden.
Understand the numbers. Most fertilizers are a combination of the three nutrients commonly fed to plants: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (referred to as the “N-P-K ratio”). A fertilizer’s composition is listed on the label in
a three-number series, such as 15-10-5. The three numbers represent those three nutrients. A 15-10-5 fertilizer contains 15% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 5% potassium. The remainder of the fertilizer is filler material.
Know the best nutrient balance for tomatoes. Nitrogen encourages leaf growth, which is why fertilizers with higher ratio of nitrogen (the first of the three numbers) are an optimum choice for lawns and grasses. But in tomatoes, excess leaf growth discourages blossoms and fruit. Phosphorus encourages flowering. Potassium encourages fruiting. So a complete fertilizer with a balanced supply of the three major nutrients, such as 10-10-10 or 5-10-10, is a good choice for tomato plants.
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