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Picture of Waverider ;)
posted
Do you fertilize your tomato plants? What do you use and how often is it done? Thanks!
 
Posts: 2526 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I plant my tomatoes in a soil that is well endowed with organic that is evenly moist but well drained. The soil pH will be in the 6.2 to 7.2 range and nutrients will be balanced as indicated by a good reliable soil test. If that is done then there will be no need to fertilize during the growing season.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8184 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Waverider ;)
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Good, thank you!! The reason I asked this is because I was recently reading about tomatoes. It said that they are "heavy feeders". So I was wondering if I should have given my tomatoes some extra fertilizer. I just put down eptsom salt when I planted them and I used new, good soil and I don't add anything else. I was just wondering if next year I SHOULD add something more. (I always see in Lowe's, "Fertilizer for Tomatoes" and I wonder if it is necessary.) I've only planted tomatoes a few years, so I am still learning! Thanks again!! Wink
 
Posts: 2526 | Location: "The Garden State", NJ ~ Zone 7 | Registered: Nov 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Epsom Salts do little for tomatoes, or any other plant, contrary to what the myths tell you.
Contact your local office of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service about having a good reliable soil test done. That will help guide you in what needs be done, if anything. Along with that soil test for soil pH and major nutrient levels, perhaps these simple soil tests,
1) Soil test for organic matter. From that soil sample put enough of the rest to make a 4 inch level in a clear 1 quart jar, with a tight fitting lid. Fill that jar with water and replace the lid, tightly. Shake the jar vigorously and then let it stand for 24 hours. Your soil will settle out according to soil particle size and weight. For example, a good loam will have about 1-3/4 inch (about 45%) of sand on the bottom. about 1 inch (about 25%) of silt next, about 1 inch (25%) of clay above that, and about 1/4 inch (about 5%) of organic matter on the top.

2) Drainage. Dig a hole 1 foot square and 1 foot deep and fill that with water. After that water drains away refill the hole with more water and time how long it takes that to drain away. Anything less than 2 hours and your soil drains’ too quickly and needs more organic matter to slow that drainage down. Anything over 6 hours and the soil drains too slowly and needs lots of organic matter to speed it up.

3) Tilth. Take a handful of your slightly damp soil and squeeze it tightly. When the pressure is released the soil should hold together in that clump, but when poked with a finger that clump should fall apart.

4) Smell. What does your soil smell like? A pleasant, rich earthy odor? Putrid, offensive, repugnant odor? The more organic matter in your soil the more active the soil bacteria will be and the nicer your soil will smell.

5) Life. How many earthworms per shovel full were there? 5 or more indicates a pretty healthy soil. Fewer than 5, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, indicates a soil that is not healthy.
may be of some use.


The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
 
Posts: 8184 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of trish212
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We're a hit and miss type of gardener. We DO start out with good soil and farm enriched fertilizer (Moooooo). We DO have some earthworms in the raised garden beds, too. I always plant earlier than our neighbors who always warn me against it. This year, I planted our tomatoes a bit deeper, which I believe has helped. I was confused for the last couple years about the "sucker leaves". Now, we have many more tomatoes than previous years. This season we canned over 16 pints of tomatoes twice and we're still seeing many large ripened tomatoes. I DID move some of our veggies around this year since I knew that farmers do this with their crops. I told hub I had found some old...unsure of exp. date Jobe spikes. We believe the first canning, with rainwater, the tomatoes were sweeter. Someone suggested NOT putting compost in the center of the garden bed. Did it this year, and the plants are doing quite well.
 
Posts: 5233 | Registered: Jan 23, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of joy37
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I grow ours in large container pots with about 25lbs of potting soil. I'm using one cup per plant of Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food every two weeks. I usually use M.G. tomato plant food, but could not find mine so am using the All Purpose. Every thing is going well and I have gobs and gobs of yellow flowers about to turn into cherry tomatoes on four plants.
 
Posts: 4983 | Location: zone 7, West Texas | Registered: Feb 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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