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Best Fertilizer for Tomatoes

by Jack Grover
tomato plant
Reading time: 11 min Prefer to listen?

If you want to grow the juiciest and most flavorful tomatoes, you’ve come to the right place.

Below, we explore the best fertilizers for tomatoes that will turn your garden into a tomato lover’s paradise.

Fertilizing your tomatoes is essential to their growth and health, so selecting the right fertilizer for your plants is crucial.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice with a green thumb, the fertilizers from our list are sure to give your tomato plants the boost they need to thrive and produce an abundant harvest.

Get ready to transform your garden into a tomato haven!

Key Takeaways

  • Organic fertilizers are typically more expensive, but they release their nutrients slowly and won’t damage your soil.
  • Chemical fertilizers offer quicker results but need to be reapplied more often.
  • Consider using organic fertilizers to reduce the environmental impact.
  • Proper fertilization can help maximize the success of your tomato plants by improving their growth and increasing the quantity and quality of the harvest.

Why Should You Fertilize Your Tomatoes?

Tomatoes are an essential part of any garden. To ensure your plants produce juicy, flavorful fruits, fertilizing is a must.

First of all, fertilizing your tomato plants helps them get the specific nutrients they need to grow and produce fruits of the best quality.

Fertilizers provide the right balance of these elements, helping your plants develop strong foliage and flowers.

Additionally, fertilizing helps increase disease resistance and strengthens the overall health of your plants.

person holding tomato in hand

Fertilizer and Soil

For optimal tomato plant growth, you need to provide the necessary nutrients to the soil. To do this, have your soil tested to determine its nutrient needs.

All soil has a certain degree of nutrient content, but additional nutrition may be needed for tomatoes to grow large and lush.

Fertilizer is a great way to supply the necessary macronutrients and micronutrients that tomatoes crave.

  • Macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are essential for leafy growth, flower and root development, and overall plant growth. 
  • Micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur, manganese, zinc, and copper are also important for tomato plants.

Other beneficial additions to fertilizers are beneficial microbes and mycorrhizae. These elements can further enhance the plant’s health, helping tomatoes reach their full potential.

To get the most out of fertilizers, consider using slow-release varieties or reapplying every two weeks.

For a more sustainable approach to tomato cultivation, look for fertilizers that are OMRI organic.

Types of Fertilizers

Three primary forms of fertilizer are available: liquid, granular, and water-soluble.

Let’s go over these options in more detail below.

Granular Fertilizer

Granular fertilizer is an easy-to-use and effective way of nourishing your tomato plants.

Composed of small, pellet-like particles, it can be applied in two ways.

  1. The first is to mix it into the soil before planting. It allows the nutrients to be evenly distributed throughout the root zone. This way, the plants receive the necessary nourishment as they grow.
  2. The second way is to spread it on the soil surface. This method is often used for established plants, providing a quick and easy way to deliver nutrients to the roots.

What makes granular fertilizer so attractive is that it often comes in slow-release formulas. These formulas break down over time and provide a steady supply of nutrients for your tomatoes. It prevents over-fertilization, which can be harmful to the plants.

For a quick boost, some granular fertilizers come in immediate-release formulas. These formulas release their nutrients rapidly, giving the plants a rapid burst of nourishment.

Overall, granular fertilizer is convenient, effective, and provides long-lasting nourishment for your tomato plants. With its easy application and consistent feed, it’s no wonder why so many gardeners choose to use it.

Water-Soluble Fertilizer

Water-soluble fertilizer is an ideal solution for providing essential nutrients to your plants quickly and efficiently.

With its combination of liquid and granular forms, it is easy to apply and store. 

The nutrient contents become available for uptake by the tomato plants as soon as they are dissolved in water. As a result, the plant roots absorb and use the nutrients much more quickly, resulting in rapid growth and development.

Storing water-soluble fertilizers in a cool, dark place is crucial to protect the components and preserve their effectiveness over time.

This type of fertilizer is formulated with balanced ratios of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), along with other micronutrients, to promote healthy foliage growth, root development, flowering, and fruit production in tomatoes.

Liquid Fertilizer

Using liquid fertilizer is an easy and effective way to provide essential nutrients to your tomato plants. It is a concentrated solution that needs to be diluted before use.

When applied during a watering session, the roots quickly absorb the fertilizer, and the nutrients become available for the plant’s use. It helps the tomatoes grow and develop healthily.

Liquid fertilizer can also be adjusted depending on the needs of the plant or the soil conditions, allowing for optimal nutrient levels.

To ensure your tomatoes get the nourishment they need for maximum yield and fruit quality, apply liquid fertilizer regularly throughout the growing season.

dried leaves of tomato plant

Organic vs Chemical Fertilizers

When it comes to nourishing tomato plants, there are two options: chemical fertilizers or organic fertilizers.

They offer both micro and macronutrients, as well as beneficial microbes and mycorrhizae, which can help promote root growth.

These microbes take in the nutrients from the fertilizer and release them back into the soil, making them readily available to the plant’s root system. 

Organic fertilizers have much smaller concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium than chemical fertilizers and offer more micronutrients.

If you’re eager to see your tomato plants flourish in no time, chemical fertilizers may be the answer. These fertilizers are formulated with nutrient ratios that are readily available to plants, promoting rapid growth and development. 

With their quick results, it’s tempting to rely on chemical fertilizers to give your tomato plants a boost. However, there is a downside to using these fertilizers. 

Unlike organic fertilizers, chemical fertilizers tend to be water-soluble, meaning they can be washed away easily.

Consequently, they need to be reapplied more frequently to maintain their effectiveness.

Additionally, while chemical fertilizers can offer immediate gratification, there’s a trade-off in terms of sustainability and the long-term health of your tomato plants.

So, organic fertilizers might be a better option if you’re looking for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach that delivers lasting results.

green red tomato

Steps to Fertilize Tomatoes

Fertilizing your tomato plants is a great way to give them the nutrients they need for optimal growth.

Before planting, mix fertilizer into the soil to create a nutrient-rich environment. Make sure to read the instructions on the package for the correct application rate and technique.

Two weeks after planting, give your plants another round of fertilizer.

If you’re using liquid or quick-release fertilizer, fertilize twice a month. Or, if you prefer slow-release, use a fertilizer that will feed your plants over two months.

When using chemical fertilizers, keep them away from the plants as high concentrations can burn them.

Before fertilizing, give your plants a good watering. It helps balance out nutrient absorption and makes sure your plants are getting the nutrients they need for healthy growth.


Fertilizing your tomatoes is essential to ensuring their health and a successful harvest. Nonetheless, selecting the right fertilizer that matches your soil and the type of tomato you’re growing is vital.

You can choose between organic and chemical fertilizers, both of which can be applied as granular, water-soluble, or liquid options.

When fertilizing, follow the directions for the best results. It includes the timing for application and the amounts to use.

Organic fertilizers release their nutrients slowly over time and are typically more expensive, but they will not damage your soil in the long term. Conversely, chemical fertilizers provide quick results but may need to be reapplied more frequently.

With the right type of fertilizer and the correct application, you can ensure your tomatoes are healthy and bountiful.

Good luck!

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