How To Choose The Best Tomato Fertilizer

Are you interested in growing your own tomatoes? Whether or not you’re a fan of this red, juicy fruit, planting them not only will save you on buying groceries, but it’s also super easy to do.

By choosing the best tomato fertilizer, you’ll be growing plump tomatoes in no time. Here are some ways to get started.

**Below, you'll find more detailed reviews but you can also click links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

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What Makes A Good Tomato Fertilizer?​

Tending to your tomatoes with care, as well as having a good environment to grow them in, are important to the success of your crops, but having a solid tomato fertilizer to start out with is just as important. When choosing your tomato fertilizer, here are some things to look out for:

#1- Choose the type of fertilizer

When purchasing your tomato fertilizer, it’s not just a matter of picking any kind of soil to work with; there are many different types for growing different kinds of plants. Consider these varieties when deciding on your next planting project:​

1

Granular

Consisting of tiny bits of components (“granules”), granular is the most common type of fertilizer and is used for lawn grass. It lasts longer than the soluble version, as much as up to nine months.

While good for being robust, granular might not be the best fertilizer to harvest tomatoes on its own; you might need to combine it with other types for a more balanced crop.

2

Organic

Commonly made from materials like manure and bone meal, organic fertilizers are a good alternative to otherwise inorganic types (e.g. granular, water-soluble versions) for a more natural growing experience.

However, organic fertilizers tend to be lower in nutrients, so it’s necessary to add extra to the soil in order to reap the same results as others. They also tend to be more expensive, which might not be as cost-effective for growing your own tomatoes.

3

Water-soluble

As the name suggests, this type of fertilizer is easily dissolvable in water. It is often mixed in with water to create a fertilizer solution, which can then be applied to the growing crop.

While adding too much of the water soluble can create salts and burn plants, it can be mixed in with the granular to make a solid fertilizer for growing crops.

#2- Look At The Nutrients

Fertilizer is made from a combination of different organic elements, and so checking for these particular ones will help your tomatoes grow well:

1

Nitrogen (N)

The main nutrient for green growth, nitrogen allows for leaf plants (e.g. lawn grass) to continue growing back after moving.

For tomatoes, however, it’s best for the fertilizer to contain less nitrogen, or else more leaves will spring up than the fruit itself.

2

Phosphorus (P)

This element leads to root growth, which helps the plant become stronger. It works best when growing flowers, bulbs, and other freshly-planted items. Hence, phosphorus is a key nutrient to have for growing tomatoes.

3

Potassium (K)

While disproportionally smaller compared with the other two elements in the soil mixture, potassium nevertheless is an essential ingredient for maintaining the overall health of plants. It works best with tropical plants, but can also be used for planting tomatoes.

Especially if you plan to cultivate tomatoes into the fall and winter, it’s encouraged to get tomato fertilizer that contains more potassium than usual, in order to boost hardiness for the colder seasons.

4

Other Elements

Other elements to look out for include calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S). Although these nutrients aren’t as abundant in the soil as other ones, they still contribute to the overall development of the plant itself.

In essence, try to find tomato fertilizers that are relatively balanced among the main three components (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), such as 10-10-10 or 8-10-10.

#3- Check The Soil Texture

It’s also important to make sure that the soil texture is good, in order to ensure that the plant will grow well. A rule of thumb is that the more texture there is to the soil, the better it’ll be for harvesting the crop.

If your environment isn’t very rich in soil texture, you can improve it by mixing organic items such as compost, soil conditioner, and other plant-friendly items. Mix it into the soil, and it should be better for cultivating your plants in!

Usually, soil comes in two forms: sandy and clay. Here are specific ways to add texture to these different aspects:

1

Sandy Soil

It’s difficult to retain nutrients from a sandy soil, so finding a fertilizer that will keep after washing through the soil is the best thing to do, as well as frequently change it out from time to time.

2

Clay Soil

Although clay has plenty of places for nutrients to stay in, it’s a good idea to mix the fertilizer well into the soil in order to get the most out of it. You can also make raised beds to enhance the texture, as well as drainage, of the soil.

#4- Check The pH Content

PH Content

Typically, plants like tomatoes grow well between pH 6.0 and 7.0, which is considered neutral in an aqueous solution. You can test the soil with a pH meter, and adjust accordingly to it, whether it’s too acidic or too basic for ideal growing conditions.

5 Best Tomato Fertilizers Online​

#1- Tomato-tone Organic Fertilizer

Tomato-tone Organic Fertilizer

Via Amazon.com

Tomato-tone Organic Fertilizer contains no dangerous or toxic materials inside. Its nutrients help avoid blossom end rot from happening, as well as promote the growth of full, ripe tomatoes to be consumed after picking.


Pros

  • This brand of fertilizer contains all 15 essential nutrients for plant growth, thereby making it quite rich to help the tomatoes grow well.
  • Besides only growing tomatoes, this organic fertilizer also works well for growing other kinds of crops, such as peppers and cucumbers.
  • People might find it surprised that it helps tomatoes grows very quickly, thereby leading to picking them, as well as using them for cooking, in no time.
  • This specific organic tomato fertilizer has a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K) ratio of 3-4-6, thereby making it relatively balanced for planting.
  • There is an added 8 percent of calcium into the fertilizer, in order to prevent blossom end rot, which can end up damaging the plant.

Cons

  • While able for growing other crops besides tomatoes, this type of fertilizer, if not carefully used, can possibly burn other types of vegetables.
  • Although many fertilizers have a stinky odor to them, this brand, in particular, can be quite pungent, thus distracting for others nearby.
  • Depending on the soil, this tomato fertilizer can be a hit or a miss when it comes to growth size of tomatoes.
  • If not careful, this fertilizer can attract cockroaches (although it’ll kill them).

Opinion

When I first bought and used Tomato-tone Organic Fertilize, I was surprised by how great it worked on my tomatoes; I was even surprised to see how well it worked with growing cucumbers and peppers, let alone growing super quickly within a week.

The only issue I had was the smell; it did seem more pungent than other fertilizers that I had used.


#2- Miracle-Gro Tomato Plant Food

Miracle-Gro Tomato Plant Food

Via Amazon.com

As a water soluble fertilizer, Miracle-Gro’s tomato fertilizer helps grow not only the red, ripe fruit itself, but also other vegetables. It can be paired up with feeders or watering cans, and can be fed every 1 to 2 weeks.


Pros

  • Miracle-Gro’s tomato fertilizer is a water soluble fertilizer that comes in all sorts of different sizes, in sizes such as 8 oz., 1.5 lb., 3 lbs., 5 lbs., and even 10 lbs.!
  • It also comes in a variety of different N-P-K ratios, depending on the size you purchase, for a variety of different tomato plants.
  • For each 1.5 pounds of Miracle-Gro tomato fertilizer, it covers as much as 600 sq. feet of land.
  • It grows consistently, even when planted throughout different regions.
  • The size of the fertilizer product can last you for many seasons, so you don’t need to keep buying more in case you run out.

Cons

  • There is no calcium in this brand, as calcium is important for preventing blossom end rot; as a result, it’s an inconvenience to add calcium to the batch when the fertilizer could have already contained it to save time.
  • The dosage instructions might be too much on plants (especially acidic ones), which could lead to salt burn. In other words, using less than instructed on the package might be better.
  • Since it’s a water soluble fertilizer, it can be a pain to have to water constantly; mixing it with granular fertilizer might be more efficient.

Opinion

I was pleasantly happy to find that Miracle-Gro’s fertilizer came in different sizes for different needs, as well as its durability over the course of many seasons.

My only wish was that it did not contain calcium, and so I had to add calcium into the feed to avoid the tomatoes from rotting from the lack of the nutrient.


#3- Neptune's Harvest Organic Hydrolized Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer

Neptune's Harvest Organic Hydrolized Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer

Via Amazon.com

Neptune's Harvest Organic Hydrolized Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer offers a combination of components such as fish hydrolysate and seaweed, which might help maximize the benefits from fertilization. They can do so by enhancing the sugar in plants, thus leading to stronger, more intense crops.


Pros

  • This special-branded fertilizer contains a mixture fish hydrolysate and seaweed, which might help extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables grown from it.
  • Besides just growing food crops, the Neptune’s Harvest fertilizer can also be used to cultivate colorful flowers, as well as making them fragrant and last longer.
  • It’s not too smelly, as long as you use it up all at once.
  • Besides growing crops and plants, it can also double as a foliar spray for leaves.

Cons

  • If not used in time, this fertilizer will end up smelling fishy (due to fish hydrolysate as one of the main ingredients), and can attract critters such as raccoons who might attack the garden.
  • It may not be the best as a stand-alone product; instead, it might be better to mix in with other fertilizers or plant resources to boost its nutrients.
  • This particular fertilizer brand has received several complaints of bad packaging, which caused the fertilizer to spill out and create a messy, stinky environment.
  • It might not make your tomatoes bigger and better as it was advertised by the company.

Opinion

At first, I was definitely intrigued by the fish hydrolysate and seaweed ingredients of Neptune's Harvest Organic Hydrolized Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer, but upon applying them to my crops, I found them to really cultivate my tomatoes, as well as my flower and plants.

While it doesn’t necessarily make the tomatoes grow very big, they are nevertheless healthy and well-ripen in a solid amount of time.


#4- Jobe's 09026 Organic Vegetable & Tomato Granular Fertilizer

Jobe's 09026 Organic Vegetable & Tomato Granular Fertilizer

Via Amazon.com

Priding itself to be “fast-growing” for crops, Jobe’s tomato granular fertilizer does so by increasing activity in microorganisms contained in its mixture. As a result, it breaks down organic material to promote faster, better growth for the plants and vegetables that are grown.


Pros

  • This particular tomato fertilizer brand is cheaper by the pound compared to other ones on this list.
  • Jobe’s fertilizer contains a special microorganism in the ingredient Biozone, which aggressively breaks down vitamins and minerals into easily absorbable nutrients for plants to take in.
  • It is resistant to high heat, which sometimes can affect the fertilizer’s function once it’s used for planting crops.
  • Jobe’s organic fertilizer is versatile for growing all sorts of different crops.

Cons

  • The N-P-K ratio on the advertised package does not necessarily correspond to the ratio on the actual package when purchased, leading to a sense of false advertising.
  • Tomatoes might not end up as plump or juicy compared to others from different fertilizer brands and instead might turn out small and malnourished-looking.
  • It can be quite particular to apply to the soil, in order to make sure that it doesn’t burn or kill off the tomato crops.
  • Growing instructions not very clear on the package, which for beginners to tomato growing might be a challenge.

Opinion

Jobe’s organic fertilizer does a good job of not only growing tomatoes, but also other crops and flowers in a quick and an efficient way; its high-heat resistant feature is also a plus.

My only complaint is that I wish that the product came with clearer instructions, as I had to figure out just how to use it for a while.


#5- Dr. Earth Organic 5 Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer

Dr. Earth Organic 5 Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer

Via Amazon.com

Containing a rich mixture of ingredients such as fish bone meal, kelp meal, alfalfa meal, and so forth, Dr. Earth’s tomato fertilizer is useful for cultivating nutrient-dense crops that also can keep well during harsh conditions like droughts.


Pros

  • This distinctive fertilizer contains selected strains of ecto and endo mycorrhizae, which contribute to drought tolerance, as well as improve nutrient readiness and augment growth in plants.
  • It also contains probiotics, which stimulates the growth of good microorganisms, as well as consists of seven strains of beneficial soil microbes for extra growth.
  • Dr. Earth’s organic fertilizer has been shown to create rapid growth in cherry tomatoes, thereby more yield in a shorter amount of time.
  • The brand itself is an independent, family-owned business, which has made sure to comply with state, local, and federal government regulations on fertilizers.

Cons

  • It may not be the best to mix with water, as it is reputed to get very stinky. Also, it might be better to mix in with soil first before planting the tomato seeds for similar reasons.
  • The label on the brand isn’t entirely true, as the product is made from both organic and natural ingredients, thereby not making it a completely organic item to use.
  • Some tomatoes might develop bottom end rot, due to a possible lack of calcium in the tomato fertilizer itself.

Opinion

Upon purchasing and using Dr. Earth’s fertilizer, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was drought resistant, considering that I am growing them in a rather dry area. Its microorganism feature helps to make the crops just an extra bit larger and plumper.


Winner Of The Round-Up

Tomato-tone Organic Fertilizer

Via Amazon.com

​After testing all of them out, the number-one tomato fertilizer is, in fact, the Tomato-tone Organic Fertilizer (#1). While of course, it isn’t the most flawless fertilizer brand around, it is nevertheless a strong contender to be one of the best.

Although it has a naturally pungent odor and a hit-or-miss growth, the brand does a good job of preventing bottom end rot, which is due to the lack of calcium in the fertilizer (like those of Miracle-Gro’s or Dr. Earth’s). In fact, it has an added 8 percent of calcium just to make sure that it doesn’t happen!

Additionally, its N-P-K ratio is fairly balanced at 3-4-6, with nitrogen on the lower end to make sure that fewer leaves and more tomato springs up during the harvest. Overall, Tomato-tone’s Organic Fertilizer is a good brand to consider when it comes to growing your next batch of ripe, juicy tomatoes.​

Shary Saunders
 

Shary Saunders is the founder and chief editor of sharycherry.com. Gardening and landscaping have been her passion for years. You can find Shary on Twitter at @SharySaunders. Read more about Shary here.

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