6 Best Fertilizer For Tomatoes Reviewed In 2020

Have you ever tried growing tomato plants but struggled to get them to produce tomatoes of a good size and quality? Less than half of gardeners use fertilizer on their plants. But a well-fed tomato plant will be much healthier and more productive as fertilizers add the key nutrients that may be missing from your soil.

With so many different fertilizers marketed for use on tomatoes, it can be hard figuring out which one is best. After comparing the various options available, here are some of the best fertilizers for tomatoes, along with tips on what to look out for.

Quick Overview: Top Choice

The best fertilizer for tomatoes is Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Tomato Plant Food

Last update on 2020-04-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What to Consider Before Buying Fertilizer?

Knowing what you need from a fertilizer will help you to narrow down your options and make an informed decision.

Let’s go over some of the most important things you need to consider before deciding which fertilizer will be for your tomato plants.

Ratios of Macronutrients

There are three macronutrients that are important for the growth of any plant, including tomato plants.

Nitrogen helps them to build the proteins they need to produce new tissue and grow. But, if you have too much nitrogen, you can end up with a lot of foliage growth and little to no tomato growth.

Phosphorus stimulates root growth, and helps tomato plants to bud and then fruit. Organic matter and the soil organism activity will help release more phosphorus into your soil.

Potassium improves the overall health of a plant and provides disease resistance.

It also encourages plants to create strong and sturdy root systems.

Most fertilizers have a number to indicate the proportion of macronutrients they contain. For example, a 5-5-5 fertilizer will contain 5% nitrogen, 5% phosphorus, and 5% potassium. The N-P-K ratio will normally be lower in organic fertilizers and, if your soil has nutrient deficiencies, you may need a specialised fertilizer with a higher ratio of a particular macronutrient.

Tomato plants, in particular, have different nutrient needs during different growth stages. For example, when starting your seeds, all three macronutrients are important. When the plant is growing roots, phosphorus is the most important nutrient. And, when the new seedlings are growing, both nitrogen and potassium are very important.

Other Important Nutrients

Secondary nutrients are also important when growing tomato plants, but they are needed in smaller amounts. Calcium neutralises harmful substances in the soil and helps with disease prevention. Magnesium is needed so that the plant can gather sunlight, improving both plant growth and tomato growth. And sulfur is really important for the plant’s overall development and will influence the shape of the plant and the tomatoes it produces.

Micronutrients will also be needed in tiny amounts. These include boron, copper, zinc, and manganese, and healthy soil that is high in organic matter will usually have enough of these for your tomato plants to thrive. Otherwise, you will need to substitute with a fertilizer that contains these micronutrients.

As with macronutrients, what you need in a fertilizer will depend on your soil.

Synthetic or Organic?

Organic fertilizers are made from naturally occurring mineral deposits and organic materials, such as compost and bone or plant meal. Their nutrients are generally not water soluble and are instead released to the plants slowly over a period of time. Because of this, organic fertilizers are best applied in fall as this means the nutrients will be available in spring. Organic fertilizers also condition the soil and stimulate soil microorganisms.

Synthetic fertilizers are made by chemically processing raw materials. They are water soluble and, as a result, their nutrients can be taken up by your tomato plants right away. Applying too much synthetic fertilizer, however, can damage your plants. Overall, they give a quick nutrient boost but will do very little for soil texture, and they won’t stimulate soil organisms.

Which is best for you will depend on when you are planting your tomatoes and, by extension, how long you are able to wait for nutrients to be released into the soil.

Liquid or Granular?

Plants absorb nutrients more efficiently through the leaves than through the roots so liquid fertilizer which is able to sprayed over the plants can produce great results. It is really easy to apply but can be highly concentrated so may need to be diluted for seedlings to avoid damage. It is also suitable for fertilizing your tomato plants in the middle of the growing season.

Granular fertilizers can be administered in different ways depending on the type. For example, some may be water soluble and can be applied while watering your tomato plants, while others may be slow release and are mixed in with the soil.

Water soluble granules, once dissolved in water, can be quickly absorbed by the plants, giving them the nutrients they need right away. Because of this, you can often see an improvement in your tomatoes in just a couple of weeks. On the other hand, leaching can be a problem with water soluble fertilizers, leading to a loss of nutrients.

Slow release granules have a long-lasting effect as nutrients are released continuously over a longer period of time. As a result, you don’t have to reapply fertilizer as often as you would with other types of fertilizer. Also, slow release fertilizers are less likely to burn your tomato plants, though they do need a bit more soil preparation to work properly.

6 Best Tomato Fertilizer Reviews

There are a lot of different fertilizers available that are specially formulated for use on tomato plants.

Now that you know what to look for in a fertilizer, let’s look at a few specific products that have been hand-picked for review based on the above considerations.

1. Jobe’s Tomato Fertilizer Spikes

Key Features:

  • Pre-measured spikes
  • N-P-K ratio of 6-18-6
  • Waterproof resealable packaging

Jobe’s Tomato Fertilizer Spikes use time release technology to ensure that your tomato plants are always getting the appropriate amount of nutrients. The spikes feed at the roots and continue feeding for eight weeks. They are suitable for all varieties of tomato plant and can even be used for other fruit and vegetables as well, including strawberries and collard greens.

Pros

  • No run-off so nutrients aren’t washed away
  • Really easy to use
  • Suitable for indoor tomato plants

Cons

  • Need to be replaced a few times through the growing season
  • Break apart with rough handling
  • No calcium so a supplement is needed

Last update on 2020-04-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Tomato Plant Food (Top Pick)

Key Features:

  • All plant safe formula
  • N-P-K ratio of 18-18-21
  • Range of essential micronutrients

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Tomato Plant Food is specially formulated for tomatoes and other fruiting vegetables. It has enough nutrients to help your tomato plant flourish and is water soluble, allowing for easy application as you can fertilize your plants as you water them. It is an economical option as just 1.5 lb of this fertilizer can feed around 600 sq ft, and is applied sparingly every 7 to 14 days.

Pros

  • Fast acting
  • Doesn’t burn plants
  • A little goes a long way

Cons

  • Fewer micronutrients than other fertilizers
  • Adds no organic matter
  • Unpleasant smell

Last update on 2020-04-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Espoma Tomato-tone Organic Fertilizer

Key Features:

  • CDFA organic certification
  • N-P-K ratio of 3-4-6
  • Complex blend of 15 essential nutrients

Espoma Tomato-tone Organic Fertilizer is perfect for use on tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and peppers. It feeds plants naturally without forcing rapid growth, which would affect their overall yield. It is environmentally safe and is USDA approved for organic gardening. The slow-release granules ensure that it won’t burn your plant’s foliage and it is economical, only needing to be applied every 10 to 14 days to achieve the desired results.

Pros

  • Protects against blossom end rot
  • Easy to apply
  • A little goes a long way

Cons

  • Low shelf life of two years
  • Strong smell that is attractive to pets
  • May be pricey if you don’t shop around

Last update on 2020-04-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Dr Earth Organic Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer

Key Features:

  • Infused with an advanced probiotic
  • N-P-K ratio of 5-7-3
  • OMRI organic certification

Dr Earth Organic Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer is a 100% organic formula made from a mix of Alaskan fish bone meal, kelp meal, mined potassium sulfate, seaweed extract, and other natural ingredients. It is infused with an advanced pro-biotic that contains beneficial soil microbes, making your plants drought resistant and improving their overall ability to grow tomatoes.

Pros

  • Can be applied in a number of ways to suit you
  • Slow-release and can last for up to 2 months
  • Available in several sizes

Cons

  • Strong smell, especially in water
  • Not suitable for indoor use
  • More expensive than other tomato fertilizers

Last update on 2020-04-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Urban Farm Fertilizers Texas Tomato Food

Key Features:

  • Super-concentrated 256:1 formula
  • N-P-K ratio of 4.0-2.9-6.7
  • Calcium rich

Urban Farm Fertilizers Texas Tomato Food is a liquid fertilizer that is rich in calcium and potassium to help your plants fight off diseases like blossom-end rot. It contains a variety of natural ingredients, such as mycorrhizae, worm casts, kelp, and minerals, to help condition the soil. The concentrated formula makes it very economical as 1 gallon makes 256 gallons of feed, and it can be applied in a number of ways.

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • East to apply
  • Can be used on a variety of vine fruit and vegetables

Cons

  • No organic certification
  • Large container can be difficult to pour
  • Expensive compared to other tomato fertilizers

Last update on 2020-04-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6. Jack’s Classic Tomato FeEd

Key Features:

  • Potassium rich
  • N-P-K ratio of 12-15-30
  • Measuring spoon included

Jack’s Classic Tomato FeEd is rich in magnesium and calcium to strengthen your tomato plants against disease. Meanwhile, the high potassium promotes healthy plant growth, strong roots, and vibrant leaves. As a granulated, water-soluble fertilizer, it is really easy to use and is absorbed quickly by the plants. It can be used on virtually any fruiting vine vegetables and lasts 7 to 10 days before needing to be reapplied.

Pros

  • Produces really green foliage
  • East to apply
  • Works well with a variety of fruiting plants

Cons

  • No organic certification
  • Can burn foliage if you’re not careful
  • Expensive compared to other tomato fertilizers

Last update on 2020-04-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Which Is Best?

Overall, the best fertilizer for tomatoes is Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Tomato Plant Food. Because you only need to use a little at a time, it is great value for money.

It has all the macronutrients your tomato plants need for healthy growth and produces great results. As it is water soluble, it is easily applied and, unlike many other synthetic fertilizers, it won’t burn your plants.

Just be prepared to supplement any necessary micronutrients depending on your soil and your tomatoes will be growing in no time.

Last update on 2020-04-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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