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Tomato Fertilizer Requirements

A tomato fertilizer can help your tomatoes grow faster. The tomato which is technically a fruit although is commonly called a vegetable for its culinary uses, originates from South America. The fruit belongs to the nightshade family just like the potatoes.

Tomatoes are eaten by most people as they can be used in a many different dishes. They also have a high concentration of lycopene which is a well known antioxidant. It is believed to help in lowering the chances of suffering from heart disease and other dangerous conditions. Growing tomatoes can get tricky and you must prepare the soil in the right way to get the most out of them.

Fertilizer Components

Tomatoes just like other crops require a certain amount of nutrients to grow the proper way. The slightest deficiency in any of them can make the plant weak or not being able to produce an adequate amount of fruit. Before you start growing tomatoes remember to get the appropriate tomato fertilizer requirements.

Tomato Plant

A good fertilizer will have at least the following nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen is very helpful in nourishing the leaves, phosphorus contributes to the growth of the fruits and potassium is essential to create healthy root systems. 

The ratio for the nutrients can vary but is usually something like this 3-3-3 that means it has 3% of nitrogen, 3% phosphorus and 3% potassium.

The tomato plant consumes a lot of nutrients which is why you need to fertilize the soil one week before planting it and in the same day. 

You also need to keep in mind that since phosphorus is the mineral directly responsible for the growth of the fruit you might want a slightly higher concentration of that element in relation to the others once the plant has developed. Avoid using too much nitrogen in the later stages of the plant as it makes the vine grow bigger and the fruit smaller. 

Fertilizing tomatoes

There are 2 main types of fertilizer for tomatoes: liquid and granule. 

The liquid one has the advantage that it can be applied directly to the plant if necessary, however, when used in the soil it has to be done quite often (weekly) as it gets drained fast. The liquid fertilizer which is normally produced from the fluids of processed fish has to be used during mornings or evenings when the pores of the tomato plant are open in order to be effective.

Tomato grown in the garden - picture

The other type, which is the granule fertilizer, consists mostly of organic and inorganic components. This type is generally used a couple of weeks after planting and it should have a ratio of 3-3-3 (3% nitrogen, 3% phosphorus and 3% potassium). This proportion of tomato fertilizer requirements is quite helpful to make the plant grow in the earlier stages. 

The remaining ingredients of the fertilizer are used to ensure a slow delivery of nutrients to the soil and to prevent damage to the plant.

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