Monday, May 10, 2010

Tomato Fertilizing

Depending on when you planted your tomatoes this year, it might be time to start fertilizing.  A general rule of thumb is to fertilize when fruit just begins to set.  The one thing you want to look for in a tomato fertilizer is a little smaller amount of nitrogen compared to phosphorus.  Nitrogen is great for making beautiful green plants, but too much will result in pretty plants and no tomatoes.  Who wants that?   I'm trying a new tomato food this year: Hi-Yield Tomato and Vegetable Food.  I fertilized about 2 weeks ago, and you can see by the pictures that the fruits are setting en masse while the plants are still growing strongly.  So far, so good.  You will want feed the plants every 4 weeks during the growing season.  This will ensure a continuous supply of fruit throughout the summer.  One problem many people have with tomatoes is blossom-end rot.
While it results from a lack of calcium, it is most often due to a lack of water, which in turn does not allow the plant to partake of the calcium in the soil. The best way to keep rot at bay is to ensure your plants have 1-2 inches of water every week. Really, the ground should never get bone-dry. If you still have a problem, there are some great sprays you can use to supplement calcium. I have used ferti-lome Yield Booster with great success.

I am looking forward to that first ripe tomato. BLT's will be on the menu that night. Good luck, and please send along questions you may have.

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