The tomato is one of the most popular home-grown crops but it’s considered a “heavy feeder,” so picking the best type of tomato fertilizer means a fertilizer low in nitrogen, high in phosphorous, and medium to high in potassium.
Where Tomatoes Grow
Tomato plants grow well in a lot of types of soil and are easy to grow in a small area. Even beginner home gardeners have access to several tomato varieties that range from pest-resistant hybrids to steadfast heirloom varieties available from nurseries. Basically where ever you live, you can supplement your particular soil by adding peat moss, manure or compost to maintain a neutral soil pH that tomatoes love. But tomatoes also need a non-stop supply of nutrients. And that means the right fertilizer.
The Best Types of Fertilizer
The best type of tomato fertilizer has just the right ratio of the three main ingredients needed to nurture the plant: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). This is the “NPK proportion” and should be low in nitrogen high in phosphorous and medium in potassium
You will find the NPK proportion listed on the fertilizer’s label. If it says “5-1-1,” then the fertilizer contains five times as much nitrogen as it does phosphorus or potassium. The NPK proportion numbers also correspond with the size of your garden. The numbers indicate how many pounds of the nutrient are in 100 pounds of the fertilizer you are using. So a 5-10-5 fertilizer gives you 5 pounds of nitrogen, 10 pounds of phosphorus and 5 pounds of potassium.
If you’re going truly organic in your garden, the NPK nutrients are also available in a fish emulsion fertilizer from fish oil waste.