When do you need to fertilize your tomatoes?
The topic of fertilizing is a small art in itself. If the advice is wrong, it can quickly lead to over-fertilization or deficiency symptoms in the plant. Too much or too little both have negative effects on growth. Nevertheless, the topic of fertilizing tomatoes should not deter you.
We'll show you what you should pay attention to and also introduce you to some fertilizers.
Since tomatoes are one of the heavy consumers in the plant kingdom, they also need a corresponding number of nutrients for healthy growth. It is very important to provide your plants with nutrients, especially during the growth and maturity phase.
Of course there are many different ways to fertilize your tomatoes. In the course of the article we will introduce you to some of them. But first some info first.
The required nutrients
The elements nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium are essential for your tomatoes. It is very important that they are in the right ratio, i.e. there is neither an excess nor a deficiency.
Nitrogen: encourages the general growth of the plant
Potassium: encourages the fruiting of the tomato and provides an aromatic taste
Phosphorus: necessary for an optimal energy supply in the plant
Magnesium: Component of photosynthesis or necessary for the formation of chlorophyll
The right time
The timing of fertilization should also be well chosen. You can definitely remember one rule: You should never fertilize when sowing tomatoes.
In general, young plants should only be fertilized about two to four weeks after they have been exposed. After a month you can fertilize again.
If you already know that you want to grow tomatoes in your plant bed next spring, you can start fertilizing the soil with compost in the previous fall. Then he stores the important nutrients for the coming spring cultivation.
Tip: It is best to fertilize the tomatoes very early in the morning or late in the evening.
How often do you need to fertilize your tomatoes?
The number of fertilizer inputs always depends on the respective tomato variety. The type of fertilizer also has an influence. You can still remember a rough rule of thumb: after planting the young plants, you should fertilize your tomatoes about every two weeks if possible.
Of course, if you have a deficiency, you have to use fertilizer more often. The same applies to an excess of numerous nutrients: Here you should of course reduce fertilization.
Make fertilizer for tomatoes yourself:
Of course, it is best if you can do without chemical fertilizers and instead use organic fertilizers for your tomatoes. Home remedies are perfect for this, since you usually already have them at home. For example, egg shells that you put in the irrigation water release their nutrients into the water and thus provide for your plants.
But stinging nettle slurry is also suitable as a fertilizer: For this you should let about ten stalks of the plant ferment in rainwater for two to three weeks. Then you dilute the nettle manure in a ratio of 1:10 and use it to fertilize your tomatoes every two weeks. A third practical household remedy is coffee grounds. We will explain in more detail how this works in the next section.
Tomato fertilizer coffee grounds
Coffee grounds in the irrigation water are particularly suitable as fertilizer for your tomatoes. It naturally brings some benefits that your plant can benefit from.A positive feature: Coffee grounds contain valuable ingredients such as potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen
In addition, the smell of the ingredients in coffee grounds keeps some plant pests away. Coffee grounds are a great alternative to chemical fertilizers, which can also often harm the plant if used incorrectly.
Coffee acts as a natural pesticide
Due to its nutrient-rich natural ingredients, coffee acts as a perfect pesticide in your home. Even if you don't have a green thumb, you really can't go wrong with fertilizing with coffee grounds. Over-fertilization with coffee is almost impossible and can therefore be used in every home.
You can drive away plant pests such as ants very well with coffee grounds. During the growing season in spring, feel free to fertilize your plants with coffee grounds once a month. But as I said, it is difficult to overfeed a plant with coffee grounds, as is often the case with chemical fertilizers. For this reason alone, coffee is very well suited for tomato cultivation.
Fertilize tomatoes with horn shavings
Fertilising with horn shavings is particularly popular with hobby gardeners. The advantage: the organic fertilizer is 100% natural and works from several weeks to several months. Horn shavings (ground hooves and horns from animals for slaughter) contain a large proportion of nitrogen (over ten percent). The young plants in particular need nitrogen-rich fertilization in the spring after they have been planted for healthy plant growth.
The benefit of horn shavings
Since the horn shavings accumulate in the substrate, they promote the growth of the tomatoes. Of course, the effectiveness always depends on factors such as soil temperature and soil moisture, but also the grain size of the substrate. Since horn shavings naturally contain little phosphate, there is basically no over-fertilization. As a result, exclusive fertilization with horn shavings does not make much sense due to a lack of other nutrients and should always be chosen in combination with another fertilizer.
Tip: Always work the horn shavings into the substrate or use them as liquid fertilizer. For this you have to let them steep in lukewarm water for a few days. Then you always mix about the amount of a cap into your irrigation water.