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Tomato Fertilizing

healthy tomatoesI have some liquid iron and other plant nutrients made by Hi Yield. We have over the top besides the iron. What I want to know is can I put them on the tomato plants? Please reply as soon as possible.  Thanks, Don and Ann N.

Answer: Fertilizing tomatoes can be a bit tricky. In the early stages, you want them to develop strong, healthy roots and stems with a good amount of leaf growth, so during that time you would want to feed them a high nitrogen-based fertilizer. Once they have begun the onset of bloom you want to inhibit the growth of leaves and encourage blossom development. This is done by adding a fertilizer higher in phosphorous and potassium, so you would look for a fertilizer rated something like 5-10-10. Our Hi-Yield Garden Fertilizer is 8-10-8 which is a good balance for all blooming/fruiting plants. 

Liquid iron is a specific trace element that would be used if your plants were suffering from iron chlorosis. This shows up as leaf tissues turning yellow and the veins remaining green. This usually happens where soils are highly alkaline. The high pH binds the iron in the soil and makes it unavailable to the plants. You would want to do a soil test to confirm this before adding the liquid iron. 

I am not sure what you mean by “over the top” so I cannot comment on that. Tomatoes are heavy feeders, and adding organic matter around the base of the plants is another way of providing nutrients for the growing plants. The high heat that we are experiencing this year can stress plants, so be sure to keep their roots thoroughly watered during extreme periods.

Here’s hoping for a bountiful harvest.

Karen

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