When is the best time to fertilize tomatoes?

Gardens & Landscapes September 14, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF
Gardens are typically fertilized in the spring. Fertilizer is spread over the garden area prior to cultivation and worked into the soil. The amount of fertilizer should be based on a soil test of the garden area. Tomatoes will also benefit from supplemental fertilizer applied about 4 weeks after transplanting, and again about 1 month later. Usually only nitrogen is needed as a supplemental fertilizer. Ammonium nitrate (33-0-0) or urea (44-0-0) can be used at the rate of 5 tablespoons per 10 feet of row. Simply scatter the fertilizer on either side of the plants, scratch the soil surface to incorporate, and water thoroughly. Avoid allowing the fertilizer to contact the foliage, as this may result in burning. You may also fertilize with water-soluble fertilizer throughout the growing season. Follow the manufacturer's directions for water-soluble fertilizer.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.