Gardening Growing Tomatoes

15 Common Mistakes in Fertilizing Tomatoes That Beginners Do

There are several reasons people make mistakes while feeding their tomato plants. Most of the beginner gardeners often make the following mistakes.

1: Fertilizing Before Testing Soil

Fertilizing your tomato plants before getting the soil test is a great mistake. Imbalanced fertilization may bring you a negative result.

So, you should know first the real condition of your garden soil. Then based on the soil test report add necessary nutrients to your tomato plants.

2: Too Much or Too Little Fertilizer

Fertilizing tomatoes with an uneven ratio is a great mistake. Your plants may turn into yellowish or burn because of fertilizer effects.

Beginner gardeners often add too much or too little fertilizer to the tomato plants due to lack of information. None of them are good for your plant’s health.  To solve this problem, you need to know the following things such as –

  • Soil test report to know the soil condition.
  • Different growth stages of tomato plants to add the right proportion of nutrients.
  • Macro and micronutrients fertilizer and their nutrients sources.

3: Ground vs Container Tomato Fertilizing

Fertilizing container tomatoes are a little bit different from the ground tomatoes. You need to add fertilizer more often with little to your potting tomatoes than the ground. Besides potting tomatoes prefer liquid or water-soluble fertilizer.

On the other side, ground tomatoes prefer slow-release organic fertilizer for the plants. As well they perform better in liquid or water-soluble fertilizer too.

4: Granular vs Liquid Fertilizing

Granular fertilizer releases slowly than liquid fertilizer. So, if you need to add quick nutrients to your tomatoes, you should use liquid fertilizer.

On the other hand, granular organic fertilizer lasts longer in the soil.  So, you don’t need to fertilize them often whereas liquid fertilizer needs a regular schedule.

5: Fertilize Before Watering Soil

Fertilize before watering may drain out the nutrients from the soil. So, I recommend you always fertilize tomatoes after watering.

6: Fertilizer in The Evening

Fertilizing tomatoes in the evening doesn’t work out because plants don’t take nutrients at night. So, feed your tomatoes in the morning after watering.

7: Fertilizing Close to The Plant Stems

Fertilizing very close to the bottom of the tomato plants stems may burn them. So, spread the fertilizer a little away surrounding the base of the plants. 

8: Adding Fertilizer into The Planting Holes in The Wrong Way

Adding fish heads to the tomato planting holes is a great source of nitrogen and other micronutrients. But it also attracts some natural critters which may harm your tomato plants.

Besides, when you transplanting tomatoes, your plant roots may directly contact the raw ingredients or fertilizers in the planting holes. As a result, this may burn your plant’s roots. 

In that case, you need to dig a deeper hole (at least 12 inches or more) and put the fish heads, fertilizers, and other raw ingredients. Then add another layer of soil on those fertilizers and plant your tomatoes.

9: Add Liquid Fertilizer During Transplant  

When transplanting tomatoes, some of your plant roots must be damaged. If you add liquid fertilizer at the very beginning after transplanting tomatoes it may burn the damaged roots.

So, add liquid or water-soluble fertilizer 10 to 14 days after transplanting tomato plants.

10: Lack of Water Supply for Granular Fertilizer

Granular fertilizer needs enough water supply to release and reach the plant roots. So, the lack of water supply may create nutrients deficiency.

11: Apply Chemical Fertilizer

Sometimes adding chemical fertilizer inefficiently may also burn your tomatoes. So, consult with an expert before adding chemical fertilizer to your tomato plants. 

12: Lack of Micronutrients and Minerals Fertilizer

Tomato plants can’t produce a healthy harvest if you don’t feed them the micronutrients (calcium, magnesium, and sulfur) and little amount of trace minerals.

So, make sure your fertilizer contains these secondary nutrients including the primary nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.

13: Fully Depends on The Fertilizer Company Instructions for Using Fertilizer

If you add the low-quality store brought fertilizer to your tomatoes, this will not fulfill the nutrients deficiency of your tomato plants.

Besides, always see the fertilizer label instructions to confirm that fertilizer contains the necessary nutrients your tomato plants need.

Add some additional fertilizer to your tomatoes if they show any nutrients deficiency during the growing season. 

14: Misunderstood The Fertilizer Ratio Mentioned on The Pack Label

You must see three different numbers on the fertilizer label when using store brought fertilizer. Beginner gardeners often misunderstood these numbers when adding fertilizer to the tomato plants.

So, based on your soil test report and the tomato growing stages add the perfect fertilizer ratio to your tomato plants.

15: Shy to Consult with Your Friends or Neighbor Gardeners or Extension Centers

You may find most of your garden solutions searching on the internet. But there are still have some problems which are very unique to your locality and hard to find the solution without consulting an expert in your local area.

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John Michael
John Michael is a self-help writer and a hobby gardener. He has a bachelor's degree in Library Science. Michael’s passion in writing is to inspire the beginner gardeners to not just “hang in there” or “make it through” but to thrive. He does this through blogging at ofags.com. He began writing in 2017.

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