The Q&A Archives: Nitrogen & Tomatoes

Question: In all books that I have read concerning tomatoes, it is stated that they should be fertilized with a fertilizer low in nitrogen (about 6%) to promote root growth in the early stages. Miracle-Gro for tomatoes contains 18%. I have always used this fertilizer with great results. Please explain.

Answer: If you over fertilize tomatoes with nitrogen when they are young, you will get lots of vines at the expense of fruiting. However, today's new hybrids can produce a lot of tomatoes if you feed them well. I have seen over 60 pounds produced on one bush! And, that was using Miracle-Gro's formula generously. The key is to wait until fruit starts to set before really pouring on the nutrition.

When setting out transplants, give them a good drink of Miracle-Gro solution. Then fertilize sparingly (perhaps weekly at a low to medium rate) until they start to set fruit. Then begin to push them along with fertilizer and you will be pleased with the productive results.

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