Bruce owns a small farm and loves to grill since his early childhood. He’s a professional cook, but hiking and enjoying the great outdoors is his no less favorite part of life.
Last updated: March 07, 2021
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Do you want to grow large, juicy, ripe tomatoes with glossy red skin in your garden, but you somehow always end up with unappealing tomatoes? This is most probably because you haven’t come across the best fertilizer for tomatoes yet. The right tomato fertilizer nourishes the soil and makes the fruits large and delicious.
We came across 42 different products on the market and included the top 10 of them in this review to help you get your hands on the best tomato fertilizer. We found the most-effective fertilizer to be the Espoma Tomato-tone Organic Fertilizer because of its organic ingredients that provide 15 essential nutrients to enrich the tomatoes. Hence, it’s dubbed the “Editor’s Choice”. Apart from that, we present you the detailed reviews of 9 other products if you were looking for something else.
Our article consists of detailed tables highlighting the product descriptions, reviews with pros and cons, and a buying guide to help you pick the best product. The most important factors for us here were type, form, N-P-K formula, and net weight. The type helps you decide whether you need an organic fertilizer, a synthetic, or a hybrid. Secondly, the form tells us how to apply the product, which also, together with net contents, determines its effectiveness relative to your garden size. Thirdly, we considered the N-P-K formula to see whether the 3 essential elements are provided in viable quantity to the soil. Before we jump into detailed reviews, you can take a look at the overview table below for brief information about these fertilizers for tomatoes.
The Tomato-tone Organic Fertilizer is an all-natural product that is perfect not only for making your rosy tomatoes grow larger and more delicious, but also to prevent blossom-end rot. Apart from nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium, it contains calcium, potash, and sulfur that are derived from pasteurized poultry manure, cocoa meal, bone meal, greensand, humates, and gypsum. The organic nature of this fertilizer makes it environment-friendly and beneficial for the soil’s nourishment. Moreover, the 5 balanced essential nutrients and the thousands of living microbes enable it to make your tomatoes plump and ripe. For these reasons, coupled with ease of use and value of money, we have deemed it to be the best fertilizer for tomatoes.
The only challenge with using this fertilizer is that it has an undesirable odor, which attracts pets like cats and dogs. If you have pets, you’ll need to store it in a safe place because even though the formula is environment-friendly, it’s not safe for consumption by animals.
The Jobe’s Organics Vegetable & Tomato fertilizer truly presents the best value product for its customers. With OMRI certification by USDA, this product is safe for your organic gardening requirements without any hint of synthetic chemicals to harm your soil. It also contains the classic Jobe’s Biozome formula for the nourishment of the tomato soil and resistance to drought, disease, and insects. The biozome formula is a combination of healthy bacteria, fungi, and archaea to increase root mass and promote plant growth. This feature also makes the fertilizer fast-acting, as the biozome breaks down material quickly and efficiently for quick results.
This granular fertilizer can be used for all edible plants and is required to be used during planting and every 4-6 weeks. The only catch is its attractive smell for pets, which could prove harmful for their health if consumed. Therefore, this product should be stored safely.
What we liked:
Increases resistance to drought, diseases and insects
The TeaDrops Organic Tomato and Pepper Formula is our premium pick. These pads innovatively and creatively cater to the nourishment needs to grow the best tomatoes. Hassle-free and mess-free, they require no measuring cups to be used, leave no smell, and also keep your hands free from dirt. Apart from its ease of use, the fertilizer provides you with a safe biological plant food formula for natural growth. It enables the growth of the flower, leaves, roots, and also increases the plant’s ability to absorb and utilize the nutrients more effectively. Each tea packet makes around 2 gallons of fertilizer, which could easily satisfy your gardening needs.
However, the catch is that if your garden is small, you can’t store the liquid for later use as it loses its effectiveness. Thus, you will have to use the entire 2 gallons in one go. The mixture should also be applied according to your preferences, keeping in mind the nutrient-light N-P-K formula and the requirements of your tomato plant.
The MiracleGro Water Soluble Tomato Plant Fruit Fertilizer is an effective product, which is very convenient to apply with a watering can. The tomato fertilizer grows your tomatoes bigger and more bountiful, as advertised. It also shows instant results which could be verified by the luscious appeal of your tomatoes, easily comparable to the unfed plants.
To use, add a tablespoon of the granules to a gallon of water for outdoor plants or ½ tablespoon for indoor. It’s advised to feed the plants every 7 to 14 days to witness the best results. Since it’s water-soluble, it becomes easy to use while watering the plants. Additionally, you will never have issues with burns if you apply it correctly. However, this fertilizer doesn’t contain calcium, which is beneficial for tomato plants. Still, it has a good amount of N-P-K components along with magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc with a high content of phosphate.
This Dr. Earth Organic Fertilizer provides you with a fertilizer packed with myriads of benefits for a good value. Firstly, the fertilizer is specifically handcrafted from feed grade ingredients without the use of any synthetic materials. In fact, it contains no GMOs, chicken manure, or sewage sludge, and to attest to these facts, it’s OMRI, OIM, CCOF, and non-GMO certified.
Secondly, it contains 7 strains of beneficial probiotic soil microbes along with 8 strains of additional microbes to prevent the plants from diseases, drought and enhance the mineral content of the soil.
Thirdly, it provides you with exceptional results as nutrients are released quickly and nourish the plant for months. Additionally, it’s advertised to be safe for people and pets, and reviews are consistent with these claims. All the stated features make it a fertilizer that truly blooms and nourishes your tomato plants to make them stronger, and enriched them from the natural compounds without any toxic ingredients. However, the scent could be unappealing for certain people.
Do you want to grow and enrich your tomatoes with minerals to make them larger and more delicious? A water-soluble fertilizer is a good approach to take in that case. This product can be used to feed the plant while watering them. This leads to an easier and hassle-free application, as there is no extra preparation required. The fertilizer has a high content of potassium, which ensures stronger leaves and larger fruits. To prevent blossom-end rot, you will also find a lot of calcium in this fertilizer.
For a precise and accurate measurement to ensure a healthy crop, it’s equipped with a complimentary measuring spoon. All these features together assure a crop yield, which is healthy, has vibrant color and strong vines because of its formula that nourishes the plant. The only downside to this water-soluble plant is that the net contents of 1.5lbs was considered insufficient for some people with larger gardens.
The Urban Farm Fertilizers Texas Tomato Food is a synthetic product handcrafter for high performance to ensure a good crop. Apart from this, this fertilizer is highly concentrated, and a single gallon of the concentrate will make 256 gallons of fertilizer when mixed with water. With a high level of potassium content, this makes the tomato plant grow larger and healthier. The fertilizer also contains calcium, which protects against blossom-end rot. All these features make a fertilizer that truly nourishes and grows tomato plants and provides large, sweet, flavorful fruits of the highest quality.
The only downside of this fertilizer is it’s not purely organic. On the other hand, reviews also showed us that the product could be used even 2 years after purchase. Just make sure to store it properly and it shake before use. While it does contain organic teas, much of the formula is synthetic.
For a healthy, enriched plant that yields large, flavorful tomatoes, a fertilizer is imperative, and the Neptune’s Harvest Tomato & Veg fertilizer helps you achieve just that. This hybrid, liquid concentrate fertilizer increases the vigor and volume of tomatoes, vegetables, trees, shrubs, and flowers. Apart from feeding the plant, it also improves drought tolerance and protects the plant. Its ease of use makes it a good fertilizer, as the liquid concentrate only requires you to mix it with water before applying.
The concentrate is enough to make 32 gallons for outdoor, and 64 gallons for the indoor mixture for plants and is applicable to around 2000 sq. ft. of land. For best results, it’s advised to be used every 1 or 2 weeks during the vegging stage of the plant. It acts around the root to make them stronger and increase tolerance to temperature changes as well. It’s made from a variety of fish as an organic source and thus smells of fish when initially applied. If you have cats, keep in mind that they’re attracted to the smell.
The Vigoro Tomato and Vegetable Garden Plant Food Plus Calcium tomato fertilizer promotes the growth of tomato plants with strong roots, healthy leaves, and large fruits. The granules are to be applied to the tomato plant and watered heavily for best use, as it needs activation with water or rain. The fertilizer is also safe to use around other plants, and it won’t harm them. Instead, this product will nourish vegetable plants. The fertilizer is also full of calcium to prevent the plant from being affected by blossom-end rot and splitting.
The fertilizer shows results even after the initial application, and you will notice enriched roots that make your tomatoes grow larger and faster. However, this product is synthetic, so not every gardener will like that. Still, with a lot of water for application, the granules will enrich the soil around the plant well, so you are guaranteed to get healthy plants.
What we liked:
Can be used for various vegetables
Makes roots stronger and leaves healthier in no time
The tomato fertilizer Control Release Granular Fertilizer provides nourishment to the soil with the N-P-K content of 13-13-13. The benefit of using this product is that it not only enriches the tomato plants to produce larger tomatoes, it also provides a slow-release, which makes the granules useful for over 4 months after application. The scientifically manufactured fertilizer provides immediate results as well. The best part about this product is that it reduces the pH level in the soil.
The 2 pounds of net contents are applicable to 50 sq. feet of land. It’s also equipped with calcium to prevent blossom-end rot. The downside? This is a general-purpose fertilizer, and it’s synthetic. Although the scientific formula helps enrich the plants, the synthetic nature may be unappealing to some users.
What we liked:
Rich calcium concent
Reduces soil pH level
What could be better:
Things to Consider
Who wouldn’t love to have their tomato garden blossoming with delicious, bright red, flavorful fruits? That’s exactly why we reviewed the top ten fertilizers on the market, and now, we will indulge in a detailed buying guide to explain the reasons why you should get fertilizer for your tomato plant. This section also touches common questions related to choosing the best fertilizers for the tomato plants. This will help you get your hands on the most suitable product that makes your garden grow healthy, delicious tomatoes.
Reasons to get fertilizer for tomatoes
For the healthy growth of a crop, it’s essential for the soil to be enriched with nutrients. These nutrients normally occur naturally in the soil, and they allow the tomatoes to grow healthy and large. But more often, the soil can exhaust its nutrients, so for the continued growth of the tomatoes, fertilizers containing those nutrients need to be applied. Otherwise, the plant may stop growing or may succumb to the disease.
Organic matter, chemical fertilizers, or hybrid fertilizers that contain essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium can enrich the soil. Moreover, fertilizers allow you to keep track of the exact amount of nutrients the plant is receiving, and thus, allows you to make a choice based on the soil you have. Just like humans need nutrients to grow healthy, tomatoes require nutrients to grow large and strong as well, and this nourishment is derived from the use of fertilizers.
How to pick the best fertilizer for tomatoes?
Every plant needs a fertilizer that works best for it, depending on its type – for example, there are special fertilizers for fruit trees, fertilizers for roses or fertilizers for lawn grass. The reviews showcased different fertilizers for tomatoes, and the market has hundreds of various products as well. This makes it tougher to pick one, which is ideal for your tomato plant. However, we help you narrow it down by comparing the fertilizers according to different factors such as type, form, content of nutrients, and net weight and consumption. By discussing these factors and their importance, you will be able to select one fertilizer that best suits your requirements and help your tomato plant grow larger.
Organic fertilizers are derived from natural ingredients instead of ingredients that are chemically manufactured in a lab. Their method is to act as a probiotic to enhance the absorption of the soil. The benefit of its application is that it’s relatively safer to use for people and animals as there are no chemicals involved. However, on average, organic fertilizers are more expensive, and you won’t get weed control here.
With a synthetic fertilizer, the nutrients are chemically manufactured in a lab. They are less costly but still can improve the appearance of your garden while also providing the essential nutrients to the plant.
A hybrid fertilizer, such as the Neptune’s Harvest Tomato & Veg, is partly organic but also has minimal traces of synthetic elements. It helps to form a bridge between the previous two kinds of fertilizer to create the best of two worlds.
Fertilizers are available in different forms ranging from granules to liquid concentrates. Granular fertilizer is more efficient for a heavy pre-plant application and is also available in options that provide slow release. Moreover, they are usually less expensive if you buy a larger package.
Dry fertilizers are beneficial to be used for a large land as they last longer and are known to be less damaging to the plants, unlike liquid fertilizers that are known to sometimes burn the plants.
Liquid fertilizers for tomatoes are becoming more popular because of their ease of application. Moreover, they provide a uniform spreading and are easy to blend.
Granular and dry fertilizers are applied either by hand or by a spreader along rows of plants. Liquid concentrates, such as the Urban Farm Fertilizers Texas Tomato Food, are first mixed with the water and then applied using a water can, a sprinkler, or a sprayer.
Content of nutrients
The three major components of fertilizer for tomatoes include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. As the leaves of plants cannot freely absorb nitrogen through the air, it needs to be supplied in the form of fertilizer. The nitrogen makes the tomato plant healthy with green leaves. However, an excessive nitrogen application can stunt fruit development and focus more on stem and leaf growth. Phosphorus is good for root development and is relatively slower-acting than nitrogen. Lastly, potassium allows the tomato plant to stay strong during drought and other conditions and feeds and nourishes the soil over time. This is done by helping the plants process the ingredients and water.
However, fertilizers contain more than these basic macronutrients. They contain calcium to prevent blossom-end rot, sulfur, and boron for a healthy tomato plant, and magnesium, which helps with photosynthesis.
When a tomato fertilizer is labeled as “fast-acting” or “slow-acting”, they refer to the fast or slow release of nutrients to the garden. The quick-release fertilizers are generally more water-soluble and dissolve quicker in the soil. This enables you to witness a growth instantaneously, and this comes in handy in the early growth stages of the plant. However, too much use of this will cause stunted root development and increase shoot growth, which can be harmful to the plant.
The slow-acting formula for a fertilizer releases the nutrients slowly over an extended period, allowing nutrients to be in the soil for a long time. This decreases the need for frequent fertilizer applications. However, you won’t witness the instant growth of the plant.
There is no single formula, which is beneficial to the plant, which is why you should always try different methods. However, slow-acting formulas are generally considered better.
Blossom-end and splitting prevention
Blossom-end rot causes tomatoes to become discolored and watery – no one wants that. However, the cause is known to be a deficiency of calcium nutrient and erratic watering. It can also occur because of the excess of nitrogen in fertilizers. Fluctuations in the moisture of a soil cause BER to occur. However, a fertilizer, which is rich in calcium, can help enrich the soil to prevent blossom-end rot and splitting from occurring. A fertilizer that is full of calcium as a micronutrient along with nitrogen helps mitigate the harmful effects of nitrogen and leads to a healthy tomato plant resistant to multiple diseases. One of the fertilizers that contain calcium as part of its chemical composition is the Vigoro Tomato and Vegetable Garden Plant Food Plus Calcium.
The price is an important factor that determines whether a fertilizer and its features are truly worth it. Generally, organic fertilizers are known to be more expensive than chemical fertilizers. However, the Tomato-tone Organic Fertilizer and the Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Tomato Plant can be found at only $10. It depends on what your preferences, but the Editor’s Choice is packed with benefits, such as BER protection, perfect nutrient balance, and environment-friendly formula. However, if you prefer it in a liquid concentrate, they are priced higher in the range of $21 to $35. The innovative product TeaDrops can be found at the higher end of the scale, at about $35.
For healthy growth of the plant, tomatoes should be fertilized initially when they are planted in the garden. This helps the soil prepare and be enriched to allow the plant’s growth. Next, you will have to wait patiently until they set fruit and fertilize the plant again to prevent the risk of diseases and BER. Lastly, when the tomato plants start sprouting fruit, you will have to reapply the fertilizer lightly once every two weeks, and most of the fertilizers, on average, recommend the same. However, for a much accurate result, you should carefully read the instructions specified in the fertilizer as a fast-acting formula might need to be reapplied more often than a slow-release formula. Moreover, every plant requires specific levels of N-P-K, and you should keep that in mind if you want to use that on vegetables as well.
If you have purchased a fast-acting formula fertilizer, you will begin to see immediate results almost after the application. However, fertilizers, on average, need a couple of weeks until you notice a considerable shift in results. With the slow-acting formula, the product focuses more on establishing the nutrients of the soil. Moreover, you will need to complete an entire life cycle of the plant to see if the fertilizer prevents blossom-end rot and other diseases. However, it should be noted that the healthiness of the plant can be witnessed within days after application.
Chemical fertilizers that are created for specific plants are not as dangerous as some people might think. Even the organic fertilizers that made from natural ingredients can be harmful to pets and humans if consumed as they still contain high levels of certain ingredients. They are still not harmful to the environment. Chemical fertilizers, especially liquid concentrates, are known to cause chemical burns as they release nitrogen too fast for a plant. They are also known to cause air pollution as nitrogen can contribute to the greenhouse gases when plants cannot absorb more of the fertilizer. Apart from this, some chemical fertilizers also cause soil depletion, soil acidification, and can even be harmful to pets and humans to walk on a chemically fertilized area. So make sure to read the instruction before using them to ensure that they are safe.
For your convenience, we have narrowed down the fertilizers to the top three options. As you can see, the top choices are organic because of their safety and environment-friendly nature.
However, if you prefer a fertilizer that improves your soil and makes the plants resistant to drought, our Best Value pick, the Jobe’s Organics, should be your go-to.
If your requirements are a bit different, and you are ready for a pricier option, then our Premium Pick, the TeaDrops Organic Tomato Fertilizer will be best suited for you because of its hassle-free application and odorless formula.
We hope that our list of the best fertilizers for tomatoes helped you find the right product. Whichever one of these you choose, you are sure to end up with healthy, red, and tasty tomatoes!