Pros: organic, easy to apply, effective
Cons: difficult to find in my area
My garden is loaded with tomato plants every year. And they had better grow ... I have family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers depending on my crops! There are two tomato fertilizers that have worked well for me. One of them is this Espoma Tomato-Tone Fertilizer.
This organic fertilizer advertises itself as an all-natural plant food for plump and juicy tomatoes. Espoma adds "Bio-tone beneficial microbes" to this slow release formula. The fertilizer is promoted as long-lasting and won't burn plants. The ratio is: 3-4-6 (nitrogen, phosphate, potash). It comes packaged in a durable bag, and several sizes are offered, including this 20-pound bag.
Early each year I peruse the seed catalogs and websites looking for new disease-resistant tomato varieties to try. I also plant several varieties that have proven good producers over the years. Our garden has become known as one our family and friends can rely on to consistently provide good organic food, and we love to share what we grow.
I always begin my tomato plants indoors to give them a head-start on our shorter growing season. Typically, I will punch holes in the bottom of plastic yogurt cups and plant two seeds of the same tomato variety in each cup. I keep the seeds upstairs to germinate, and then once they are sprouting, I move them downstairs where they grow under lights. Once the soil outdoors is warm enough, I transplant them into the vegetable garden.
When I transplant the plants, I dig a good size hole for each plant and add a trowel full of this tomato fertilizer. I mix the fertilizer with the earth inside the hole and then insert the plant, tamping the earth firmly around it. I also add a collar made from a large plastic drinking cup, pushing it into the ground so that it surrounds the tomato plant stem. This protects the tender stem from cutworm attack.
During the growing season, I continue to ferlitize with Tomato-Tone once or twice a month. Espoma recommends twice a month. It is also suggested to keep Tomato-Tone at least three inches away from the plant stem. After fertilizing, I always water the plants well.
I am very pleased with the way these plants grow when I use this fertilizer. The tomato plants tend to average five to six feet tall, growing in tomato cages to support the size and weight of the plants. The tomatoes also grow well and there are always plenty to share. The only exception to this is if the weather doesn't cooperate or if there is a disease running rampant through tomato crops (I remember the year of Early Blight disease). Planting disease-resistant tomatoes is also one way to ensure better crop production.
A 20-pound bag of Tomato-Tone sells for about $14.00 in my area. The one problem is that this fertilizer has become increasingly difficult to locate. When I cannot find the Tomato-Tone, I purchase tomato fertilizer from Gardener's Supply.
My tomato plants do well when I use Espoma Tomato-Tone Fertilizer. It's great hearing the compliments!
I hope you found this review useful.
Enjoy the day,
Please read my other reviews:
Tomato Cage - 4-ring, 4-leg
Upside-Down Tomato Garden
Garden Tone Organic Fertilizer
Composted Cow Manure
Organic Choice Garden Soil
Organic Choice Potting Mix
Deluxe Pyramid Composter
Rubbermaid Big Max Storage Shed
Copyright 2011 Dawn L. Stewart