Agronomists have repeatedly proven that nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K) are the most crucial macronutrients for NPK for tomatoes yields. NPK is the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium in a bag of fertilizer.
For instance, an NPK ratio of 5-4-4 means that the fertilizer has five parts of nitrogen, four parts of phosphorous, and four parts of potassium.
The best NPK for the tomato is 8-32-16 and 6-24-24. The best fertilizer for tomatoes is the one whose NPK ratio has a higher phosphorous (P) content than nitrogen (N). The nutrients that tomatoes need the most are nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.
So why is the NPK ratio important in the growth of tomatoes? You’re about to find out!
Best NPK for Tomatoes
The ratio 8-32-16 is considered the best NPK ratio for tomatoes. However, adjusting the nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium ratios to 6-24-24 is still optimal for good yields.
The first ratio (8-32-16) means the fertilizer has 8% nitrogen, 32% phosphorous, and 16% potassium. Their rest is just filler material.
The ratios are always labeled on your fertilizer bag.
When the last two components—phosphorous (K) and potassium (K)–are in huge supply, your tomatoes develop the right amount of acid and fruit sugar. Furthermore, experienced tomato farmers will tell you that a good mix of boron, sulfur, and potassium leads to great-tasting tomatoes.
However, a growing tomato plant needs different NPK ratios depending on its growth cycle. There’s no single fertilizer good enough for all cycles. A high nitrogen (N) ratio is not ideal for flowering plants like tomatoes but good for non-flowering plants like lawns.
Moreover, farming experts warn against the so-called “balanced fertilizers” where the NPK ratios are even. For example, a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10-10-10 has three macronutrients in equal measure.
Despite the arithmetic balance, tomato plants don’t need the three nutrients in equal portions. On the other hand, such fertilizers have a high concentration of chemical salts that cause super-fast growth in plants. The downside is that plants growing fast are attractive to pests and diseases.
Finally, unless you’re on a strict budget, you shouldn’t add fertilizer to your tomatoes without first conducting a soil test for your garden. The test helps you know the nutrients your soil lacks and thus helps you ascertain the best NPK for tomatoes on your farm.
Best Tomato Fertilizers
For great tomato yields, the choice of fertilizer is very vital. Following thorough research, we have identified tomato fertilizers with the best NPK balance for the best yield.
With 4-6-3 NPK values, Dr. Earth Homegrown Organic Fertilizer is specially formed to provide nutrients for vegetable gardens and potted plants. The fertilizer can be used when you first plant your seeds, when you transplant them and when performing regular top dressing.
Unlike many fertilizers on the shelves with synthetic ingredients, Dr. Earth is made from food-grade ingredients. As its name suggests, it’s composed of organic nutrients that occur in nature, like kelp meal, fish meal, bone meal, feather meal, minerals, and fish bones. The fertilizer is thus nutritionally balanced for rich and healthy soil.
Dr. Earth has no GMOs, sewage sludge, or chicken manure that may hurt than help your tomato crops. Rather, it contains strains of good soil microbes.
Its optimum levels of vital crop nutrients eliminate the need to replace it with chemical fertilizers if used correctly. Furthermore, it helps tomato crops tolerate drought and receive more nutrients due to its select endo- and ectomycorrhizal strains.
Ultimately, farmers love Dr. Earth for its clear instructions and ease of use. Additionally, the packaged amount is generous for its price and lasts longer than other organic fertilizers.
What We like
- Plant support: it’s responsible for strong and healthy tomato plants
- Non-toxicity: it’s nontoxic to pets and can be used indoors for potted plants
- Content: good NPK nutrients balance
- Ease of use: easy to use
- Effectiveness: it makes tomatoes drought-resistant and delicious fruits
- Quantity over cost: good value for money
What We don’t like
- Odor: the fertilizer has an awful smell and thus attracts bugs
With a 4-6-2 NPK nutrient ratio, Down to Earth excels as a tomato fertilizer. The manufacturer markets it with the tagline, “All-natural fertilizer.” It lives up to this billing due to the wide array of its organic ingredients: feather meal, kelp meal, fish bone meal, rock phosphate, and blood meal. Due to this mix, it’s certified for organic production
Additionally, due to its gentle, non-burning ingredients, it’s listed by OMRI as safe for the organic production of vegetables, potted plants, herbs, flowers, and shrubs. Furthermore, it enhances natural microbial activity and soil fertility.
Lastly, its composition is carefully thought-out to give your tomato plants a steady supply of vital nutrients.
What We like
- Packaging: Comes in many sizes
- Range of uses: It’s an all-purpose fertilizer and can work well with other vegetables
- Ease of use: Mixes very well with the soil
- Effectiveness: Boosts plant growth, and flowers appear within a short time
- Composition: Has a natural composition but works well like chemical fertilizers
What We don’t like
- Odor: It’s smelly and thus attracts flies, bugs, and dogs
- Toxicity: Contains phosphate, which is a threat to water quality in case of runoffs
But, what stands out for TeaDrops Formula is its uniqueness and ability to work well with various tomatoes: heirloom, cherry, vine, salsa, grape, beefsteak, Roma, vine, and paste.
Although it’s not ready to use as packed, it’s easy to prepare its solution. You need one gallon of water in a bucket and one packet of the TeaDrops Formula.
You steep the fertilizer for several hours until the liquid changes color. Subsequently, pour the solution into your tomato plants and watch them grow!
TearDrops Tomato Formula can be used. Besides, the fertilizer can be applied as a foliar spray, root drench, or soil feed.
What We like
- Range of use: Works well with a wide variety of tomatoes
- Effectiveness: Effective against wilting and dying of tomato plants
- Odor: Unlike other similar fertilizers, it’s odorless
- Ease of use: Easy to mix with water and spread in your garden
- Quantity versus cost: Great value for money
- Safety: It’s pet and eco-friendly
What We don’t like
- Affordability: It may not be enough for your farm if you’re on a tight budget
- Content: It’s a light solution with minimal ingredient content
If you’re after an odorless fertilizer with many positive reviews, then TeaDrops Tomato and Pepper Formula is the one to go for. Moreover, it works well on all flowering plants. Unfortunately, it’s costly.
If you’re looking for something that works well but doesn’t break the bank, then Dr. Earth Organic 5 and Down to Earth All-Purpose Fertilizer are the way to go. The latter excels in its variety of sizes, value-to-money advantage, and many positive reviews. Furthermore, it’s the cheapest.
What NPK Ratio Is Best For Tomatoes?
The best NPK ratio for tomatoes is 6-24-24 and 8-32-16. However, other popular tomato fertilizers with NPK ratios of 4-6-3 and 4-6-2 still work well for tomatoes.
All the best NPK for tomatoes show a noticeable trend of a higher phosphorous content(bigger middle number) than the other nutrients. Phosphorous is the most vital nutrient for tomatoes because it boosts the growth and development of their roots.
However, it’s important to note that tomatoes at the flowering and fruiting stages need high phosphorus to help them produce good flowers and fruits. Thus, when deciding on the fertilizer to use, ensure your choice has an NPK ratio that guarantees a high supply of phosphorous.
What Is The Best Fertilizer For Growing Tomatoes?
The best fertilizer for growing tomatoes is the one whose NPK has a larger middle number than the initial. However, in some cases, a balanced NPK ratio works well for tomatoes.
Unless your soil is very rich, you must use a fertilizer for a meaningful yield since tomatoes are heavy feeders. Tomato plants work with slow-release organic formulas instead of fast-release, water-soluble fertilizers.
What Nutrients Do Tomatoes Need Most?
The macronutrients that tomatoes need most for photosynthesis are nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. However, magnesium, sulfur, and calcium are also other macronutrients that tomatoes need.
Tomatoes also need iron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, boron, and manganese in smaller quantities than the macronutrients.
What Is The Best Fertilizer For Tomatoes And Peppers?
The best fertilizer for tomatoes and peppers is one with NPK values of 5-10-10 but with trace amounts of calcium and magnesium.
Generally, any fertilizer that works well for tomatoes will be ideal for peppers and herbs.
In an ideal farm, tomatoes would draw the nutrients they require through the slow release and uptake of needed nutrients from rich soils with balanced nutrients. However, the average garden is not like that.
After performing a soil test to determine your soil’s condition, it’s vital to find the best NPK for tomatoes that matches your soil’s condition. Avoid the notion that “balanced fertilizers” are the best unless your soil dictates otherwise. Go for that NPK ratio with a higher phosphorous concentration than potassium. The best NPK for tomatoes is one with the least nitrogen.