Every gardener wants many plumper and juicier tomatoes. However, tomatoes are heavy feeders, and it’s crucial to treat them using a good fertilizer like Tomato tone. The tomato tone allows the plant to grow naturally in every stage without interfering with the blooms and fruits.
But, do you know how to use tomato tone?
Tomato tone contains everything a tomato plant needs, from seedling to harvest. First, apply tomato tone to the soil to improve the nutrient content before planting the seedlings. Reapply 14 days later to add support to the seedlings and then twice monthly to retain the soil’s nutrients.
This article discusses the benefits of Tomato tone and its nutrient content that helps the growth of tomatoes. Read on.
Also Check: Can You Plant Peppers Deep Like Tomatoes?
How to Use Tomato Tone
Apply tomato tone twice monthly – before planting the seedlings as the soil requires more nutrients to kick-start healthy growth and after a maximum of 10-14 days for extra support to growing seedlings. Maintain a twice-monthly application to ensure the soil and plant don’t lose potential nutrients.
Let’s go deeper.
The tomato tone favors all tomato varieties and vegetables like peppers and squash. It features high calcium, potassium, and sulfur. A specific benefit of Tomato-tone is its high level of calcium, which prevents blossom end rot in vulnerable crops.
Tomato-tone formulation is 3-4-6 NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium).
So how do you prepare for the application?
- Clear off the weeds and debris from the soil. Then apply about 9 cups of Tomato tone to every 50 square feet of soil.
- With a trowel, mix the Tomato-tone into 6 inches of soil. Plant while spacing evenly each of the tomato seedlings in rows, and remember to water thoroughly after planting.
- On each side of the planted rows, apply one cup of Tomato-tone maintaining a minimum distance of 3 inches between the plant and Tomato tone.
- Apply three tablespoons in a narrow band around the bottom of every plant.
- Preferably, use a suitable-sized container, bearing in mind that tomatoes can grow quite large.
- Mix two cups of Tomato-tone with each cubic foot of potting soil.
- If you have small containers, mix one part of the soil thoroughly with 1.5 tablespoons of Tomato-tone. Plant your tomato seedlings and water deeply.
- Add 1.5 tablespoons for each 12-inch container of potting soil. As always, don’t forget to water thoroughly after planting.
As a slow-release fertilizer, applying Tomato tone in a little excessive amount to healthy plants won’t cause harm but may hinder the yield. So, it would be best to follow the application instructions as seen on the package.
What Is A Good Source Of Potassium For Tomato Plants?
You can get adequate potassium for your tomato plants from homemade fertilizers like banana peels, wood ash, kelp meal, and cottonseed meal.
Every fruiting plant needs Potassium to promote vigorous growth. However, the best results require the potassium levels to be two times more than nitrogen in the suitable fertilizer for your garden. Potassium is helpful until the end of the season.
However, be careful not to add too much nitrogen at this stage because it will lead to an overgrowth of leaves. On the other hand, it will lower the flower yields. Sadly, a lack of flowers causes a lack of fruit.
So, how can you add potassium to your tomato plants?
Banana peels are an excellent source of potassium when buried to help grow in all stages. Remarkably, banana peels contain calcium, which prevents the tomatoes from getting blossom end rot.
Collect banana peels and store them in a big container as your plant grows. Ensure the container remains closed to avoid the spread of rotten odor, which can also attract insects.
- Collect a good number of banana peels
- Cut them into sizeable pieces
- Bury the pieces in the soil
Ensure you bury the banana peels deeper than an inch into the soil. This helps the tomato plants gain more nutrients to produce more flowers. More flowers equal more fruits.
Wood ash from burnt wood is highly beneficial to tomato plants because of the potassium and phosphorous.
Primarily, wood ash increases the soil’s fertility and balances the pH to maintain its neutral state. Better still, it prevents insects and pests like slugs and snails.
How do you apply wood ash to your tomatoes?
- Collect the wood ash from the fireplace and sift it gently, removing the large or un-burnt wood pieces.
- Spread about one-half inch thickness evenly at the base of the plants. Wood ash is water-soluble, so ensure it’s completely cool and dry before adding it to the soil to prevent washing away all the nutrients.
- Avoid sprinkling on the tomato leaves and stems.
- Don’t leave piles of wood ash because it may leak into the soil and harm the roots.
- Apply wood ash weekly with about 20 pounds for 1000sq.ft of garden.
Kelp meal is an outstanding source of potassium, especially for tomato plants. Kelp comes from sea plants and is entirely sustainable. You can buy kelp meals in either powder or liquid form.
The high levels of potassium nutrient accelerate the plant’s growth hormones naturally to increase yields. As it’s better to apply throughout the growth season, kelp improves soil structure and plant resistance to drought, frost, pests, and diseases.
You can apply kelp as a spray or direct it into the soil. Preferably, add a cup of kelp meal into each planting hole.
As a slow-release fertilizer, it doesn’t shock the plant like its chemical counterparts while providing necessary nutrients. An important trick would be to add Epsom salts in each hole with kelp meal when you want to transplant tomatoes. Epsom salts contain magnesium, which is also an essential plant nutrient.
Cottonseed meal is another natural fertilizer that contains high potassium levels. Since it also has other nutrients, a cottonseed meal is ideal for applying in all stages of the growing season.
It’s instrumental in airing tight, dense soil and maintaining moisture in light, sandy soil. Plus, it encourages healthy foliage, maximizes fruit production, and nurtures abundant, remarkable blooms.
Cottonseed meal releases nutrients slowly, so it can take like four months before you reapply. This makes it safe to use generously without fearing likely foliage burn.
Add about 4 to 6 pounds of cottonseed meal for the new tomato plant gardens into the soil. You can add 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of garden fertilizer or any decomposed organic matter in the same soil with cottonseed meal.
For an established tomato garden, spread evenly at the base of the plants the same amount of cottonseed meal. However, cut down the amount of garden fertilizer by half, and continue to add plenty of organic matter.
You can also use around 2 inches of cottonseed to mulch around growing tomatoes and water thoroughly.
What’s The Fastest Way to Add Potassium to the Soil?
Potassium Sulfate or Sulfate of Potash is the fastest way of adding potassium to the soil. With 50% potassium, it’s powerful and quick-releasing to correct the deficiency of potassium in the soil. Remember to look out for the organic label on the brands available because not all are.
Why is it important?
As a quick-acting fertilizer, it boosts colored flowering and the fruit yield of tomato plants. The sulfate of potash also boosts the strength of growing plants.
Because it has high potassium levels, the Sulphate of Potash enables excellent resistance to disease and weather.
Aside from tomatoes, Potassium Sulphate is also ideal for flowers and shrubs, fruit trees, and bushes. If you like, you can buy it in a liquid state, which you’ll need to dissolve in water when applying.
Furthermore, you can rake Sulphate of Potash into the surface of the soil or apply it as a top dressing.
When applying potassium sulfate, ensure you avoid the leaves and stems of tomato plants. Apply a maximum of two times in the growing season.
Caring For a Garden with Tomato-Tone
You can care for your tomato garden with Tomato tone in multiple ways. But the most common ways are;
Using the Tomato tone, apply a few tablespoons at the base of the tomato plants, then water well.
You can use fast-acting compost tea. Because compost tea is applicable as a solution, it’s easy for plant roots to use immediately.
Compost tea comprises all primary and lesser nutrients necessary for plants. As a balanced plant food, it comes with equal parts of NPK-nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other lesser nutrients.
Compost tea feeds microorganisms in the soil that convert organic materials to plant foods. The microorganisms also feed on destructive fungi that attack plants.
How do you make compost tea?
- Put two full scoops of compost into a laundry bag and close the top firmly.
- Place the bag at the base of a bucket with the compost to water ratio of 1:5.
- Allow it to “brew” for a maximum of ten days.
- Add water to dilute the resulting “tea” until it turns light brown.
- Use the tea to apply at the base of the tomato plants.
Learn how to use tomato tone using the guide above. Though it contains all nutrients, Tomato tone is ideal for tomatoes and other vegetables that require a high amount of potassium to boost their growth.
Potassium plays a crucial role in plant growth because it moves nutrients, water, and carbohydrates in the plant tissues. It also regulates soil moisture, temperature, and aeration. All these ensure your tomatoes and other vegetables produce high yields as desired.
So, go ahead and buy that Espoma Tomato tone and apply it to your plants.