Someone told me that..... (re: fertilizer)


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...the ideal NPK ratios for tomatoes is 1: 1.5 :3

My question is HOW does one utilize fertilizer (that you can buy at a store or online) to meet this ideal? Because I haven't seen any fertilizers with this ratio on the bottle/bag. Its confusing. Im thinking about what would be the best fertilizer I can use for my tomatoes... and maybe even if I could use that same fertilizer on the rest of my veggies and flowers? Or do I need to get different fertilizers for different plants? Its all so confusing..
 
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...the ideal NPK ratios for tomatoes is 1: 1.5 :3

My question is HOW does one utilize fertilizer (that you can buy at a store or online) to meet this ideal? Because I haven't seen any fertilizers with this ratio on the bottle/bag. Its confusing. Im thinking about what would be the best fertilizer I can use for my tomatoes... and maybe even if I could use that same fertilizer on the rest of my veggies and flowers? Or do I need to get different fertilizers for different plants? Its all so confusing..
Its really fairly simple: Nitrogen is for the green growth, P is for blooms and K is for plant and fruit growth. It is more complicated than this but basically its true. I am not sure that the ratio you mentioned is true at all. If this were the perfect ratio then why doesn't someone make it? I don't know of any fertilizer either organic or synthetic that is in this "ideal" ratio.
 
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Ok, it was something a lady that was leading a "how to grow tomatoes" webinar said. Its been stuck in my head and annoying me bc it gets me nowhere.
 
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Ok, it was something a lady that was leading a "how to grow tomatoes" webinar said. Its been stuck in my head and annoying me bc it gets me nowhere.
This might help clear your head. THERE IS NO PERFECT IDEAL FERTILIZER. And why is this? Its because there are no two soils nor no two plants exactly the same. Remember, it is not the numbers on the bag that are important, it is microbes in the soil that are important. The plants don't "eat" the fertilizer, they uptake the nutrients in the fertilizer AFTER the microbes have broken the fertilizer down into its molecular components. At least this is the way it works with organic fertilizers. With synthetics the nutrients go from the bag to the plant leaving out the soil microbes.
 
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That does help. There are just so many choices. I'll look at it like picking out a shampoo.. ha! They all clean your hair basically. So the fertilizers all feed the soil basically, which in turn feeds the plants. No real need to scrutinize over what is better that what. Just get the job done. I should however make sure whatever i get is organic and doesn't have really high numbers like the Langebenite did. Sound right? Sorta?
 
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You know I feel a little leery about feeding my plants after what I did with the Langebenite... Are the low npk organic fertilizers so gentle that its ok for me to feed my tomatoes and other plants as usual? As if Langebenite never happened? I'm guessing yes but just wanna make sure...

P.S. my plants are looking much better since I applied the soil activator you recommended! Less yellow! Thank you! I also set free a bunch of beneficial nematodes into my garden! Bye bye cutworms!
 
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You know I feel a little leery about feeding my plants after what I did with the Langebenite... Are the low npk organic fertilizers so gentle that its ok for me to feed my tomatoes and other plants as usual? As if Langebenite never happened? I'm guessing yes but just wanna make sure...

P.S. my plants are looking much better since I applied the soil activator you recommended! Less yellow! Thank you! I also set free a bunch of beneficial nematodes into my garden! Bye bye cutworms!
I would wait to fertilize until buds are forming on your tomatoes, then go ahead as usual. It won't be long. My tomato blooms are already opening and I expect to see a baby tomato any time now.
 
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Oh ok, that sounds sensible. I will. Thats exciting your tomatoes are starting to bloom! I've just started hardening mine off to go out on our last frost date, April 15th!
 
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Ah, yours got a little more indoor grow time than mine. I started mine about 5 or 6 weeks before last frost. They are kinda small. Next year I'll start sooner. I may buy a couple larger plants from store just so I am sure to get some tomatoes. Also it will be fun to compare how they do and taste etc..
 
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Ah, yours got a little more indoor grow time than mine. I started mine about 5 or 6 weeks before last frost. They are kinda small. Next year I'll start sooner. I may buy a couple larger plants from store just so I am sure to get some tomatoes. Also it will be fun to compare how they do and taste etc..
I start hardening mine off when they get two sets of true leaves. It is a lot of moving them in and out but I get some amazing transplants.
 
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Thats a good rule.
Mine are on their second set of true leaves but the second set is still rather small. :rolleyes: Yesterday was the first day I set them out for 1 hour. Do you think I should stop the hardening off process and let them grow a bit more inside first?
 
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Thats a good rule.
Mine are on their second set of true leaves but the second set is still rather small. :rolleyes: Yesterday was the first day I set them out for 1 hour. Do you think I should stop the hardening off process and let them grow a bit more inside first?
It depends on the temps and the wind. Try to keep them out of any wind ( a small breeze is great) and below 90F until they beef up. After they get some strength you don't have to worry much about anything except low temps, about 50F and below. You don't want the soil to get really cool, but your daytime temps should be OK.
 
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Ok, I'll continue hardening them off just being extra careful not to stress them too much. Yesterday was their first day out and it was just for an hour. Today I'm giving them 2 hours and tomorrow I'll give em 3... and just build up gradually until their nice and strong.
 
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Ok, I'll continue hardening them off just being extra careful not to stress them too much. Yesterday was their first day out and it was just for an hour. Today I'm giving them 2 hours and tomorrow I'll give em 3... and just build up gradually until their nice and strong.
That's the plan. Just stress them enough to make them stronger and no more.
 
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Chuck, when you said you don't want temps to get below 50F did you mean the soil temperature or the air temperature? I'm wondering bc they say you can plant tomatoes after last frost and our last frost date is the 15th.. however I see that the nighttime temps are still going below 50 after this date when I looked at the weather. I was gonna get a couple different varieties of tomato plants from the local nursery that are already strong and hardened off to plant in addition to my tomato plants but I don't want to put them in if its too cold. But they say you can transplant tomatoes out after last frost date so.. it doesn't look like the nighttime temps will be consistently over 50 in the near future. At this time the nightime temps are constantly over 40 tho.
 
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Chuck, when you said you don't want temps to get below 50F did you mean the soil temperature or the air temperature? I'm wondering bc they say you can plant tomatoes after last frost and our last frost date is the 15th.. however I see that the nighttime temps are still going below 50 after this date when I looked at the weather. I was gonna get a couple different varieties of tomato plants from the local nursery that are already strong and hardened off to plant in addition to my tomato plants but I don't want to put them in if its too cold. But they say you can transplant tomatoes out after last frost date so.. it doesn't look like the nighttime temps will be consistently over 50 in the near future. At this time the nightime temps are constantly over 40 tho.
Tomatoes do not like temps at or about 50F. 45F and lower will stop growth for all intents and purposes. When I say 50 I mean for prolonged times, not just for a few hours. When you grow tomato seedlings you want rapid and uninterrupted growth. Just because someone says you can plant something after last frost doesn't mean much except that the plants will not be killed by the frost. It won't frost at 33F but don't you think that 33 is still a tad cool for hot weather plants? Soil temps are also very important. If soil temps are in the 50's expect slow growth. Tomatoes grow rapidly when soil temps are above 65F and faster the warmer the soil becomes. You will be much better off by bringing in your plants when nighttime temps will fall below 50. If this means that your plants will get too big for the containers they are now in if you want the best transplants you will just have to repot into a slightly larger container. I have to repot mine at least 3 times, depending on the variety. I just checked my plant a few minutes ago and I discovered a few set tomatoes. Last frost here is April 1 and I put mine in the ground on the 3rd IIRC. Container and all, they were at least 1 1/2 feet tall but I planted them very deep. Right now they are about 1 1/2 feet tall. My temps have been lows in the 60's and highs in the 90's. Soil temp at 6" is 64.
 
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Ahhh, I get it... Thank you! I will wait until nighttime temps are above 50 and just keep bringing them in at night until then. For some reason mine aren't growing that much. I have grow lights on them but maybe they aren't strong enough... or maybe its bc I haven't used any fertilizer on them... but mine certainly aren't even close to the size yours were. Mine are about 6 inches. :oops:
 
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Ahhh, I get it... Thank you! I will wait until nighttime temps are above 50 and just keep bringing them in at night until then. For some reason mine aren't growing that much. I have grow lights on them but maybe they aren't strong enough... or maybe its bc I haven't used any fertilizer on them... but mine certainly aren't even close to the size yours were. Mine are about 6 inches. :oops:
If yours have at least 2 sets of true leaves you can start fertilizing them @1/2 the rate. They need lots of sunlight. I don't know anything about artificial lighting, but I have rarely seen anyone grow really nice plants under lights.
 

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