Anyone who grows tomatoes in their own garden experiences first-hand how much a good harvest depends on the weather: if the summer is warm and dry, then the plants will grow a lush harvest, but if the summer is cool and rainy, the harvest will be poor . With the right tomato fertilizer and an in-depth knowledge of what the red fruits love, there is a good chance of harvesting plump tomatoes from your own garden every year.

The right kind

When it comes to tomatoes in particular, there is a large selection and personal taste determines the choice, as does the planned use in the kitchen. Modern breeds are against the most important tomato diseasesmore resistant. There are small, fruity-sweet tomatoes, such as cherry tomatoes, that can be easily nibbled between meals. One of the varieties that hardly develop any late blight or brown rot despite the rain is “Philovita” and the “Orangino” variety shines with lots of bright orange fruits with a sour aroma. If you like Mediterranean cooking and prefer the tomatoes you need from your own cultivation, you can use beefsteak and plum tomatoes. These have a particularly firm flesh and are particularly low in seeds and juice: “San Marzano”, “Agro”, “Corianne”, “Timos” and “Myrto” are popular varieties. But there are also old tomato varieties that are becoming increasingly popular, such as the light yellow pineapple tomato or colorfully striped tomatoes.

The right tomato fertilizer

There are many types of fertilizers available. These can be roughly divided into two main groups: mineral fertilizers, such as blue grain, saltpeter and lime, and organic fertilizers, which consist of cattle manure, bone meal or horn shavings. These contain the nutrients in organic form, as bones, feces, food waste, which must first be accessed by the microorganisms in the soil. Otherwise the nutrients contained therein cannot be used by the plants.

When you fertilize your plants with an organic tomato fertilizer, you can be sure that they are getting what they need. For the basic supply, between three and five liters of compost per square meter of tomato bed is sufficient for fertilizing, which is spread and worked in immediately after the soil has been prepared. Compost can either be made in your own garden with a composter, or you can buy it cheaply from the municipal recycling center. This has the advantage that it is sterilized and therefore does not pass on any diseases to the tomatoes. Manure from horse stables, on the other hand, is often contaminated with so many antibiotics that it should not be used to fertilize the tomatoes.

Tomatoes are children of the sun: they need a lot of sun and soil with a high content of nutrients. Tomatoes get along well with many other plants, such as radishes, spinach, carrots and cabbage. On the other hand, fennel, peas and potatoes are bad neighbors for tomatoes. The tomatoes need a distance of about 60 centimeters from each other. If you plant in double rows, keep a distance of 100 centimeters between the rows so that the plants have enough space. The small tomato plants should be placed so deep in the ground that the stalk is still five centimeters in the ground. The plants also develop roots at this base and can thus absorb more water and more tomato fertilizer. Now is the time.

Care and fertilizing: when and how often

Every two weeks the tomatoes should get fresh tomato fertilizer. If the edges of the leaves become pale, the plants are suffering from a potassium deficiency and need even more fertilizer. A special fertilizer for tomatoes is worthwhile in any case – because home-made organic fertilizers can also transmit diseases and pollutants to the tomatoes. This is the only way to harvest tomatoes that are really healthy.

The biggest enemy of tomatoes is the so-called late blight, a tomato disease (Phytophtora). This is caused by a fungus whose spores are carried and spread by the wind over long distances. If the surface of the tomato leaves is wet, it can quickly colonize and infect the plants. If the summer is cool and humid, then the climate favors the infestation of this tomato disease. If you remove the infected leaves immediately, there is still a small chance that the disease cannot spread further – especially when the weather becomes warmer and drier.

The most efficient way to prevent late blight is to have a roof over the tomatoes’ heads. This does not necessarily have to be a large greenhouse, even a special house for tomatoes with three closed sides is completely sufficient for the plants. Such a tomato house can be easily made yourself from wooden slats and greenhouse film. It is important that the open side does not face west, towards the weather side. On the other hand, tomato houses that are closed all around or special hoods for outdoors are less recommended: condensation forms under the film and fungi have easy time on the tomatoes. That’s why the tomatoes in the greenhouse should get fresh air every day. Regular fertilizing is now the order of the day.

Tomatoes on the windowsill

If you buy the young plants in a nursery, you can only choose between the most common varieties. If, on the other hand, you want rarer delicacies to grow in your garden, then simply sow them yourself. It’s relatively easy and it’s fun to watch the little seedlings grow on the windowsill. Because rare tomato varieties sell out more quickly, it makes sense to buy the seeds you want in February.

From the beginning of March, the tomatoes are sown in small pots in seed soil, covered with soil five millimeters deep and a film stretched over the pots. Then you have to wait until the tomatoes germinate and keep the soil evenly moist. You don’t need to fertilize yet. Tomatoes need a lot of light, otherwise they will develop long and brittle stalks. It takes about ten days for the first seedlings to emerge from the soil. When the first real leaves appear, it is time to prick out the young plants. Each small plant needs more space to grow and is now placed in a single pot.

First, the little plants continue to grow on the windowsill or in the greenhouse. They are only allowed to go outside after the ice saints, because they do not tolerate frost. If the tomatoes are grown in a greenhouse, they not only produce a larger yield than tomatoes grown outdoors, but they also stay healthier. If the plants have been in the ground for about a week, they should be fertilized for the first time with a tomato fertilizer.

Properly fertilize tomatoes on the terrace and balcony

In addition to the conventional method of growing tomatoes in the garden bed, tomatoes can also be cultivated as balcony vegetables. Recently, tomatoes can even be grown in sacks or bags and provide plenty of fruit. In order for the cultivation to be successful, the vessels should have enough holes so that the water can always drain well. If the vessels are large enough, the roots can spread so farspread out as you need it. In addition, the plants are more stable when they grow tall. The soil must be a nutrient-rich substrate so that the tomatoes get enough nutrients. With an organic tomato fertilizer, the plants are optimally supplied and grow vigorously. You also have to fertilize special potting soil with a tomato fertiliser, because the supply is by no means sufficient for the entire growth period of the tomatoes. Once the plants have grown, they are regularly provided with tomato fertilizer. A rich harvest from the pot is only possible with sufficient fertilization.


The tomato plants grow as tall as a human being and they need wooden sticks, wires or spirals made of metal as climbing aids. The tomato stalks are attached with a binding wire or a clip. Care must be taken not to damage the stem. The binding wire or other material should not be tied so tightly that it can grow into the stem. Most stake tomatoes are grown as single-shoot plants: This means they have to be pinched out regularly. That’s what it’s called when the young side shoots that grow in the individual axils of the leaves are simply snapped out with your fingernails. It has also proven useful to remove the lower leaves of the tomatoes until the fruit begins to form. So fungal diseases have no chance

Because in our temperate climate only tomatoes with around five to six inflorescences can properly ripen, it also makes sense to break out the inflorescences that grow further up: This way the plant can concentrate on the growth of those fruits that will also ripen. In order for the tomato to develop well and grow optimally, it is important to fertilize regularly with an organic tomato fertilizer. This contains all the necessary nutrients that the plant needs for healthy growth and a rich development of fruits. If you have the garden soil analyzed by an institute every three to five years, you can be sure that you are fertilizing your tomatoes correctly with the tomato fertilizer. Above all, this contains nitrogen, often in the form of horn shavings.

Mistakes in fertilizing

So that the plant does not get sick, it is better not to wet it when watering, but to water it in a targeted manner using pots. The rule here is that the plants should be watered extensively and less frequently. The best time to water is early in the morning, before the heat quickly evaporates and the humidity increases. Another way to water tomatoes well and fertilize them at the same time is to water them automatically drop by drop with the help of a drainage hose. The surface of the soil remains largely dry – and so do the plants. In order for tomatoes to grow well, they need phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and nitrogen. They get this with a tomato fertilizer: nitrogen allows shoots and leaves to grow, potassium strengthens the tissue, Phosphorus is needed for roots and leaves and magnesium for leaf green. Although all nutrients are contained in a complete fertilizer, special organic tomato fertilizers are specially tailored to the plants.

Since the first half of the 20th century, the tomato has gained a permanent place in our kitchen. Every German eats around 18 kilograms of the red fruit, which originally comes from Central and South America. That’s why growing tomatoes in your own garden is so popular, above all because rare tomato varieties can be grown and harvested here that are hard to find in the market. With the right tomato fertilizer, growing is almost child’s play.

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