The Best Fertilizer For Tomatoes

Growing a bumper crop of tomatoes is easy.

But you often need a good fertilizer with the right mix of nutrients.

To help get you on your way, our recommended choice is Jack’s Classic Tomato Feed.

It has a high level of the primary nutrients that your plant needs the most. And in the right ratio to maximize your fruit harvest.

The best fertilizers for tomatoes at a glance:

All links lead to Amazon, where you can find more information & customer reviews.

The Best Fertilizer For Tomatoes: Reviews

JR Peters Jack’s Classic Tomato Feed

JR Peters

This fertilizer contains a great mix of nutrients to help tomatoes and other fruiting vine vegetables grow to their full potential.

It has a 12-15-30 NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) formula along with added micronutrients. This helps your plant to grow strong vines, with healthy green leaves and a greater yield of fruit.

It also contains the important secondary macronutrient calcium. Calcium deficiency in tomatoes can lead to a disease called blossom end rot (BER). So this fertilizer helps prevent BER from spoiling them.

It comes as a water-soluble powder. With a free spoon that makes it easy to measure out. Then you mix it with water. Before adding the solution to a sprinkler can to water your plants.

Your plants can absorb it through their leaves and roots. So, you can also use it in a spray bottle as a foliar feed.

But if you use it as a foliar feed, remember to use this fertilizer when the sun is setting or it’s overcast. Why?

Because during the full heat of the day it can cause nutrient burn.

Customers report impressive results. With no change in the taste, acidity, or color of the tomatoes from what you would expect.

It comes in a 1.5 lbs tub, and most people use it every 7-10 days. But as you only need to add a small amount per gallon of water, it can last you a long time.

Pros
  • Very high level of potassium for high fruit yield and quality
  • High level of phosphorus to encourage flowering and fruiting
  • Contains calcium to avoid BER
  • Fast-acting
  • High fruit yield
  • best liquid fertilizer for tomatoes
Cons
  • Can cause nutrient burn if applied to leaves in strong sunlight
 

Dr. Earth Home Grown Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer

Dr. Earth

This 100% natural and organic fertilizer by Dr. Earth has a 4-6-3 NPK ratio.

This is less of the primary nutrients than most synthetic fertilizers. But going organic brings other benefits as well.

As the organic material is broken down it releases a wide range of minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, humic acid, and trace elements that enrich your soil.

Not only that, but it also contains eight different strains of ecto- and endo-mycorrhizae. These fungi form a mutually beneficial relationship with the roots of your tomato plant. Extending out into the soil and enabling greater uptake of nutrients, water, and oxygen. Leading to healthy growth, an increased yield of fruit, and a greater resistance to drought.

While the 7.5% calcium it contains will help protect your plants from blossom end rot.

Another benefit of using it is that you don’t have to worry about over-applying it, or using it when the sun’s out. Because it won’t burn your plants.

It’s made from fish meals and kelp. But unlike many other organic fertilizers, it doesn’t have a strong and unpleasant odor. Instead, having a smell that’s raw and earthy.

Customers report very impressive growth of their tomato plants and tasty tomatoes. You can see accelerated growth within a couple of weeks of using it. With large clusters of blossoms, and thick vines. And a great output of fruit.

Its organic credentials include: NOP (National Organic Program), OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute), CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers), and OIM (Organic Input Materials). And it’s Non-GMO Project verified.

It comes in a 4 lbs bag. You can also buy it in 25, 12, 2, and 1 lb bags.

Pros
  • Natural & organic
  • Contains ecto and endo-mycorrhizae that are great for plant growth
  • 7.5% calcium to help prevent BER
  • No strong odor⁠—unlike many organic fertilizers
  • Long list of organic credentials, including OMRI
  • Increased plant health and fruit yield
Cons
  • A lower amount of the primary nutrients than non-organic fertilizers
 

Miracle-Gro Tomato Plant Food

Miracle-Gro

This well-known brand is a firm favorite with consumers. They have a range of flower, vegetable, and grass fertilizers that are highly rated.

And this tomato fertilizer is no exception. Because it produces fast and impressive results, and it’s easy to use.

Add it to your watering can or attach the container to a Miracle-Gro garden feeder to use it as a spray. Then apply it to the root zone and the leaves every 7-14 days for best results.

It has an 18-18-21 NPK ratio with 0.5% added magnesium to help with fruit development. Leading to a big and bountiful harvest.

Customers report that their plants look healthier compared to unfed plants. And that it works very well at getting them to flower and fruit.

The company claims that it’s safe for all plants and good to use on tomatoes and any other vegetables you are growing. And they guarantee that it won’t burn your plants if you follow the directions.

It comes in a 1.5 lbs package.

Pros
  • Fast-acting
  • High level of potassium for a good fruit yield
  • High level of phosphorus to promote fruiting
  • Added magnesium for fruit development
  • Healthier plants with impressive flowering and fruiting
Cons
  • Can burn the plants when used as a spray if not applied carefully
 

Dynamite Natural and Organic Mater Magic Plant Food

Dynamite

This is another organic tomato fertilizer that’s proved to be a big hit with customers. With many happily claiming fast results and the best tomatoes they’ve ever grown.

It has a 5-5-9 NPK ratio with added calcium to help avoid blossom end rot. And it’s OMRI listed for organic use.

It consists of large, dry pellets that you don’t need to mix with water. Instead, they go directly around your plants. About 1-2 inches beneath the surface of the soil. Then they slowly release their nutrients over a period of time.

As well as being plant food for tomatoes, you can use them to fertilize peppers, flowering shrubs, herbs, trees, houseplants, and grasses.

The product comes in a 0.675 lbs bottle, which is enough to fertilize about 4 plants for an entire season.

Pros
  • Organic
  • OMRI listed
  • Added calcium to help prevent BER
  • Higher level of potassium than most organic fertilizers
  • You can use it to grow a wide range of plants as well as tomatoes
Cons
  • Low in phosphorus compared to alternatives
 

TeaDrops Organic Liquid Plant Food Tomato & Pepper Formula

Tea Drops

This product by TeaDrops is an easy to use organic fertilizer that’s specially formulated for growing tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants.

The fertilizer comes in little packets that resemble teabags. Place one in 1-2 gallons of water, allow it to steep for several hours until the water changes color, and then apply it to your plants using a watering can or as a foliar spray. You can also use it for hydroponic growing.

It’s made from natural earth and sea-based ingredients, with no bone meal, blood, or animal waste. Which means it doesn’t have an offensive odor. Instead, it has a faint earthy smell.

The NPK ratio is low compared to most fertilizers at approximately 0.2-0.2-0.2. But there’s more to this product than just the primary nutrients. With over 70 micronutrients and minerals, and beneficial plant root microbes.

It also contains humic and fulvic acids that stimulate root growth and increase nutrient and water uptake by the plants.

It all combines to give excellent results. With plants exploding with growth in a short space of time, and increasing their yield.

Each tube contains 16 packets that can make up to 32 gallons of liquid fertilizer in total.

Pros
  • 100% Organic
  • Contains beneficial microbes
  • Large amount of micronutrients and minerals
  • Fertilizer for peppers and tomatoes
  • No offensive smell
  • Fast growth and big yield
Cons
  • Low quantity of primary nutrients
 

Jobe’s Tomato Fertilizer Spikes

Jobes

Jobe’s Tomato Fertilizer is a bit different than the other products on our list. Rather than being a powder, liquid, or granules, it comes in small sticks that you place in the soil, with 2 around each plant.

The slow release nutrients each stick contains have an NPK ratio of 6-18-6. And feed your plants for about 8 weeks at a time.

This is a high level of phosphorus, which aids root development as seedlings are growing. And encourages the plant to flower and bear fruit. But it’s low in potassium compared to other synthetic fertilizers.

However, most customers report healthy and vigorous growth and a good yield of tomatoes after using this product.

One advantage of using sticks is that the nutrients won’t be washed away by the rain. Which can sometimes happen a little to fertilizers applied to the soil surface.

Each package contains 18 spikes.

Pros
  • Very easy to use
  • High in phosphorus to encourage fruiting
  • Feeds plants for 8 weeks at a time
  • Healthy and vigorous growth
  • An economical choice
Cons
  • Lower in potassium than other synthetic tomato fertilizers
 

Espoma Organic Tomato-tone

Espoma

Espoma is well-known for its range of natural and organic fertilizers. Which makes them a good choice for organic gardeners.

This fertilizer is specially formulated for growing tomatoes and has a 3-4-6 NPK ratio, which contains slow release nitrogen. It also has 8% calcium to keep away BER. And it contains beneficial microbes that enrich your soil.

Customers report it being good for growing peppers as well. With many people happy with the quantity and size of both fruits.

One of the main drawbacks of using this fertilizer is that it contains feather meal, bone meal, and poultry manure. Which is fine for fertilizing your plants. But it does have a strong unpleasant smell which lasts for a couple of days after application.

This is particularly a problem if you’re starting your tomatoes indoors. In which case, it’s probably not a good choice.

It comes in an 8 lbs bag.

Pros
  • Organic
  • 8% calcium to help prevent BER
  • Contains helpful microbes
  • Produces a good yield of plump and juicy tomatoes
Cons
  • Low in NPK
  • Strong unpleasant smell
 

Urban Farm Fertilizers Texas Tomato Food

Urban Farm

This organic fertilizer is not just for tomatoes. It’s also designed for use on all big vegetables, such as eggplants, peppers, beans, cucumbers, melons, squash etc.

It comes in a 4-2.9-6.7 formula that’s rich in calcium to help you avoid blossom end rot. And contains magnesium for fruit development.

In addition to these important nutrients, it also adds mycorrhizae to the soil to help your plants with nutrient uptake.

It comes as a concentrate, and when diluted in water the 1-quart bottle can make around 64 gallons of fertilizer. Which is best applied by drenching the root zone.

You can use it by hand watering, hose watering, or by drip irrigation. And it’s suitable for hydroponic use, and for plants in containers and pots.

Pros
  • Organic
  • Contains calcium & magnesium
  • Contains mycorrhizae
  • You can use it on all big vegetables
  • Concentrated, with each 1-quart bottle making 64 gallons when diluted⁠—which goes a long way
  • Impressive growth
Cons
  • Low NPK values
 

Lilly Miller Morcrop Tomato & Vegetable Food

Lilly Miller

This food for tomato plants comes in a 5-10-10 formula. With slow and quick release nitrogen to provide fast nutrition, but also keep feeding your plants for up to 6 weeks. It also contains 4% calcium to prevent BER.

The fertilizer comes in granules that are easy to apply to the soil. Just mix them gently into the soil surface. And then water the soil well.

It’s recommended to use it when you first plant, and then approximately every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.

Customers report good results, with lush growth and a good yield of great tasting tomatoes.

But the smell is a drawback. It’s made from animal manure and has a strong odor when it’s first applied. Making it unsuitable for indoor use.

It comes in 2 sizes: a 16 lbs bag and a 4 lbs bag.

Pros
  • Good amount of phosphorus and potassium
  • Contains added calcium
  • Slow and fast release nutrients
  • Increases yield
Cons
  • Smells bad
 

EB Stone Organic Tomato and Vegetable Food

EB Stone

This 4-5-3 tomato plant fertilizer is made from organic ingredients, including: feather meal, bone meal, blood meal, bat guano, and dried chicken manure. It has added calcium at 3% to help prevent BER and correct acidic soil.

Soil microbes help to improve the quality of your soil. And the added mycorrhizal fungi help the tomato plants to grow strong and produce plenty of fruit by enhancing nutrient uptake.

You can also use it on other vegetables in your garden. And it’s great for helping soft fruits like strawberries to grow.

The product is formulated to ensure a more even growth of your plants. Without too much foliage, which can lead to reduced fruit growth.

It does have a similar drawback to the other organic fertilizers listed above that use animal-derived meal and manure: unfortunately, it smells unpleasant.

But if that doesn’t bother you, it’s another good choice for organic gardening.

It comes in a 4 lbs package.

Pros
  • Organic
  • Includes 3% calcium
  • Provide microbes and mycorrhizal fungi to the soil
  • You can use it for other vegetables and soft fruits
Cons
  • Low NPK values
  • Because it contains manure it does have a smell
 

Buying Guide: Choosing The Best Tomato Fertilizer

tomatoes on the vine

When choosing the best tomato fertilizer there are a few important things to consider.

What are the advantages of different nutrient blends?

Do you want to use a synthetic or organic fertilizer?

Should you get a granular product, or a liquid?

Let’s take a closer look:

The Nutrients

NPK

Fertilizers usually have three numbers written on the bag or container.

These are the NPK values, which stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.

These are the primary nutrients that are required in the greatest amounts by plants. They are essential for growth.

The numbers tell you how much of each nutrient is contained in the fertilizer as a percentage.

So a fertilizer with NPK values of 5-10-15 contains 5% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 15% potassium. Which in a 10 pounds bag is equal to 0.5 lbs of nitrogen, 1 lb of phosphorus, and 1.5 lbs of potassium

Here’s how the primary nutrients help your plants:

Nitrogen:

Important for plant growth
Required for the production of chlorophyll

Phosphorus:

Important for root development of plants
Encourages flowering and fruiting

Potassium:

Important for fruit yield
Helps the plant develop resistance to drought and diseases

For growing tomatoes, phosphorus and potassium are the most important nutrients. In particular, potassium, which is needed more than any other when the plant is producing fruit.

Without enough potassium, your tomato plant won’t produce the sort of quality or volume of tomatoes that you’re hoping for. 

Most tomato fertilizers have relatively low levels of nitrogen. Because although it’s still important for a healthy growing plant, too much nitrogen leads to excessive leaf growth. Which discourages the plant from developing flowers and fruit.

This is why you often see tomato fertilizers with NPK ratios like 12-15-30. With the potassium content being the largest of the three primary elements.

Although all of these elements are usually found in soil, it’s often useful to add extra to increase the growth of your plants. This is especially important if you are growing your tomatoes in pots or containers as the nutrients in the soil will be used up over time.

If you’re planting in your garden it’s a good idea to do a soil test to see the balance of nutrients it contains and whether you have any deficiencies. You can get a testing kit and do this yourself. Or you can take a sample of soil to your local co-operative testing office in the US.

You can then choose the best tomato plant food with the right balance of NPK to correct any deficiency and allow your plants to flourish.

Secondary Nutrients

Also included in some fertilizers are important secondary nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and sulfur.

Calcium improves the firmness and quality of your tomatoes as it’s needed for maintaining good fruit structure. And it helps to prevent blossom end rot from developing on your tomatoes.

Magnesium is required for fruit development. And it helps the plant improve its nutrient uptake.

Sulfur is needed for the tomato plant to make important enzymes, vitamins, and amino acids.

Micronutrients

Some fertilizers also contain micronutrients such as boron, molybdenum, zinc, and copper. They contribute to a range of functions and are important for good plant health. 

These are used in smaller quantities than the primary and secondary nutrients. And the soil usually provides enough of these elements. But it doesn’t hurt to have a bit more, just in case your soil is deficient.

Chemical fertilizers often contain less micronutrients than organic fertilizers.

Synthetic & Organic Fertilizers

Whether to use synthetic or organic fertilizers is a personal choice that depends on the things you consider to be most important.

Synthetic fertilizers are usually water soluble. And they often have a much greater quantity of primary macronutrients (NPK) than organic fertilizers. Which can lead to faster growth and impressive yields.

But they are lost from the soil quickly and you have to apply them regularly.

Organic fertilizers have to be broken down in the soil by microbes before they are used by your plants. This results in a slower release of nutrients

They also improve the long-term health of your soil. Encouraging the growth of beneficial microbial life and worms. Resulting in soil that has a better structure and texture, with improved drainage and aeration. Which enhances root growth.

They are also more environmentally friendly than synthetic fertilizers. As less of the nutrients runoff into local water sources, which causes pollution.

One last thing that’s important to consider is where you will be growing your plants. Many organic fertilizers have a strong and unpleasant smell when they are first used. So if you’re growing indoors they might not be a good choice. But you can get organic fertilizers that don’t contain any animal meal, waste, or manure, and don’t smell as bad.

Overall, if you care about the longterm health of your soil then it’s better to go organic. But if you just want your plants to get the essential nutrients they need quickly then you might be better choosing a synthetic fertilizer with high NPK.

Related:

Liquid, Granular, Or Sticks?

Tomato fertilizer comes in a few different forms, each of which has its own advantages.

Liquid tomato fertilizer is immediately available for plant uptake, and can be absorbed through the roots and leaves. The results are fast. But it’s quickly leached from the soil by the rain. Many synthetic fertilizers are this type.

Some fertilizers come in granules or pellets that you add just below the soil around your plants. You then water them and they break down and release their nutrients. Some organic fertilizers also come as pellets that need to be broken down in the soil. These often contain slow-release nutrients and fertilize over a greater period.

Fertilizer sticks are easy to use. You just need to insert them near the plant and they fertilize slowly over time. The nutrients they contain are not easily washed away by the rain compared to liquid fertilizers and so they work for longer.

Final Thoughts

If you want a bountiful harvest of top quality tomatoes this year, then it’s well worth getting a fertilizer with the right mix of nutrients. It will more than pay for itself.

In our opinion, the best fertilizer for tomatoes is JR Peters Jack’s Classic Tomato Feed.

It’s fast-acting. And contains high levels of essential nutrients along with added micronutrients and calcium.

Which encourages strong growth, plump and tasty fruit, and impressive yield.

If you’re looking to go organic when fertilizing tomatoes, then we recommend Dr. Earth Home Grown Tomato Fertilizer.

It’s 100% natural and organic, OMRI listed, and Non-GMO project verified. It contains all the nutrients your plants need. Along with humic acid, and beneficial fungi that enhance growth and yield.

And unlike many natural fertilizers, it has a very mild smell.

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