How to apply fertilisers on tomatoes for better result
Tomatoes require more nutrients throughout the crop season for high production.
Nevertheless, proper nutrition is achieved through basal and foliar fertiliser application.
Basal fertilizers are applied around the roots area of the plant while foliar fertilizers are taken up through the plant’s foliage. Foliar fertilisers are mixed with water and sprayed on the plants' foliage.
Fertilizer application schedule: Early growth stage
Tomato plants do best when grown in nurseries and transplanted later.
Apply fertilisers on the transplanted plant just before they start growing vigorously.
According to Crop Protection Africa, spraying of the plants with Optimizer 10ml or 20 ml about one to two days before transplanting helps the plants to overcome transplanting shock. The same amount is also supposed to be applied to the nursery soil as it breaks seeds dormancy and provides the young plants with extra nutrients.
After transplanting, ensure the young plants are sprayed with fertilisers rich in phosphorus and potassium nutrients which aid in root formation and early crop maturity. One should consider soil nutrients present before applying any fertilisers.
Vegetative growth stage
This is when the plants are growing robustly and about to flower and develop fruits. Cation should be taken since excessive nutrients can lead to fertiliser burn. The plant will appear unhealthy and dried out as it becomes difficult for the plants to nutrients absorption.
To be on the safe side, apply fertilisers rich in Nitrogen among other elements like Magnesium, Iron to promote vegetative growth.
Top dress the plants with CAN and other basal fertilisers rich in nitrogen and phosphorus such as N.P.K 23.23.0 can be applied at this stage to ensure the crops get sufficient nutrients.
This is when the tomato plants start flowering and developing fruits.
The plants will require potassium in higher amounts than other nutrients.
Spray the plants with calcium-rich fertilisers before fruit formation to prevent blossom end rot. For better fruit quality and size, Crop Protection Africa Limited recommends farmers to apply VITABOR GOLD spray and BIODISTINCTION XTRA 700CS which offers effective protection to the crop against a wide range of infections.
Do not forget to apply a few amounts of basal fertilizers rich in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium such as N.P.K 17.17.17.
In conclusion, large quantities of nitrogen may lead to green tomato plants with very few fruits and foliar spray should be done every week.
Apply small amounts of potassium-rich fertilisers as it helps in maintaining the ionic balance and water status within the plant.
Fertiliser should be applied at the right time and right rate, considering the growth stage.
Want to get latest farming tips and videos?