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The 6 Best Tomato Plant Foods, Plus Advice From Real Gardeners and Farmers

We want you to close your eyes and imagine the perfect tomato garden full of fresh, ripe, and juicy red tomatoes. Sounds just about perfect, doesn’t it? Then allow us to guide you on how to grow your very own strong and beautiful tomato garden!

Closeup of red tomatoes on the vine.

Follow along as we cover the proper plant nutrients, valuable recipes, and also give you the confidence to harvest the most gorgeous tomatoes of your own this season! Then, keep reading as we compare the best tomato plant foods on the market, and even sit down and share tried and true advice from fellow farmers and serious gardeners who have already worked this magic!

Things To Consider

Tomato Food Ingredients

First, before you even begin, it’s always important to look closely at the plant food you’re considering. Are you happy with the ingredients? Knowing your product’s ingredients is crucial in helping you make the best final selections.

Ask yourself, “Is this specific brand of food safe for my plants?” If you can confidently say yes, you’re off to a great start! Organic and eco-friendly choices will always be best for a healthy organic garden and the environment.

Starter Plants vs. Established Plants

We recommend from the start to make sure your soil is good quality and layered with essential ingredients such as mulch, manure, organic matter, and so forth. Starter Plants will have their best chance at reaching maturity with plant food added in the seeding and planting stages. Established Plants benefit from food application throughout their production stages at the root zone.

Young tomato plants in soil.

Cost

It all boils down to how much you want to invest in your garden each year. Plant foods come in a range of prices. Remember, quality ingredients will always be a winning choice in the end.

Pay attention and carefully compare store-bought plant food choices to natural-made, organic, and homemade options. One of the best budget-friendly choices is starting a compost bin. However, if you want store-bought, a few brands also provide excellent performance!

Different Types

When shopping, keep in mind there are different types of plant feed. Here is a quick definition of each type.

  • Granular- easy to use with little preparation required. Apply by mixing in your soil at the root zones.
  • Liquid- immediate use and usually comes as a concentrate that you dilute with water.
  • Water-Soluble- immediate use and comes as a granular or powder that dissolves in water.
  • Homemade/Organic- feeding plants using the land, organic matter, compost, scraps, etc.
Person spreading granules of plant food or fertilizer around tomato plants.

Testing Your Soil and Nutrients

Make sure to test your garden soil first and learn its nutrient levels and pH before using plant food. Contact your local extension office and ask about local soil testing services or buy a soil test kit to check levels on your own.

If you’ve tested and results show particular nutrient deficiencies, then mend your soil appropriately. For example, soil nitrogen content should be higher than phosphorus content. It’s tricky, but you never want to overfeed or starve your tomato plants.

Person with handful of garden soil.

Feed your plants during seeding and throughout their life and season. To be a successful tomato gardener, stay in tune with the nutrients your tomatoes need. For proper plant growth, tomatoes need nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, potash, calcium, magnesium, and other hints of minerals.

Environmental Friendly and DIY Recipies

Want the best options for your tomato garden without needing to run to the store? We encourage you to try homemade and DIY recipes! Not only will these recipes be organic and eco-friendly, but they save you a trip to the store. You’ll also know firsthand what ingredients you’ve hand-fed your plants! Keep reading as we teach you tried and true, homemade, and organic solutions to try in your garden!

Woman adding kitchen scraps to small compost pail.

Do Your Research!

To develop the best green thumb for your garden, we encourage you to do your own research and compare results with our complete tomato plant food guide below!

The best way to gain advice is to ask fellow gardeners and farmers. Gardners likely have tried many methods and will provide you with excellent advice and feedback. Below read our interview results from real farmers and rural gardeners! Chat with your local garden centers as well. Garden Centers are happy to help and have a strong knowledge of growing plants!

Comparison Guide: The Best Food for Your Tomato Plants

1. Best Consumer-Rated Tomato Food

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Tomato Plant Food

Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Tomato Plant Food will quickly feed your tomatoes. Tomatoes will grow larger and more bountiful in comparison. Apply this food with a garden feeder or watering can every two weeks.

This water-soluble tomato plant food is safe to use on all your plants and helps give you the best results when used as directed! To use, mix one tablespoon per gallon of water every seven to fourteen days during the growing season. Miracle-Gro for tomatoes contains zero amounts of calcium which can cause plants to develop blossom end rot, so make sure to use additional calcium supplements.

Scott's Miracle-Gro logo, manufacturer of tomato plant food and other plant foods.

2. Best All-Around Feed for Your Plants

Natural and Organic Dynamite Premium Plant Food Mater Magic

Our best all-around choice is Natural and Organic Dynamite Premium Plant Food Mater Magic. Mater Magic is a secret ingredient for several tomato gardeners. Use with both in-ground and potted tomato plants! You’ll spot it quickly as it comes packaged in the shape of a tomato. This option is an 8-5-5 with balanced rates of NPK and calcium.

For each tomato seedling, mix four capfuls into the top layer of your soil before planting. Allow the first dose of solution to settle for thirty days before applying a mixture of eight capfuls around the plant.

Watering in granules around tomato plants.

3. Best Budget-Friendly Choice

Jobe’s Organics All Purpose Plant Food Fertilizer Spikes

Are you looking for a quick and easy solution? Jobe’s Organics All Purpose Plant Food Fertilizer Spikes earns the title of our best budget-friendly plant feeding option. Jobe’s is a cheap yet dependable food easily applied to your tomato plants.

For extra nourishment, carefully feed at the roots. It’s important to note these stakes will never burn your plant. Jobe’s is family-friendly and prevents runoff and waste. Rest easy; a performance guarantee is available if you’re not happy with the results.

4-5. Best Eco-Friendly Choices

The best store-bought eco-friendly options are a tie between EcoScraps Tomato and Vegetable Plant Food and Dr. Earth Home Grown Plant Food and Fertilizer!

EcoScraps Tomato and Vegetable Plant Food was developed to support all types of edible gardening. Every single particle contains guaranteed analysis for even feeding. This option is best used in an organic garden and doesn’t contain animal droppings.

Dr. Earth Home Grown Plant Food and Fertilizer is a popular non-GMO choice that is safe for humans and pets. Dr. Earth has rich handcrafted minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, humic acids, and trace elements keeping your soil and plants healthy all season!

A watering can next to tomato plants.

6. Best Overall Slow Release Organic Food

Burpee Organic Tomato Plus Vegetable Water Soluble Plant Food

Our favorite slow-release granular plant food is Burpee Organic Tomato Plus Vegetable Water Soluble Plant Food 6-2-3. You’ll see fantastic results in your garden that won’t break the bank. Your tomato plants will also become hearty and last all season!

Burpee Organic Tomato Plus is enriched with soil microorganisms and gives your soil a blend of macro and micronutrients to help promote quicker plant growth. Use Burpee Organic Plant food safely when seeding, feeding starter plants, container plants, and well-established gardens.

Best Advice from Farmers and Rural Gardners

When we interviewed local farmers and rural gardeners in our area, the result was surprising! Gardeners talked mainly about compost and homemade solutions, while farmers talked about tried and true mixtures of good quality soil, proper planting, and using 10-10-10 mixed in the soil.

A compost bin -- compost is a natural tomato plant food.

Farmers also suggested starting a compost bin and using animal manure to nurture your plants. Not only is compost free, but it’s one of the best, all-natural plant foods you’ll ever find. Gardeners had some great advice when it came to adding marigolds around your tomato plants. Marigolds keep away pests and put nitrogen back into the soil, which tomato plants use heavily.

Closeup of marigolds.

Best Homemade and DIY Choices

What if we told you some of the best plant food is right here in your home? It’s true, using scraps such as eggshells, banana peels, and proper compost will make your plants very happy!

Compost bins give you a mixture of nutrients using organic matter from food scraps. Using scraps helps cut down waste in the environment and helps grow more food. Banana peels are full of potassium which is a significant tomato plant craving! Place banana peels in a mason jar full of water and seal to release their beneficial potassium. Then, let your mixture sit for three days and water your plants with the juices.

Banana peels in a jar of water.

Another great natural plant food is dried eggshells! Save your eggshells, let them air dry, crush and apply in holes when transferring starter plants. Eggshells will organically provide your tomatoes with the calcium and potassium they need!


Wrapping Up Food for Tomato Plants

Closeup of healthy tomato plants with lots of red ripe tomatoes on them.
Feeding your tomato plants can result in crops like this!

After reading our guide, you now know the best tomato plant food options out there, tried and true secrets, and will have the best tomato harvest you’ve ever had! We guarantee your tomato plants with thank you all season long when they receive the correct nutrients and appropriate feed mixtures.

Here at Minnetonka Orchards, we strive to bring you the best solutions and information for the most successful gardens! So make sure to check our lists of tomato varieties to decide what to grow this season!