Tomato Fertilizer

John Longanecker
Mon, 07 Nov 2005 19:24:57 PST
Dear Mary Sue and Everyone:

Here in the Sierra Foothills of California, even our amended soils are 
generally starved for nutrition and I have not seen any harm in using  dry 
fertilizers applied to the soil surface with nitrogen components as high as 
10.  I apply once after fall planting and the first good soaking rain and  
once in March.  Most of my bulbs are lilies but this seems to work for 
daffodils, alliums and iris.  After the bulbs emerge in spring, I switch to 
liquid fertilizers such as generic "Miracle Grow" and use only on the 
foliage with minimum soaking of the ground with the mixture.  Faciation and 
burning are pretty much eliminated with the liquid fertilizers, even though 
they advertise nitrogen contents as high as 15.  Potted bulbs receive half 
strength (per directions) every two weeks and in-ground bulbs full strength 
about once a month until they are completely dormant. Regular watering 
schedules seems to be as important as the fertilizing as one day of wilt, 
especially for freshly fertilized plants, can cause more "sudden death 
syndrome" than fertilizing in combination with regular watering schedules.  
By the way, my tomatoes receive a dose of epsom salts (~1/4 cup) at planting 
and the above liquid regimen every two weeks, full strenth.
John Longanecker
Zone 7 banana belt, 2240'
Placerville, CA

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