Most plants need some additional help from fertilizer to get big. The right fertilizer for growing vegetables and tomatoes will differ depending on the soil conditions, garden location, and how much time the grower has to care for the plants. Some plants like the sun, some need the shade, and some prefer water – the plant needs all three in order to thrive. There are a number of factors that go into establishing the best fertilizer for growing vegetables.
Most plants prefer potassium, but some need phosphorus, too. Potassium is contained in many fruits and vegetables. Plants also use calcium as a source of nutrients, so it is sometimes added to the mix. Experts recommend that a good fertilizer should contain potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.
Fertilizer manufacturers suggest using a blend of natural and artificial fertilizers for growing plants, but not all fertilizers can work well with all crops. Organic tomatoes and other vegetables don’t need as much nitrogen because the soil already contains plenty of it. On the other hand, the leaves and stems of non-organic tomatoes and other vegetables need more nitrogen because they have to deal with a lot of soil and less light. This is why chemical fertilizers are used more often than natural fertilizers. However, the balance isn’t always correct, and a synthetic fertilizer can be used for organic tomatoes and other vegetables in the right amounts.
Tomatoes need nitrogen because their plants are growing seasonally. When plants have a short growing season (which is typically during spring), they don’t need nearly as much fertilizer. However, in the summer when their growing season is longer, they do need a little extra help. Fertilizer manufacturers recommend a blend of ten pounds per acre for plants that grow in the growing season and another five pounds for plants that grow in the growing season and no later. However, these recommendations are based on soil type and plant height, so you may need to experiment to get your soil to have the right amount of nitrogen.
Tomatoes have a short growing season; about six weeks from planting to the time they’re ready to harvest. They’re best fertilized just before their last frost; just before the frost-free period. Use low nitrogen liquid fertilizer easily available at your garden center or feed and seed store for growing season. Use a blend of ten pounds of organic acids; one pound each of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, sulfur, and iron. Your supplier should advise you how to mix the fertilizer. Eight ounces per eight-ounce container of soil is the recommended dosage for growing peppers.
Phosphorus is another important ingredient in your fertilizer. It’s a component of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. In addition, phosphorous is an important nutrient for protecting root structure and improving the quality of root cells. Phosphorus also helps prevent soil compaction by serving as a source of nutrients for plant roots and preventing mineralization. As a result, phosphorus serves as a very important, but relatively low-phosphorus fertilizer.
Finally, another element that are a vital part of many traditional plant foods, and one that you’ll find missing from most conventional plant foods, is water-soluble fiber. Water-soluble fiber helps keep plants cool by warding off heat-trapping air-waves, and it also provides vital nutrients to the roots. You’ll need a good supply of water-soluble fiber in your best fertilizer for peppers, especially if you live in a colder climate, where summer temperatures are extremely hot and dry.
Soil testing kits can be used to determine the nutrients and moisture level of your soil. Or you can purchase an inexpensive soil tester that will test both soil and more importantly, your garden plants, for the right amounts of nutrients. Once you have your soil tested, you can then apply a fertilizer that will give your plants the best chance to thrive. No matter what type of pepper plants you have, you’ll need the best fertilizer for peppers.