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Homemade Tomato Food

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Homemade Tomato Food

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Overview

Tomato plants have significant fertilizer needs throughout the growing season, and some gardeners choose to use homemade tomato food. There are many natural ingredients, often kitchen scraps, with naturally high concentrations of the three nutrients commercial fertilizers have. Nitrogen helps produce large fruits on sturdy stems. Phosphorus aids tomato plants in developing strong roots. Potassium helps the plants grow into large, healthy specimens.

Tea and Coffee Grounds

Step 1

Cut open used tea bags with the scissors and empty the used tea onto the baking sheets. Add used coffee grounds to the tea on the baking sheets. Combine the two ingredients by mixing them with your hands and then spread the ingredients out into a thin layer.

Step 2

Set the baking sheets aside in a warm, dry location. Let the tea and coffee grounds dry out on the baking sheets; it may take several days.

Step 3

Sprinkle the dried coffee grounds and tea liberally onto the soil around tomato plants. The fertilizer should be about 1 inch deep. Do not allow the fertilizer come in contact with the tomato stems; keep the fertilizer approximately 3 inches from the plant centers.

Step 4

Use the hand rake to incorporate the coffee grounds and tea into the soil. Water the tomato plants generously after digging in the fertilizer.

Step 5

Repeat this fertilization once a month during the growing season. The grounds supply a boost of the three main nutrients plants require, and they increase the soil's acidity, which tomato plants love.

Eggshells

Step 1

Spread washed eggshells into a single layer on a baking sheet.

Step 2

Place the baking sheet into a warm oven (set the heat to the lowest setting). Leave the oven door open slightly to keep the oven temperature very low.

Step 3

Dry the eggshells in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the eggshells.

Step 4

Roll the rolling pin over the dried eggshells to crush them into small pieces.

Step 5

Sprinkle crushed eggshells over the soil around the tomato plants in an even layer after the tomatoes begin to grow on the vines. Work the eggshells into the soil slightly with the hand rake to incorporate them into the soil. The eggshells provide extra calcium and protect the growing fruit from blossom end rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Used tea and coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Baking sheets
  • Rolling pin
  • Hand rake

References

  • Veggie Gardener: Strange Things for Fertilizing Tomatoes
  • NC State University: Tomato Production Practices
Keywords: tomato plants, feed tomato plants, homemade tomato food

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.