How to Make Tomato Plant Food


Tomatoes, with their rapid plant growth and high fruit production, have high fertilizer demands. You can easily make your own tomato plant fertilizer with fish waste, an age-old fertilizing product. Naturally derived, fish emulsion fertilizer has been increasing in popularity with organic gardeners. And when seaweed is added, you create a balanced fertilizer with all the nutrients that your tomato plants need, including trace elements.

Step 1

Put about a 2-inch layer of sawdust or packed dried leaves on the bottom of a bucket. Place the fish waste and chopped or crushed seaweed in on top. Add the molasses and Epsom salt plus 1½ gallons of water. Mix the solution well and cover the bucket.

Step 2

Stir the solution every day or two for about two weeks.

Step 3

Mix the emulsion well and strain it. Apply the emulsion to the garden prior to tomato planting at a rate of 1½ gallons per 100 square feet. Then plant the tomatoes and water them well.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon bucket with lid
  • Sawdust or dried leaves
  • ¾ gallon of fish waste (heads, intestines, bones, etc.)
  • 8 ounces to 1 pound of fresh or dried seaweed
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Epsom salt
  • Stirring stick
  • Strainer


  • University of Alaska Cooperative Extension: Make Your Own Complete Fertilizer
  • University of Missouri: Growing Tomatoes
  • North Carolina State University: A Gardener's Guide to Fertilizing
  • University of Arizona Cooperative Extension: Tomatoes
Keywords: tomato plant fertilizer, homemade tomato fertilizer, fish emulsion fertilizer

About this Author

Ann Wolters, who has been a freelance writer, consultant, and writing coach for the past year and a half, has had her writing published in "The Saint Paul Almanac," and in magazines such as "Inventing Tomorrow" and "Frontiers." She earned a master’s degree in English as a second language from the University of Minnesota and taught English as a foreign language for nearly seven years.