Organic fertilizer for tomato plants falls into several categories. You may purchase a brand-name organic fertilizer from your lawn and garden store, or decide to opt for a homemade organic fertilizer. This article will discuss the options to help you make an informed choice. According to Colorado State University Extension, organic fertilizer is a soil amendment derived from natural sources, which guarantees at least the minimum percentages of nitrogen, potash and phosphate.
Brand-Name Organic Fertilizer
The many brand-name organic fertilizers that are suitable for tomatoes and other garden vegetables include names like Happy Frog Organic Tomato & Vegetable Fertilizer, Jobes Organic Vegetable and Tomato Granular Fertilizer, Tomato Tone Organic Fertilizer, White Flower Farm's Organic Tomato Fertilizer and Tasteful Garden Organic Fertilizer. Visit your local lawn and garden center to see the wide array of commercial organic fertilizers available.
Compost is the main fertilizer used in organic gardens. You may create your own compost at home, using whatever organic materials you have on hand. This may include everything from table scraps to vegetable peelings, rotting vegetables, leaves, twigs and small pieces of tree bark. Turn your compost pile often so it will speed the decomposition. You should also wet it occasionally to keep it from drying out. Once compost breaks down, it becomes a rich fertilizer and can be mixed directly into your garden soil about 6 to 8 inches deep. Humus is the rich organic matter that results from decomposed compost.
Nutrient-dense worm castings are a prized organic fertilizer. Start your own worm garden using red wigglers or earth worms. You can purchase these online if you can't find them in the soil. Create a worm farm or bin to contain the worms. As worms eat decomposing matter it goes through their bodies and is emitted as castings, a very fertile organic matter. Add worm castings to your soil to make it rich in the nutrients your plants need, or apply it as a tea or side dressing. You may also buy commercial brands of organic worm castings, such as Black Gold Earthworm Castings.
Compost tea is a homemade organic fertilizer made by steeping 1 gallon of rich compost in 4 gallons of non-chlorinated water, with 1 ounce of unsulfured molasses. Let it sit in the sun for three or four days and stir it often. Apply the tea to the soil around the plant's roots--not to the leaves. The tea may be too strong for the leaves and cause damage.
Fish Emulsion, Kelp and Seaweed
Fish emulsion is often used as a garden fertilizer for vegetables, including tomatoes. You may make your own fish emulsion by composting fishheads and parts that your family may discard. Let it decay and add it to your garden. You may also buy fish emulsion from a lawn and garden center. Rich in nutrients, kelp and seaweed are often used as organic fertilizers. You may harvest this yourself from the ocean or buy it from a lawn and garden center.
Manure is well recognized as a valuable organic fertilizer for tomatoes or other vegetables. Cow manure, turkey manure and chicken manure are most often used in gardens. You may harvest this organic fertilizer on your own if you have farm animals; otherwise it's easy to buy it by the truckload from area farmers. Mix it with compost and then mix it into your garden soil. You may also buy composted manure in commercial bags, under brand names such as Black Kow.