Fertilizing Tomatoes in Houston

by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

I like organic gardening. That means I like a tomato bed full of organic matter (compost). I add a handful of colloidal phosphate to the bottom of each tomato hole and plant the tomato right on top of this phosphate. Phosphate seems to help the plant in the beginning stages of growth. You need a wad of it in one small area for it to work. This is called "banding." Sprinkling phosphate evenly over the soil does not do the same thing. Also, don't be afraid of burning the roots. You can put the roots right in the colloidal phosphate without harm. Gardenville sells a good colloidal phosphate.

A weak starter solution of liquid fertilizer is ok at time of planting to water-in the transplants.

I recommend you avoid conventional high nitrogen fertilizers entirely. If you have to use them put it off until after blooms appear.

I recommend you feed with sea weed. Use as a foliar feed at the rate of one tablespoon per gallon. Also, molasses at the rate of one tablespoon per gallon helps with the micro-bacterial activity in the soil. Healthy soil yields healthy plants. Healthy plants can fight off disease easier. Spray in the evening, every other week.

Many gardeners also report good results with Miracle-Gro and Miracid, which is even better.

Last revised March 8, 1998

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