Feeding tomatoes can help you get a much larger harvest, but when is the time to stop feeding your tomato plants? And can you hurt them by overfeeding?
When To Stop
If you are using grow bags to grow your tomatoes, then maybe stop a couple of weeks earlier. As I grow mine in beds in my greenhouse, then I know that the goodness from the feed won’t be wasted either way. As soon as the tomatoes are out, something else will be going in the same bed.
Overfeeding Tomato Plants
So, can you overfeed tomato plants? Yes, you definitely can. Overfeeding any plant can cause a whole heap of issues.
Too much nitrogen can cause excess leafy growth and poor flowering and therefore poor fruiting.
But it is not just nitrogen that you need to be worried about, too much of any nutrient can lead to your tomato plants having a bad time.
So do I need to be worried? I would say not, you are very unlikely to overfeed tomatoes, you would have to be going through a lot of feed to cause issues.
Just follow the instructions on your tomato feed and you will be just fine, also don’t feed young plants regularly, wait until they are more established.
Many people feed twice as much as recommended and have no issues at all, like I said you would really need to be going some with the feeding to cause any problems.
Waste of Money?
At what point does continually feeding your tomato plants simply become a poor return on the investment spent?
I would say that this point is probably reached a week or two after all of the tomatoes are set on your plant.
Past this point, you are probably not gaining too much from feeding your plants. Cutting down your feeding times or using half doses is an excellent way to save some food but also still help your tomato plants along.
When To Start Feeding Tomato Plants?
I start feeding them as they turn from seedlings into established plants, this usually coincides with me planting them out into my greenhouse beds.
At this stage these plants are ready and raring to get going so I like to give them a helping hand, I will feed once a fortnight at this point before moving to weekly feeds when they start fruiting.
What Feed To Apply When?
The best method for feeding tomato plants is to start them off with a feed that is higher in nitrogen at the beginning.
This is because nitrogen is the primary driver of leafy, green growth. This is obviously what you want when the plants are young and it will help them develop quicker.
When the plant starts flowering you want to swap to a high-potassium feed, this is what tomatoes are.
Rather than promoting leafy green growth, these feeds promote the development of more flowers and larger fruit.