Over-Feeding Tomato Plants
Over-feeding is one of the easiest mistakes to make when growing tomatoes. We want them to grow as fast as possible but sometimes kill them with kindness – or we make life more difficult for them!
Tomato food (mineral salts) can build-up and crystallize in the soil causing root burn. An overdose of mineral salts can send a plant into stress which is often displayed by leaf curl on the upper part of a tomato plant.
Having the correct balance of nutrient levels is the key to successful feeding.
The excess of some minerals will block other minerals, resulting in plants having to do without a particular nutrient altogether!
One way to avoid over-feeding and putting too much of a particular nutrient in the soil is to foliar feed.
Of course you would apply the standard nutrients of makers choice to the soil, but if leaves show signs of deficiency, the required nutrient can be applied as a foliar feed.
This is why foliar feeding is a good idea as it also helps to avoid nutrient competition in the soil.
For example, tomato plants grown in pots often show signs of iron deficiency – yellowing of new growth. If too much iron is applied to the soil it can result in blocking phosphorus uptake by the roots. A foliar feed with iron, such as SP Plant Invigorator, will sort out the deficiency without interfering with other nutrients.
Whichever system or method you may use to feed tomato plants, they generally do best when their roots have to work hard in search of nutrients when grown in soil.
Plants in soil often do best when they are slightly under-fed rather than over-fed, and slightly under-watered rather than over-watered. This develops a larger root system and gives them a wider area from which to feed.
More about feeding tomatoes can be found here.