Getting your tomato plants off to a great start is one of the biggest keys to growing a big harvest of juicy tomatoes in the summer – and there is no better way to jump start your crop than putting a big dose of power in your tomato planting hole with four simple but powerful ingredients!
Tomato plants are one of the heaviest feeders of all vegetable plants. They need a lot of nutrients not only to produce delicious tomatoes, but to power all-important early growth. And strong, early growth is the key to setting the stage for a bumper crop of tomatoes.
The roots of a tomato plant are extremely important to its overall success. The bigger and more robust a tomato plant’s root system can grow, the more it can easily and readily absorb the nutrients and moisture the plant needs to grow and produce.
So how do you get the roots of your tomato plant to grow big and strong? It all begins of course with planting healthy transplants. But from there, it all comes down to making sure you are planting your tomatoes in the finest soil possible.
Tomatoes grow best in fertile, well-draining soil. And that soil need to be loose enough to allow for strong, fast root growth. But because tomatoes require such a large supply of nutrients, even the richest soil can use a boost. Especially at planting time!
Planting Your Tomatoes For Success – 4 Secret Ingredients To Put In Your Tomato Planting Hole!
When tomato transplants first go in the ground, they go through a bit of shock. Up until that point, they have been protected, growing indoors or under cover for most of their life. Even more, the roots have been growing in fertile, seed starting soil that is rich and loose.
Now they find themselves in a big planting hole outdoors. And it takes the roots time to learn to expand to find more food and moisture. This time period is absolutely critical for the plant’s short and long term success.
If they can’t quickly find the nutrients they need, or if the soil around them is hard and tough to grow through, it will stall and delay early growth. But if they can easily find an overload of nutrients, and have loose, easy-to grow through soil, they will quickly take off and begin to expand rapidly.
The less transplant shock a tomato plant can have the better. And the quicker the root system grows, the more rapidly it can gain the nutrients it needs to power even more growth and strong bloom sets. That is exactly why it is so important to stack the deck in your favor – and fill your planting hole with pure power!
4 Secret Ingredients To Put In Your Tomato Planting Hole
Here is a look at 4 simple ingredients that should go into every single hole you dig for your tomatoes. Not only can these additional nutrients loosen the soil and feed your plants, they can also help protect it from blossom end rot and other nutritional deficiencies.
Egg Shells – 4 Secret Ingredients To Put In Your Tomato Planting Hole!
At the top of the list to plant with your tomatoes are egg shells. Or more importantly, as you will learn in a moment, pulverized egg shells. See our article: How To Use Egg Shells In The Garden
One of the most important nutrients tomato plants need is calcium. Early on, it helps the plant build strong stems and roots. But more importantly, calcium is critical for helping tomato fruit to form without issue.
Tomato blossom (black end) rot is caused when the plant cannot take in enough calcium. Without enough, the blossom end of the tomato turns soft and dark. If bad enough, blossom end rot can ruin an entire crop of tomatoes.
The good news is that egg shells happen to be full of calcium. In fact, an egg shells makeup consists of nearly 95% calcium carbonate. By putting pulverized egg shells in your planting hole, the calcium within them can then be absorbed into your plants.
Why pulverized? The more your can break down the egg shells, the sooner they can decompose and allow their calcium to be absorbed. Large pieces of egg shells will eventually decompose, but not quickly. By pulverizing the shells down to a near powder, it will speed up the process and the absorption rate.
To be effective, use the egg shells from four to six eggs in each planting hole, or about two tablespoons of egg shell powder. If you happen to have an electric coffee grinder, it makes fast work of grinding up the shells!
Compost – 4 Secret Ingredients To Put In Your Tomato Planting Hole!
Compost is another must-add to every single tomato planting hole. It is full of energy and nutrients. Even better, its nutrients are in a form that are easy for the roots of tomato plants to absorb. That means they can get the food they need right from the start!
Listen In Below To Our Podcast On How To Fertilize Your Tomatoes For A Bigger Crop!
The benefits of compost do not end there. Compost can absorb water and hold moisture nearly ten times more than plain soil. For tomato plants, that means they can have the moisture they need to grow foliage, blooms and fruit. Affiliate Product Link: Charlies Bagged Compost
Finally, compost helps to loosen the soil with its light and airy makeup. Loose soil allows the roots to expand easily and without issue. Remember, the more root structure a plant can have below, the more it will feed the plant above!
How much compost should go into each planting hole? At minimum, mix at least two to three cups of compost into each hole. And for an added benefit, put a few more cups around the base of your plant after planting. Those nutrients will leach down to the roots every time it rains or you water.
Worm Castings – 4 Secret Ingredients To Put In Your Tomato Planting Hole!
Worm castings are perhaps natures finest slow and low release fertilizer. Castings are the manure of earthworms. As they chew through the soil, earthworms leave behind castings, which are loaded with a perfect mix of energy. Even better, it is easy for plants to absorb!
For the roots of tomatoes, the castings provide instant energy. But what makes them so special is that the energy is delivered low and slow to keep the plant growing at the perfect rate – not too slow, and not too fast.
In each planting hole, mix in a quarter to a half-cup of worm castings for best results. This is actually a great practice for all of your vegetable plants. Once you use worm castings and see the results, you won’t ever stop using them! Affiliate Product Link : Pure Worm Castings
Coffee Grounds – 4 Secret Ingredients To Put In Your Tomato Planting Hole!
Finally, while you are mixing all of that goodness into your planting hole, don’t forget spent coffee grounds. Yes, as it turns out, just like many humans, tomato plants enjoy a little jolt of energy from coffee grounds too!
Coffee grounds contain nitrogen and other trace elements. Nitrogen is a key factor for tomato plants when it comes to growing strong foliage and roots. But even more, like compost and worm castings, spent coffee grounds help to retain moisture and loosen the soil makeup.
Mix two to three tablespoons of spent coffee grounds into each planting hole. It is important to use only the spent grounds and not fresh grounds. Fresh grounds are acidic and can affect the soil’s pH. Spent grounds, because they are run through a steaming hot water rinse, lose the acidity and are perfect for powering your plants.
Here is to energizing your tomato planting holes this year with 4 secret ingredients – and to growing your best crop of tomato plants ever!
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