What Do Tomatoes Eat?
Just what do tomatoes eat? What do they need to grow and flourish? When growing your own tomatoes at home, you need to know a few things to provide your “babies” with what they need to eat and drink. 🙂
Growing Medium (i.e., Soil)
You need something for your plants to live in. Technically, you can grow tomatoes hydroponically — but I won’t be covering that in this blog, aside from something like Aerogarden. Instead, I’ll talk soil.
Soil can be made up of many things — from digging up what you have in your yard, all the way to custom mixes from garden centers. It serves the purpose of:
- Supporting the plant
- Holding water and nutrients
- Giving roots a place to spread and take up nutrients
Note: For ease of writing, I will refer to all non-hydroponic growing mediums as “soil”. This covers what’s in your yard, compost, potting mixes, peat moss…and myriad other mixes and amendments (which I will talk about in more detail in other posts).
This is definitely a loaded topic! Fertilizers come in many forms; granules, powders, liquids, spikes, sprays and some others I might not even thought off!
Some people swear by non-organic fertilizer, others prefer the organic route. Then there are those of us (like me) who mostly do organic but with some non-organic at time. And vice versa!
There’s a kind of gray area between soil and fertilizers, and that involves soil amendments. But…what are soil amendments?
Soil amendments can act as soil up to a point, but they also have some nutritional value for the tomato plants. Some examples include:
- Compost (animal, mushroom, DIY)
- Rock powders (Azomite, etc.)
- Earthworm castings (“worm poop”)
- Mycorrhizae (innoculant)
As good as amendments may be for your plants, keep in mind they are amendments to soil, not replacements of soil.
I’ll go more in-depth about all the above topics in their own posts, and why each of them is a necessary part of growing your own tomatoes t home!