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Homemade Fertilizer for Tomato – Manure, Compost

Homemade Fertilizer for Tomato

Hello gardeners, today we are back with a new topic called homemade fertilizer for tomato plants. If you want to know homemade fertilizers for the tomato plant then we need to follow this complete article.

Introduction to Homemade Fertilizer for Tomato

The tomato is the edible berry and belongs to the family of Solanum Lycopersicum, and it is commonly known as a tomato plant. The species originated in western South America and even Central America. Tomatoes are a significant source of high umami flavor. The tomato is usually consumed raw or cooked, in many dishes, sauces, salads, and even drinks. While tomatoes are fruits, they are botanically classified as berries and they are commonly used as a vegetable ingredient or side dish. Now, let us get into the details of homemade fertilizer for tomato plants.

A Step By Step Guide to Homemade Fertilizer for Tomato

Guide to Homemade Fertilizer for Tomato
Guide to Homemade Fertilizer for Tomato (Image credit: pixabay)

Tomato plants typically grow to 1–3 meters or 3–10 ft. in height. They are vines that have a very weak stem that sprawls and typically needs support. Organic tomato fertilizers are made up of materials that are naturally-occurring plant or even mineral matter.

Advantages of Using Organic Homemade Fertilizer for Tomato

  1. It improves the soil long-term by helping the organic matter to break down contains trace nutrients, rather than just the top three major nutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium.
  2. They release nutrients very gradually and lasts longer in soil
  3. These are available in both granular and liquid (fish emulsion) forms

Disadvantages of Using Organic Homemade Fertilizer for Tomato

  1. The three major nutrients that include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium are not balanced.
  2. Weaker strength means fertilizing more often during the growing or starting season, which can increase expenses.
  3. It can contain damaging pathogens if fertilizer is not properly composted.

Types of Varieties of Organic Homemade Fertilizer for Tomato

  • Alfalfa meal – it has a good nitrogen source
  • Blood meal – it has a good nitrogen source
  • Bone Meal – it has a good phosphorus source
  • Compost – it has a good nitrogen source
  • Cottonseed meal
  • Dried or composted manure – it tends to be low in phosphorus. You can apply with bone meal to provide a balanced nutrient mix.
  • Feather meal – it has a good nitrogen source
  • Fish emulsion
  • Fish meal – it has a good nitrogen source
  • Granite dust is also called rock potash – slow-releasing and it has a good potassium source
  • Leaf mould – it has a good nitrogen and potassium source
  • Legumes – it has a good nitrogen source
  • Wood ash – it has a good potassium source

How to Make Homemade Fertilizer for Tomato

Here is the list of what you will need to get started making your homemade tomato fertilizer:

  • Compost

Good and high-quality finished compost will be the base of our homemade tomato fertilizer.

  • Pet and human hair

Pets include cat, dog, ferret, guinea pig, etc. and even human hair is a fantastic material for using in tomato fertilizer.

Hair contains keratin which is a very valuable protein. Hair contains very good levels of nitrogen, sulphate, and even small traces of other minerals. Hair takes time to break down, which makes it a very good slow-release fertilizer.

  • Crushed eggshells

Crushed eggshells are fantastic to add to tomato fertilizer because they contain very good amounts of calcium. Calcium will be important in preventing blossom end rot.

You need to bake saved eggshells in the oven for a few minutes to dry them out. This will help to crunch them up into very small pieces.

  • Used tea and coffee grounds

Used tea and coffee grounds are a very good source of potassium and phosphorus and very low levels of nitrogen.

It is a very good idea to place the used grounds on a baking sheet and then place them in the oven for a few minutes to dry them out. It is much easier to work with them when dried out.

  • Wood Ashes

If you have fireplaces don’t throw those wood ashes away. Wood ash is a very great source of potassium and other trace minerals.

  • Alfalfa

Dried alfalfa leaves or alfalfa pellets are a very great organic additive for your tomato fertilizer. Alfalfa contains a rich growth hormone and it is commonly used on roses to promote growth and very beautiful blooms. It can also be used on tomatoes as a superb and excellent fertilizer.

You can typically find alfalfa pellets at any feed stores as feed for rabbits. Some pet stores may also carry it – just you need to make sure that it is 100% alfalfa.

  • Rabbit Droppings

Speaking of rabbits, their manure is a very excellent source of high organic matter. Rabbit droppings are probably the best animal manure you can use for the plant.

One awesome advantage or benefit to using rabbit poo is it will not burn plants. Rabbit poo contains an N-P-K rating of 2.4-1.4-.6 which means it has very good levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, but very low enough not to burn plants.

To make about one gallon of the homemade tomato fertilizer you will need the listed things:

  • one gallon, or very larger, a container such as a bucket
  • 1/2 gallon of compost
  • 2 to 2 ½ cups of rabbit droppings
  • 1/2 to ¼ cup of human and pet hair, cut into very small pieces
  • 2 cups of dried alfalfa leaves or even alfalfa pellets
  • 1 cup of dried and crushed eggshells
  • 1 cup of used and dried tea or coffee grounds
  • 1 to 1 ½ cup of wood ashes
  • First, place the 1/2 gallon of compost in the selected container, then add the rabbit droppings and hair. You need to use a short wooden stake or something to stir the ingredients until they are well incorporated
  • Then add the alfalfa leaves or pellets, the crushed eggshells, the coffee and tea grounds, and even the wood ash in it. Mix all the ingredients again until well incorporated

Four Main Reasons to Use Organic Homemade Fertilizer for Tomato

In case if you miss this: Growing Betel Leaf In Pots.

A healthy tomato plant
A healthy tomato plant (pic credit: pixabay)
  • They are very easy to use
  • It is good and better for the environment and your local water table
  • They are very less potentially harmful to the environment
  • Inexperienced gardeners who use factory-produced and concentrated chemical fertilizers means instead of natural, powdered rock tend to overuse, which leads to “lockout,” a plant’s defence mechanism which causes it to completely stop absorbing all the nutrients

Organic and Natural Tomato Fertilizer and When to Use Them


A compost pile will produce very rich and pure organic matter loaded with essential nutrients and beneficial microbes.

This is why we recommend that you should have a simple compost bin to help and build rich soil.

Compost has all the basic nutrients, both macronutrients, and even micronutrients, that are usually absent in other synthetic fertilizers.

Compost releases the nutrients very gradually, thereby providing long-lasting nutrition to the plant.

It not only helps in fertilizing tomatoes but also helps the soil to retain all the nutrients and water, neutralizes the soil, and even adds beneficial microorganisms to the soil.

You need to add a significant amount into the bottom of each hole during transplanting and better side-dress each tomato several times during the growing season.

  • Epsom Salt

Usually, tomatoes use lots of magnesium while growing stage, Epsom salt helps provide tomatoes with the necessary magnesium to grow well.

You will see more blooms, stronger plants, more fruit production, deeper green color, along with taster, sweeter tomatoes.

Planting Tomato Seedlings – When planting a new tomato plant, you need to place about 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt in the bottom of the hole.

Be sure to cover the Epsom salt with a very thin layer of dirt, before placing the tomato seedling in the hole.

  • Fish Emulsion

This is another natural tomato fertilizer that gives the plant an extra boost, both at transplanting and during the growing or starting season.

It is very rich in phosphorous, nitrogen, and even potassium, as well as other important minerals such as magnesium, calcium which help prevent blossom-end rot, and sulphur.

Fish emulsion is also available as a concentrated water-soluble liquid fertilizer made by blending various parts of the fish including their bones.

Unlike compost, the nutrients in the fish emulsion will easily available to the plants immediately.

When applying, better to read the instructions on the package and foliar spray your plants every few weeks.

You can also boost your seedling by drenching the root zone with the help of fish fertilizer for plants diluted in water.

Tip: Another organic tomato fertilizer from the ocean or sea is a kelp meal. You can apply Kelp fertilizers after plants begin to flower.

Kelp will stimulate flowering due to its containing gibberellin-type compounds.

Early in the growing cycle, tomatoes need to put energy into growing new roots and new leaves.

  • Organic Cottonseed Meal

This is an ideal natural fertilizer that can be easily added as an organic soil amendment at the time of transplanting seedlings. Cottonseed meal is very rich in potassium, nitrogen, and even phosphorus in a ratio of 6-2-1.

The very high level of nitrogen supports foliage growth during the very early stage of plant growth.

The nutrients in cottonseed meals are not available to the plants immediately and they are released very slowly and last for close to four months.

It contains essential elements such as magnesium, calcium, copper, and even sulphur, and it also contains other trace elements such as zinc and manganese.

When purchasing this organic tomato fertilizer option, you need to choose the products that are only labelled Certified Organic.

Some cottonseed meals might contain pesticide residuals that are restricted to plants.

  • Animal Manures

Animal or manure may be a portion of classic fertilizer for tomatoes, but before application, you would like to stay several things in mind.

Never use pet manures; cat and dog manures are highly toxic, dangerous to humans, and are filled with pathogens.

Only use manure from vegetarian animals like horses and cattle. (Don’t use chicken manure).

Manure must be aged or composted before use because it is often too strong for the tomato plants.

You will need to apply manure at the time of planting your tomato seedling.

  • Vegetable-Based Organic Fertilizers

Some of the simplest vegetable fertilizers include:

Alfalfa Meal – this will be found as a raw vegetable or hay bales. Alfalfa meal may be a complete NPK fertilizer and is full of a lot of micronutrients and helpful hormones.

Tomatoes planted in compost and dressed with an alfalfa mulch cover thrive alright. Mulch tomatoes to assist reduce moisture loss from evaporation.

Seaweed – If you reside near any beach, you can try feeding your tomato plants seaweed and they could be very low in NPK but has over 60 trace elements that are crucial for fruit formation.

Over-Fertilization Signs of Tomato Plant

  • Yellowing leaves

One cause of yellow in your tomato leaves can be an excess of nitrogen in the soil. Under a condition of excess nitrogen, tomato plants will not absorb a sufficient amount of water, which results in some of the older leaves will be yellowing prematurely.

  • Bushy leaves and decayed flowers

Excess nitrogen may also lead to a lot of leaves and flowering is put off. Only experienced gardeners who know when to expect blossoms or flowers will be able to detect this problem.

  • A skin of stuff on the surface of the plant

You will see a heavy build-up of sediment and even fungi growing on the top surface of the soil.

  • Yellowing and wilting of lower leaves of the plant

There are so many problems that lead to yellowing leaves that you need to be an expert to tell the difference.

  • A very sudden loss of leaves

Commonly Asked Questions about Homemade Fertilizer for Tomato Plants

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Questions about Growing Tomatoes (pic source: pixabay)

What is a good and best natural fertilizer for tomato plants?

Cottonseed meal is the best natural fertilizer for a tomato plant.

Cottonseed meal is also a very good and best choice as a natural tomato fertilizer that can be mixed into your soil at the time of planting it. It contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and even potassium in about a 6-2-1 ratio and its nitrogen supports leafy growth early in the young stage of tomato plants’ growth cycle.

What can I feed my organic tomato plants?

Organic tomato fertilizer tends to be very slow-release and it is formulated from products like alfalfa meal, blood or even bone meal, and the like. These may gradually break down in the soil and offer a continuous source of nutrition for my plants. They also help to build the soil, by providing good organic material.

Are eggshells good for tomatoes?

The calcium provided by eggshells will help to aid the tomato plant in regulating its water supply, thus helping to stave off rot. And that is not all calcium does. This super mineral reinforces the cell walls of the tomato plant. It even encourages well-balanced, very healthy, and efficient water transfer and carbohydrate translocation.

How often should I fertilize tomato plants?

Tomatoes should be first fertilized when you plant them in the garden or a container. You can then need to wait until they set fruit to start fertilizing again. After the tomato plants start growing fruit, better add light fertilizer once every one to two weeks until the first frost kills the tomato plant.

How often do I put Epsom salt on tomatoes?

The ideal and optimum solution ratio is 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per foot of plant height. If your tomato plant is two feet in height, you will be feeding it two tablespoons of Epsom salt at least twice a month. Once on the 15th and another dose on the 30th would be perfect. For other plants, the general thumb rule is once every six weeks.

Are banana peels good for tomatoes?

While plants need nitrogen, you need to remember the NPK on fertilizers; too much nitrogen may create lots of green leaves but few berries or fruits. This means potassium is very rich in banana peels and they are very excellent for plants like tomatoes, peppers, or even flowers. Banana peels also contain calcium, which helps to prevents blossom end rot in tomatoes.

Can I water tomatoes too much?

Watering your tomato plants properly is the main key to tomato success. Too much water and the plants drown too little can cause blossom end rot. Inconsistent watering will cause blossom end rot, split tomatoes, and even stressed plants. Before you water, you need to check soil moisture first.

That’s all folks about homemade fertilizer for tomato plants.


  1. I just read your article and it was so insightful. I’m a new gardener myself. Your post helped me understand how to make homemade plant fertilizer for tomato plants in the future. Thank you!


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