Beautiful Plants For Your Interior

Top dressing of tomato seedlings at home

Tomato seedlings turn out to be strong and sturdy in a nutritious soil. Does it need to be fed before planting in the ground? John and Paul know how to do it right and how best to nourish the seedlings. Follow the advice of specialists, agrotechnical rules and make top dressing on time.

Secrets of Fertilizing Tomato Seedlings

Tomato seedlings receive their first boost even at the pre-sowing stage, when they are treated with a solution of potassium permanganate to disinfect them. Later, they get nutrients in a nutrient-rich soil mixture that has been specially prepared for growing seedlings. During their growth and development, the shoots deplete nutrients from the soil. To fully develop, tomato seedlings need additional fertilization.

When to Feed Tomato Seedlings?

In the process of growing seedlings, conduct the first application of fertilizer after the emergence of 2-3 true leaves. Do the second and third applications every 10 to 12 days. For the fourth application, wait until a week before transplanting the seedlings into the open ground, greenhouse, or a volumetric container on a balcony. The presence of seedlings tells you when the soil needs additional nutrients.If you notice any of the following violations of the plant’s growth process, apply top dressing immediately:

  • Seedlings begin to turn yellow.
  • Sprouts stretch upwards, and the stems remain thin.
  • The growth of seedlings stops at the cotyledonary leaf stage.
  • Leaves change color and acquire a purple hue.
  • Seedlings wilt and wither.

When and Why You Need to Feed Tomato Seedlings


For example, lack of lighting or high indoor temperatures can lead to the stretching of sprouts and their wilting and deformity. Low-temperature modes stop the development of the root system, preventing the plant from absorbing phosphorus, causing the leaves to turn purple and growing in a herringbone pattern.

The presence of pests, such as aphids, or fungal diseases, such as blackleg, can lead to wilting and the death of seedlings.If all the necessary conditions for growing tomato seedlings (including proper illumination, temperature, and watering) are met and the seedlings wither, it may be necessary to feed them with both mineral and organic fertilizers.

Why should tomato seedlings be fed?

Immediately after germination, if there is a lack of phosphorus-potassium minerals in the soil, the seedlings will develop poorly and will grow weak. During the process of intense growth, shoots consume nutrients from the soil at a high rate.

This results in a rapid depletion of the soil’s nutrients, which prevents further full-grown development of the seedlings. Therefore, it is essential to fertilize the soil in order to provide the shoots with an adequate supply of nutrients.

Minerals are used in the active growth of tomato plants: nitrogen is introduced to build up the plant’s green mass and strengthen its stems and leaves, while phosphorus is responsible for the growth and development of the plants, activating their metabolism and respiration.

Potassium helps the shoots to absorb carbon dioxide from the air and increase their resistance to disease. It is important to note that an excess of fertilizers can be harmful to plants. For example, adding too much nitrogen may make plants look strong and green, but they will have less resistance to pests and disease, and their flowering period will be delayed. Excess phosphorus can lead to the quick aging of the shoots and increase the plants’ sensitivity to lack of water.

Even a small excess of minerals in the early stages can delay the development of seedlings and the harvest.

How to feed tomato seedlings?

In pots, boxes, and other containers, the amount of soil and the nutrients necessary for growth are limited. Let’s take a closer look at what and how to feed the seedlings at different stages.
The first top dressing after germination

When the seedlings have grown and the first two leaves have opened (5-7 days after germination), give them the first top dressing.


Which fertilizers to use?

For fertilizing at different stages of growth, use nitrogen- and phosphorus-potassium-based fertilizers.
At the first stage, strengthen the root system by using phosphorus-potassium substances. These help the plant’s roots develop more intensely, and nitrogenous fertilizers should be applied moderately.The formula for the fertilizer for the first topdressing is as follows: N:P:K = 13:40:13. Nitrogen (N) makes up 13% of the mixture, phosphorus (P) 40% and potassium (K) 13%.

According to the researches other micro- and meso-elements may also be included in topdressings, but the relative proportions of the major macronutrients should be maintained at approximately these levels.

For root fertilizing seedlings, use mineral nutrients according to the following ratios: urea – 1 g; superphosphate – 8 g; potassium sulfate – 4 g; water – 2 liters. At the first stage, feed the seedlings with organic substances.

Infuse 1 tablespoon of wood ashes in 2 liters of hot water for a day. Drain the extract and dilute it in 5 liters of water for use in watering the roots. Pour 2/3 of a banana peel into a bucket and pour cold water over it. Let it sit for 3 days and then drain the infusion.

Dilute it with 1 part water for watering (1:3). Dissolve 3 drops of iodine in 10 liters of water and use the solution for watering the seedlings after they have real leaves, to disinfect the soil and compensate for the lack of nutrients in the plants.The second and subsequent fertilizing should take place every 10 days using a nitrophospate solution (1 tablespoon of substance per 1 liter of water).

Fertilizing seedlings after pickling: In 2 to 3 weeks, when real leaves have formed on the branches of the seedling plants, tomatoes can be transferred to separate containers or a greenhouse.
After picking, seedlings must be nourished with beneficial substances to strengthen their roots and acclimate to a new environment.

How to feed tomato plants after picking: To strengthen tomatoes after pickling, feed plants with solutions containing potassium, phosphorus, fluoride, nitrogen, and other growth-promoting substances. They can be fed both through the roots and foliage.

Foliar application should be done in the early morning, and the prepared solution should be poured into a sprayer and sprayed onto the plants. Root irrigation should be done in the evening, or on cloudy days to avoid excessive moisture evaporation.Foliar top dressing provides nutrients through the plant’s green mass. To feed young plants in this way, use the following mineral fertilizers:

  • Urea solution;
  • Potassium monophosphate;
  • Potassium nitrate solution;
  • Superphosphate solution;
  • Phytosporin solution.

Prepare the fertilizers according to the instructions on the packaging.

To grow an environmentally-friendly crop, use organic fertilizers. Dissolve 1 cup of wood ash and 1 tablespoon of liquid organic fertilizer in 5 gallons of water (such as mullein infusion), then fill the buckets with egg shells and fill them with water. Let the egg shells infuse for 3-4 days with the lid on. Drain and dilute the mixture with 1 part water to 3 parts liquid. Use 50 ml of the liquid to water each bush.

Dissolve 1 drop of iodine into 1 gallon of water, then pour it into a sprayer and spray the leaves of young plants to protect them against pests, fungi, and restore iodine deficiencies in the plant’s foliage.Add 10 milliliters of iodine, 10 grams of superphosphate, and 20 grams of potassium sulfate to a bucket of water. Iodine top-up should be carried out no more than once every 2 to 3 weeks.

The planned top dressing for tomato seedlings lays the foundation for the future harvest. Strong, thick-legged seedlings painlessly tolerate harvesting and planting in the ground. Experienced gardeners continuously monitor seedlings in order to make the necessary top dressing when there are first signs of nutrient deficiency in the soil.

Nikolas White
Nikolas White

Hello, there I am Nikolas White, content creator specializing in family narratives, moving lifehacks, and lifestyle trends. With expertise in gardening and storage solutions, his writings blend personal experiences with actionable insights.

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