Recap & Plans for Tomatoes



Recap: Mary grew very healthy Roma, Celebrity, and Tomatillos seedlings. We planted them in the garden in holes with 15-0-15 thrown in and mixed a bit with the soil. They looked great for almost a week then most died. Likely due to so much nitrogen so close to the young roots.

Earlier, while Piper and Olivia were here they helped plant more Tomatillo seeds in 3″ pots and they grew quite large.

Bought Bonnies’ Celebrities, Romas, and six Amelias. Paul and Justin were building the additional rail fence at that time and Justin had a lot of extra Roma Seedlings and gave us some; plus a few Better Boys.

Tilled the row where the dead tomatoes and peppers had been and planted it all back in Romas, Celebrities, Better Boys, Amelias, and Tomatillos.

The nitrogen hot spots were tilled in and assumed to be mitigated. No additional fertilizer was “broadcast” along the row although in hindsight it should have been. So, based on the recommendations at IFAS for tomatoes I developed the following plans.

Plans As tomato plants grow larger, more N and K are needed (Figure 10). The blooming stage of tomatoes in south Florida starts at about 6 weeks after transplanting. From the blooming stage to harvest (Figure 11), more nutrients and water are needed as compared to the early stage.

Dec. 2019’s Soil Test Report – Recommendation is 120-0-80 lbs/acre. All the P and K and up to ½ the N should be applied as a broadcast application prior to planting. Include 1 to 2 lb. boron (B) per acre with broadcast fertilizer. Apply the remaining N as a side-dress when the first fruits are set.

Broadcast prior to planting would have been 60-0-80 lbs/ac; i.e. ½ the Nitrogen. An 18″ wide band 10′ long would be 15 SF or 0.000344 of an acre. So that times 60 = 0.02066 lbs.

Using 15-0-15: 0.15 x “amt of 15-0-15” = 0.02066. So, the “Amt 15-0-15″ = 0.1377 lbs to be spread over an 18” wide x 10 long row. At 1 lb per pint, 0.1377 lbs would be a heaping 1/4 cup of 15-0-15 spread along both sides of 10 feet of the row then tilled in–as it was not put below the plant as it should have been. For the 60 ft. row multiply by 6 to give 1.5+ cups.

Soil Test also said to use 1-2 lbs of Boron per acre. So 10’x18″ = 15 SF that is 0.0003435 acres. 0.0003435 x 2 lbs = 0.00687 lbs to apply to the 10′ of row. For the 60 ft row of tomatoes apply 6×0.0067 = 0.0402 lbs

As Borax is 11.3% boron, and we should apply 0.0402 lbs of boron per 60′ row, then 0.0402/0.113 = 0.356 lbs of Borax. As 1 cup of Borax weighs 0.9 lb we should spread 1/3 cup of Borax per 60 ft. row.

So, mix 1/3 cup Borax in 1.5+ cups of 15-0-15 and spread it along both sides of the 60 ft. row of tomatoes and tomatillos. Scratch it in with the 4-tine hoe.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email