Tomatoes usually need extra nutrients to perform their best. This means that most gardeners apply fertilizer to their tomatoes several times over the course of the growing year. Fertilizers can sometimes be difficult to choose and tricky to get right, so fertilizer spikes were developed to take away some of the guesswork and provide a fast and easy option. But are fertilizer spikes the best fertilizer to use? Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of using fertilizer spikes for your tomatoes.
Fertilizer spikes are premeasured sticks of fertilizer that you simply push down into the soil around your tomatoes. Because the spikes are solid, they are easy to use and create no mess or run-off. Fertilizer spikes are designed to release the nutrients slowly into the soil as they break down over the course of 6-8 weeks. Most brands recommend using the spikes early in the season after planting and then again when the first fruits are setting.
Some people really like fertilizer spikes because they are fast and convenient, but there are also some major downsides to them. First, fertilizer spikes typically are not as cost effective as liquid or granulated products. Although the difference in cost is fairly low, it may be a factor for those with large gardens.
Fertilizer spikes also use chemicals to feed your plants, but do very little for the health of the soil. In fact, the use of chemical fertilizers can actually harm the soil in the long run. Natural fertilizers that feed the microbes and replenish the soil are better options.
Another problem with fertilizer spikes is the fact that the nutrients do not get distributed evenly in the soil. The area right where the spike is located may receive good nutrients, but poor lateral distribution limits the effectiveness. For this reason, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Ag Extension does not recommend the use of fertilizer spikes. Using a granulated or liquid product helps the fertilizer get distributed deep into the soil so that the roots can use it.
While fertilizer spikes do provide a quick and easy way to give your tomatoes a bit of extra nourishment, there are better options out there. Tomato Secret by Dr. JimZ is the perfect blend of natural ingredients and will produce superior fruit. It is the best tomato fertilizer because it builds up the soil and delivers direct nutrition to the plants. For all your tomato growing needs, trust the experts at drjimz.com.
Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/tomatoes-bio-balcony-rain-1561565/