Tomato Plants

Daniel Gill  |  4/14/2015 3:17:58 AM

Hey Dan, I have a few tomato plants that are sun scalded. This happened while trying to harden them off. I read where it is helpful to give them a boost of nitrogen. I was wondering if it would be okay to use a little bit of lawn fertilizer which is very high in nitrogen. Maybe mix it in some water and apply? Thanks for your input.

- Gary B.


There is no need to try and use a lawn fertilizer in a way that was never intended. The directions for use alone would be difficult to interpret for fertilizing individual tomato transplants.

Whether or not you even apply extra nitrogen depends on how you have and will continue to fertilize the tomatoes. First, the nitrogen will do nothing to deal with or reduce the damage. What's done is done and those leaves will remain damaged.

The nitrogen is simply to encourage the tomato plants to grow vigorously, producing new, undamaged growth. You may have already fertilized your tomatoes enough to encourage vigorous growth. Most gardeners do this at the beginning of the season. If you over apply nitrogen fertilizer to your tomatoes, you can encourage large, leafy plants with low production.

That said, it would not hurt to apply some nitrogen containing soluble fertilizer now if you like (if your plants have already been properly fertilized, this is optional). Choose any commercial soluble fertilizer like Peter's, Schultz, Miracle Gro or others. Mix and apply per label directions.

Dan Gill
Consumer Horticulture Specialist

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