One of the most popular vegetables in the home garden, as well as at the grocery store, are tomatoes. A lot of what I hear from homeowners is the newer commercial varieties have not considered taste in their breeding selection. While pest resistance, days to maturity and shelf life may be critical to growers, the bottom line to the homeowner and home gardener is taste – and rightly so!
Tomato fertilization and soil fertility can play a significant role in not only flavorful but nutritious and high yielding tomato plants.
Proper plant nutrition will always benefit tomato appearance and flavor, and the first step is a soil test. Your Extension service can provide information, analysis and recommendations.
Regarding taste, human taste testers always find the best flavors associated with high acid content, high soluble solids or high sugar content.
Numerous tomato fertility studies have looked at P (phosphorus) and K (potassium) levels and their effect on fruit. It turns out, when both P & K are provided in excess (150%) of typical needs or recommendations, fruit had better quality, color, texture and taste. It’s no wonder since the studies indicate more K produces higher acid content, and increased P boosts sugar content – the 2 attributes that make great tasting tomatoes! Adequate K also results in more uniform color and ripening!
With regards to N (nitrogen), it is often a case of “too much of a good thing”, actually harming fruit flavor.
Here at BGI, we formulated our Tomatogain based on generations of professional grower knowledge and state university research.
If you notice our formula 8-16-16, it provides adequate nitrogen, but plentiful phosphorus and potassium. Tomatoes are voracious feeders. You want those nutrients available in sufficient amounts when the plant needs them.
One other interesting environmental effect on tomatoes is light. Without full sun, sugar concentration will be reduced. That is why during the winter months in the northern states you have greenhouse grown tomatoes that are, personally speaking, horrible!
While variety selection, growing conditions and degree of vine ripeness are large factors in tomato flavor, appearance and texture, adequate nutrition is equally important. Feed those hungry tomatoes with just the right stuff – Tomatogain 8-16-16 – and literally enjoy the (tasty) fruits of your knowledge & labor!