How Much Fertilizer Should I Use?

ehsteveJune 24, 2012

I'm new to container gardening and am looking for advice on how much fertilizer I should use.

I am currently growing tomatoes and peppers in ~7 gallon containers. I am using Miracle Grow tomato Food, it's 10:10:10 with some other nutrients too.

I was adding approx 1 teaspoon to a gallon of water each week, then just using regular water for a mid-week watering. Now that the plants are all producing pretty heavily I've upped the fertilizer to 1 teaspoon twice a week.

Is this too much or too little? How will I know if I'm using too much?

Frankly I have no idea what quantity of fertilizer I should use, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

If the plants look great, just keep doing what you are doing. I like experimenting a little with fertilizer. This year I used more than I usually do and my tomato plants are growing better than ever.....large dark green plants with lots of tomatoes.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 9:07AM
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texasjack(Houston Tx)

Dear ehsteve,

If your getting good results ( fruit not just foliage) stick with it. I used the MG 10-10-10 for afew years and was always frustrated. Switched to a 9-3-6 this year and getting splendid production, considering the difficulties with Houston climate.

Many and extensive disscussions about fertilizer for container veggies on this forum and the Tomato Growing forum. Search 9-3-6

Good luck

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 1:27PM
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Plants will tell you. I've actually been changing things up using CRF fertilizers for base nutrient levels, and then use additional fertilizers to bring it up to luxury levels. It's less work, and heavy rain doesn't empty plants of all their nutrients. I wouldn't suggest using this method in an arid area where fertigation is probably the best course, but for an area that gets lots of rain, and bark chips are less then well composted, this method works great. I prefer 3-1-2 ratio early, then less nitrogen for fruiting.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 4:21PM
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