How Do You Fix Overfertilized Tomatoes?

How Do You Fix Overfertilized Tomatoes?

If you want healthy tomato plants and a bountiful harvest, you should fertilize the plants regularly. However, caution is advised here, because overfertilization can have a tremendous impact on the growth and health of the tomatoes. In most cases, however, an excess of nutrients can be easily recognized and treated. We have summarized possible symptoms as well as treatment measures for you in this article!

What nutrients do tomatoes need?


If you want a high-yield harvest, you should fertilize your tomatoes regularly. There are special tomato fertilizers for tomato plants, but other mineral and/or organic fertilizers can also be used. It is essential to ensure that the respective preparation contains the most essential nutrients for tomatoes:

  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphate
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium


Overfertilization and excess nutrients


Tomatoes need these nutrients in the right proportions, otherwise a nutrient deficiency or excess may occur. Mineral fertilizers have the advantage that they already contain said nutrients in the correct ratio. However, this does not mean that overfertilization can automatically be ruled out. Because not only the ratio of the nutrients, but also the administered quantity plays here naturally an essential role. However, overfertilization and the resulting nutrient surplus can usually be easily detected and treated.

Nitrogen

How Do You Fix Overfertilized Tomatoes?

Nitrogen is essential for growth and particularly important for young plants. It is also involved in photosynthesis and is important for the formation of leaf green, proteins and hormones. But the organisms found in the soil also need nitrogen. Although it is a basic nutrient, it should nevertheless only be supplied in moderation. Although an excess of nitrogen causes the plant to shoot up, the increased growth in length is not desirable for the following reasons:

Symptoms

  • Shoots become soft and spongy
  • a large number of new leaves are formed
  • leaves become soft and fade
  • and they curl up


Consequences

  • increased sensitivity to frost
  • increased pest infestation (aphids and spider mites)
  • increased occurrence of fungal infections
  • reduced storability


Treatment

  • consistent mulching with straw
  • straw attracts and binds nitrogen


Potassium


For the formation and quality of tomatoes, a balanced supply of potassium is crucial. This is because potassium not only enhances the taste of the fruit, but also favors its storability. Potassium can be absorbed by tomatoes very quickly and also in large quantities. Therefore, potassium excess usually occurs rarely, although it can be recognized and treated as follows:

Symptoms

  • Growth inhibition
  • Scanty growth
  • Leaf damage


Consequences

  • Absorption of calcium and magnesium is impaired
  • thus growth is inhibited
  • fine crumb structure in the soil is destroyed
  • soil structure deteriorates


Treatment

  • potassium is mostly washed out of the soil
  • by rain and irrigation
  • Apply magnesium-rich rock meal


Phosphorus

How Do You Fix Overfertilized Tomatoes?

Phosphorus plays an essential role in the energy supply of tomatoes. It is also involved in a wide variety of processes, such as cell division and root growth, and also strengthens the defenses of tomato plants. On top of that, a balanced phosphorus fertilization has a positive effect on the vitamin content of the fruit. An excess of phosphorus does not show itself through obvious symptoms, because rather the overfertilization has an indirect effect:

Symptoms and consequences

  • Absorption of iron and copper is impaired
  • leads to growth disorders


Treatment

  • fertilize with low phosphate fertilizer
  • do not use bone meal and blue grain!


Note: A phosphorus surplus can usually be traced back to a too well-intentioned fertilization with blue grain or bone meal.

Magnesium

How Do You Fix Overfertilized Tomatoes?

Magnesium is also an essential nutrient for tomatoes, as it is important for both photosynthesis and the formation of chlorophyll. Tomatoes also need magnesium for the absorption of other nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen. Magnesium is also directly related to the calcium supply of tomatoes. Therefore, magnesium excess often leads to a disturbance of the other nutrients:

Symptoms and consequences

  • Calcium uptake is impaired
  • Roots are damaged
  • blossom end rot frequently occurs
  • Growth disturbances


Treatment

  • avoid fertilizers containing magnesium
  • work in compost
  • Calcium


An adequate supply of calcium strengthens the plant and ensures firmer cell walls, leaves and fruits. However, the roots also become much firmer and thus more resistant to blossom end rot. Calcium excess does not usually show itself through clear symptoms, but it does entail indirect damage:


Symptoms and consequences

  • Soil strongly alkaline
  • displaces potash in the soil
  • Absorption of iron, potassium and magnesium impeded
  • Phosphorus availability is reduced
  • Growth is limited
  • risk of green cant increases


Treatment

  • Avoid calcium-based fertilizers
  • Use magnesium-rich fertilizers


Note: The symptoms and consequences only occur in the case of an extreme calcium excess, which in turn is extremely rare!

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