104: Tomato Essential Nutrients and Deficiencies

Tomato plants, everyone’s garden favorite! Many beginner gardeners get all excited about planting varieties of tomatoes hoping to get that best tasting fruit. We buy all kinds of fertilizer from garden center, feed our plants hoping that we provide all essential nutrients for best yield. After all the treatments, wouldn’t be dejecting to see the plants die in front of your eyes? I love tomatoes and can’t bear to see plants die!

Tomatoes do have life and they communicate with their owners visually. Just like us plants need a full range of vitamins and essential minerals to grow healthy. All the essentials obtained from rich soil and compost. Let’s review the function of N-P-K and other essentials to help spot the deficiency symptoms:

Nitrogen (N): this is essential for plant cell growth and is a building block for all the green parts of the plant. More Nitrogen availability produces more greens which is important for leafy vegetables.

Symptoms of Nitrogen deficiency?

Plant growth is weak (slow in some cases), Leaves turns light green to yellow.

Phosphorus (P): this nutrient is very essential for roots and fruits growth.

Symptoms of Phosphorus deficiency?

Plant growth is weak (slow in some cases), orange streaks are noticeable on the sides of leaves, flowers fall off in some cases and fruit produced are very small. 

Potassium (K): An essential nutrient for flower and fruit development.

Symptoms of Potassium deficiency?

Evident sign of weak stem, leaves turns grey or brownish like sun scorch. 

Iron (Fe): plays vital function and catalyst for chlorophyll formation process.

Symptoms of Iron deficiency?

Leaves turn yellow near the veins but is green on the edges. It looks like yellow eye on the leaf.

Magnesium (Mg): One to key component of chlorophyll.

Symptoms of Magnesium deficiency?

Magnesium deficiency can be easily identified when leaves shows pale yellow / brown spots between veins. Leaf curl upwards in most cases.

Sulfur (S): Component of amino acids in the plant

Symptoms of sulfur deficiency?

Pre-mature of Young leaves, turn yellow without any damages to the vein.  

Boron (Br): Aids in minerals and sugar transportation to plant.

Symptoms of boron deficiency?

Multiple yellow spots on the leaves, curled leaves as if the plant was dry.

Calcium (Ca): Vital nutrient for cell wall and conductive tissue development, enhances plant germination, regulates enzyme systems,

Symptoms of calcium deficiency?

Blossom End Rot which is most common in tomatoes. Curling of young leaves covered with yellowish brown spots.

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