Tomato plants are heavy feeders, requiring plenty of nutrients to produce the largest, most flavorful fruits. Proper care and natural feeding can render the synthetic granular tomato plant foods unnecessary.
Test the Soil
Soil testing can highlight nutrient imbalances in your garden soil and determine the overall texture and soil composition before you even plant the tomatoes. County extension offices offer low-cost soil testing for home gardeners and includes recommendations for pH and nutrient adjustments that can optimize growth conditions for tomatoes, or whatever type of plant specified.
Feed the Soil
Naturally feeding tomato plants starts with feeding the garden soil. Work in plenty of high-quality organic matter like composted manures and leaf mold into the soil to provide tomatoes with a nutrient-rich growth medium. Over the winter, green manure crops return nutrients to the soils and enrich the overall fertility of the garden.
Sidedress with Compost
Aged compost provides many of the nutrients tomatoes need when they start fruiting. Apply bands of compost about 6 inches away from the plant stems when the first tomatoes start to form. For foliar feeding, make compost tea by brewing compost in rainwater and straining. Sprinkle the compost tea over the leaves using a watering can