What To Put In Your Tomato Planting Hole? (And What Never to)

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Quick Answer: What To Put In Your Tomato Planting Hole?

The research studies support the use of compost, bone meal, crushed eggshells, Epsom salt, and worm castings to the planting hole of the tomato plants. If used appropriately and in recommended amounts, these substances may enhance the growth and yield of ripe tomatoes. However, science doesn’t recommend aspirin, fish heads, banana peels, and baking soda in the tomato planting hole.

Are you looking to get a good yield of juicy tomatoes? If yes, this detailed guide provides you with different options that may be added to tomato planting holes.

I have tried many of these options in my tomato garden with good results.

So, let’s get started!

What To Put In Tomato Planting Hole?

I love homegrown tomatoes as it gives an unmatchable taste to salads and pasta.

Before planting the tomato seedlings, you may add different ingredients to the potting hole that will help to reap juicy tomatoes. 

Let me introduce you to them along with the reasons.

1. Compost

The organic matter compost may be added to the planting hole of the tomato plants. It helps in providing essential nutrients to the tomato plants and increasing their yield.

Compost is an organic material used by gardeners to enrich the soil and provide essential nutrients for the plants. It is safer for the environment and adds beneficial microbes to the soil.

I use a little compost in the planting hole of the tomato plants.

Once the plants start growing, you may add a half-inch of compost around the base of the plants.It is preferable to mix the compost with the soil and then added to the planting hole. 

Also, make sure that it does not have any large particles and weeds.

2. Bone Meal

The bone meal may be a useful addition to the tomato planting hole. It provides phosphorus, which is essential for the growth, blossom, and quality of tomatoes. But, use it sparingly as it is high in lead and mercury.

Bone meal is the ground bone obtained as a by-product of the rendering industry.

It is rich in phosphorus, nitrogen, and calcium. It is recommended as an alternative to traditional mineral fertilizers.

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient that helps with plant growth, flowering, and fruiting. I use bone meal to the planting hole of my tomatoes if my soil is deficient in phosphorus. It slowly releases phosphorus into the soil and the plants make use of it.

One possible downside is that the addition of bone meal may be toxic if the soil is not deficient in nutrients. Also, it may be harmful to your pet animals.

Recent studies have shown that the bone meal is high in mercury and lead, which may be harmful to the plants. So use bone meal sparingly and ensure it’s of high quality.

Here a quick video with more information –

3. Epsom Salt

The addition of Epsom salt to the tomato planting hole may help in restoring magnesium levels. It may work only if the soil is poor in magnesium levels.

Epsom salt is also called magnesium sulfate. It has magnesium that is essential for the nutrient uptake and cell growth of tomato plants.

The old, overused soil may contain low magnesium levels. The application of Epsom salt to the planting hole may help in restoring the nutrients to the tomato plants only if it is deficient in magnesium.

If the soil is not magnesium deficient, then the addition of Epsom salt may cause root problems or harm the plant.

So, it is preferable to do a soil test to determine if Epsom salt is required.

The gardeners recommend adding one tablespoon of Epsom salt to the planting hole.

4. Earthworm Castings 

Earthworm castings are nutrient-dense fertilizers that may help your tomato plants to grow faster, retain water, and increase the yield.

Worm castings are the worm manure that is left behind after the worms digest food in the compost.

It is rich in nutrients and minerals, including nitrates, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.

It may work as a natural fertilizer increasing the plant yield, helping the soil to retain water, and protecting them from diseases

I prefer to mix a cup of worm castings with the potting soil and then add to the planting hole of the tomatoes.

It may help in creating the barrier between the soil and roots of tomato plants.

Here are some great tips on worm casting –

5. Coffee Grounds

The well-composted coffee grounds may be added to the tomato planting hole as they may provide slow-release of nutrients to your tomato plants. Future studies will determine the preferred ratio of the composted coffee grounds.

The used coffee grounds provide a key nutrient, nitrogen, required for plant growth.  It may be added to the tomato planting hole to provide a slow release of nutrients to your plants.

Some prefer adding the coffee grounds to the compost pile and the composted coffee grounds may be added to the planting hole.

It is recommended not to use coffee grounds more than 15-20% of the total compost volume.

More well-designed studies are required to confirm the beneficial effects of composted coffee grounds on the planting hole.

6. Eggshells

The dried and crushed eggshells are a nice addition to the planting hole of the tomatoes. They provide the essential nutrients and help with the growth of the plants.

Eggshells are recommended to amend the soils as it is made of calcium carbonate. It provides calcium, one of the vital nutrients required for the growth of plants.

As the eggshells are the carriers of Salmonella, you may have to rinse the eggshells and dry them.

I use crushed eggshells in the planting hole of the tomato plants.

You may also grind the eggshells in the food processor and sprinkle them into the planting hole. It helps in accelerating the decomposition process.

Some gardeners prefer adding the eggshells to the compost pile and then sprinkling them on the planting hole.

You may check this video on using eggshells in your tomato garden

7. Kelp Meal

A kelp meal is fertilizer from a seaweed that is rich in nutrients. It acts as a slow-release fertilizer when added to the tomato planting hole.

Another food source that is gaining popularity is kelp meal. Kelp is a brown seaweed that is rich in nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Many gardeners recommend adding one cup of kelp meal and one cup of bone meal to the planting hole.

They act as a slow-release fertilizer providing nutrients to the tomato plants over time.

The downside is, that Kelp Meal is expensive.

Here is more information on Kelp Meal –

What Not To Put In Tomato Planting Hole?

The gardeners add many things in the planting hole intending to increase the tomato yield. However, most of these ingredients are not backed by science and remain a myth.

Let us discuss the different ingredients that may not work in the tomato planting hole in this subsection.

1. Aspirin

The active ingredient of aspirin may mimic the plant hormone and protect the tomato plants from the pathogen attack. However, available studies do not support the use of aspirin tablets in the planting hole.

Another ingredient suggested by many gardeners to the planting holes of the tomato plants is aspirin.

Many research studies are analyzing the effect of aspirin on tomato plants. 

These studies have shown that salicylic acid, an active ingredient in aspirin behaves like the plant hormone. It induces the immune response of the tomato plants and protects them from a susceptible pathogen attack.

Also, some suggest spraying the tomato seedlings with aspirin water and then planting them in the planting hole for better results.

But, no studies are available testing the efficacy of whole aspirin tablets in the planting hole of the tomato plants.

2. Fish Heads And Scraps

Fish heads are speculated to act as a slow-release fertilizer when added to the planting hole of the tomato plants. However, more scientific studies are available to support the claim. 

One of the interesting ingredients that may be added to the planting hole is raw fish heads.

I haven’t tried this myself. But few gardeners believe that raw fish heads and their scraps decompose in the soil slowly releasing nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, and minerals. These nutrients may help in the growth of tomato plants.

One study used the cooked fish offal as a fertilizer for tomato plants. It boosted its production. But, more studies are required using the raw fish head as a fertilizer.

One disadvantage is that the cats and rats may dig them due to their strong smell. So you may have to bury them deep inside.

You may watch this video to understand what happens if fish heads are added to the planting hole of the tomato plants:

3. Banana Peels

Banana peels contain minerals that may be used to fertilize the plants once decomposed. However, it may take time to decompose and create air pockets that may be detrimental to plants.

Banana peels are rich in potassium and phosphorus that are useful for growing tomato plants. It may also help in deterring crawling pests, and aphids.

There is a problem with using large pieces of banana peels into the planting holes. When they decompose, these peels may leave large air pockets. It may cause the tomato plants to sink into the soil. Another issue is it may take time to decompose.

Some gardeners recommend chopping banana peels into pieces or using banana peel tea. But, it may not provide a sufficient amount of required nutrients.

Also, if the banana peels have pesticides it may be unsafe for the tomato plants.

4. Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)

The addition of baking soda is claimed to yield sweeter tomatoes. But there are no scientific studies to prove the beneficial effect of baking soda in the tomato planting hole.

Baking soda is recommended for several tomato problems, including preventing fungal infection, killing weeds, and garden pests.

Some gardeners claim that adding baking soda to the planting hole with the tomato plants may make the soil less acidic.

It is speculated to make the tomatoes sweeter.

But, I find that the amount of baking soda required to alter the soil pH may be toxic to the tomato plants. Also, no scientific studies are supporting the beneficial effect of baking soda in the planting hole of tomatoes.

FAQ’s

Can you put the multivitamin pill in the planting hole?

Some gardeners suggest tossing the expired multivitamin pill in the planting hole for fantastic yield. However, I could find any scientific studies supporting the use of multivitamins in the garden. Future studies will determine its efficacy.

Is it beneficial to add whole eggs to the planting hole?

The eggs contain calcium that may leach into the soil and help with the growth of tomato plants. But, it may take time to decompose and make the nutrients available to the plants. Another downside to using raw eggs is that they will begin to rot, and the smell can attract unwanted pests.

Summary

I hope the above-mentioned secret hacks work wonders to have good tomato yield.

If you have any queries or suggestions, please let me know!

Do share the article with your friends if you find it useful!


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