How to Add Bone Meal to a Tomato Garden

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Bonemeal boosts tomato growth.
Bonemeal boosts tomato growth. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Gardeners growing tomatoes often fertilize them with assorted ingredients to achieve the best yield. It starts with amending the garden soil to make it rich in organic materials. At planting time, add bonemeal to each planting hole to boost the phosphorus level. Plentiful phosphorus enables strong and deep roots and bountiful blossoms. Bonemeal releases slowly into the soil to give tomatoes a steady supply of nutrients as they grow.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden spade
  • Compost
  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Bonemeal
  • Epsom salt
  • Eggshells (optional)
  • Granular fertilizer (4-6-4)
  • Cup-size scoop
  • Tomato plants
  • Hand rake

Prepare the planting area in the spring. Cultivate the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches with a garden spade. Add 2 to 4 inches of compost over the soil surface to improve drainage and soil composition. Rake the soil surface smooth.

Dig holes for the tomato plants. Make the holes approximately 1 foot deep and 3 feet apart.

Add one cup of bonemeal to the bottom of each hole. You could also add a tbsp. of Epsom salt to the hole for a magnesium boost, two eggshells for added calcium and a scoop of dry all-purpose fertilizer for general nutrients.

Place a tomato plant into each hole, situating it so the soil level reaches the bottom stems. Fill soil in around the tomato plant, firming it gently with your hands.

Give the tomato plants a thorough watering immediately after you finish planting them.

Apply a side dressing of bonemeal when the first blossoms appear to keep the tomato plants healthy. Dig a shallow trench about 6 inches away from the plants and sprinkle a half-inch-deep and half-inch-wide line of bonemeal into the trench. Scratch the bonemeal into the soil with a hand rake and water the soil thoroughly.

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