Growth requirements

The requirements for the growth of plants, in general, are set out in the Micro-ecosystem section.  However, tomatoes have some specific refinements that also need to be met, which are set out below: 

Organic soil

I used the components in the proportions listed below to fill my tomato raised beds and containers:

My soil mixture

  • quality top soil with small proportions of micronutrients (40%) purchased from a local nursery. 
  • compost (40%)
  • an aeration component - (pearlite or coco core) (20%)

The importance of Ph


Tomatoes require six to eight hours of sun a day (full sun) for photosynthesis and food production.


Nutrients, fertilizers and plant food

Soil nutrients and plant food

Although not of tomatoes, the following pictures taken by Scott Nelson in NC State Extension Publications from their gardener handbook show the devastating effect on plants of deficiencies of N, P and K:

Nitrogen deficiency on in Bacopa. Note the severely reduced growth and light green-yellow leaves.

Phosphorus deficiency exhibiting as purple leaves on this lettuce.

Potassium deficiency, chlorotic flecking and necrotic spots on older leaves.


All fertilizers are labeled with three numbers, giving the percentage (by weight) of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). This is referred to as the fertilizer grade.


Solid fertilizer

Liquid fertilizer