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ok a bit of background i have bean designing and building and improving a sytem to grow more food in small spaces. to do this i have bean using towers of trays with the plants in the trays. one of the problems i had was i couldn't use soil or any kind of solid feriser in the system. everything just dident work out that way
now to the product this is an excellent complete feed last summer i was growing not only tomatoes but onions letice and cumbers with just Levington Liquid Tomorite, water and a lightweight gravel made from clay. the results across the bored were fantastic. this feed resulted in fast growing plants that looked very healthy and they tasted fantastic.
the only short fall i found is that the bottle is the same size and shape as some bottles of weed killer which led to me almost killing off all my plants one night when i was home late and remembered i needed to feed the plants cant realy blame that on the product though
this is also grate value for money i used 2L in 1 year and although my growing space isent to bigest at 48 sq feet (even if it only took up 12 sq feet of ground space) it was all i was feeding the plants i was going through a meshering cap full of feed every week and i was getting a very high consistent crop (the better part of lunch for 2, 5 days a week)
I bought a bottle of Tomorite from my local independent gardening shop, it is quite a popular product and is quite widely available. I have seen it in Tesco and Wilkinson and I have also seen it on the internet on eBay and Amazon as well as gardening websites. The fact that this was specifically for tomatoes attracted me to it because I was growing tomatoes for the first time when I first bought this.
Tomorite comes in a red plastic bottle, mine contains 1 litre of the plant food. There are a range of different sizes available. On the front label there are pictures of nice, ripe looking tomatoes. The lid is one of those child-safe ones and on top of the lid is the cap which you measure the liquid in. There is plenty of information on the back, it shows which nutrients it contains and gives the directions for use. It also says that it will produce full flavoured tomatoes. the NPK of this is 24% 27% 48% NPK means nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. I have no idea what NPK actually stands for. Plants which produce fruit need the potassium to make the fruit so this has higher potassium than other plant foods, for example the ones for flowers.
You use a cap of the liquid diluted in 4.5 litres of water. I tend to use 5 litre water bottles to water my plants most of the time so I put in a cap and then a bit more, sometimes I put in a bit too much but you shouldn't go overboard if you don't want to ruin your plants! I use this sometimes weekly and sometimes fortnightly, I have also used it more often when I have thought the tomatoes needed it. If I have been feeding them a bit more often or using a stronger dilution then I make sure to give them plenty of water when I next water them.
My tomatoes did turn out redder, plumper and bigger and there seemed to be more of them! I noticed that the plants had a stronger smell which was nice and the tomatoes were definitely tasty and flavourful but I don't think that is completely because of the Tomorite at all although I think it definitely helped. I am glad I used Tomorite and I would definitely recommend it.
The first thing you should know about Tomorite is that it looks like it should just be a tomato feed, it comes in a bright red tomato coloured bottle, the picture on the front shows lush red juicy tomatoes and the product itself suggests it is a tomato feed. It does a lot more than feed tomatoes.
When to use it, and what on - Any vegetable plant you have will benefit from a feed of Tomorite as soon as the "fruits" of any vegetable plant are clearly visible. The plant itself will not really benefit from a feed until the crop is first appearing - if you want a natural fertiliser to help establish strong growth in the plant and roots then I recommend seaweed fertiliser. I use Tomorite on tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, marrows, squash and melons (for the first time last year I used on melons so cannot vouch if this had a positive affect on the produce),
How to use it - you dilute only 20ml in a 1 gallon watering can. I have two watering cans, one that I use for just water and another for feeding. I suggest doing the same to keep it separated from times where you only need plain water. A 1 Litre bottle of feed will basically give you 50 watering cans.
You only use it once every week or every 2 weeks depending on how the growth looks in the fruits. Keeping that in mind, a 1 litre bottle could last for a whole summer or even two depending on how much you grow.
When you water the plants that need feeding, only aim for the base of the plant (the soil in the pot near the stem base of the plant) and don't hit the leaves as this could have adverse effects on the plant itself (I splashed my leaves the first time I used this once and it stained them a whitish blue and damaged them slightly, they remained this way. I would say water without using a rose (head) on the watering can.
The temptation might be to store your bottle of Tomorite in the greenhouse with the tomatoes but the product needs to be stored in a cool place out of direct sunlight.
Where do buy it - buy from your local garden centre, it is much cheaper than buying it online with postage costs. I think I picked up my 1 litre bottle on offer for half price (around £2.50). I also bought some Seaweed fertiliser at the same time, both of these are pretty much all you need to ensure your plants and fruits are excellent.
We started using Tomorite when my father in Law ended up giving us semi started tomatoes and he gave us some of this to help the tomatoes grow. The last couple of years when growing our own tomatoes we have bought this ourselves as it helped give us such lovely tomatoes the first year.
You can buy this in many shops where they sell gardening equipment, we bought this at Wilkinsons this year ready for our tomatoes that are currently sprouting and it cost us £3.85 for a 1 litre bottle which considering how long it lasts is great value.
The product comes in a bright red plastic bottle so you most certainly cannot miss it, it has a picture of lovely looking ripe tomatoes on the front of it and of course the name. On the back of the bottle you are told that it contains magnesium which encourages a full flavoured crop of tomatoes. The bottle has a child safe lid on it which is always a good idea in my opinion although we keep ours on the kitchen windowsill so it is out of reach of the children anyway but you can never be too careful.
To use the product you simply have to pour a capful into 4.5 litres of water, I personally use 2 x 2 litre bottles and pour half a cap in each therefore I am actually using a slightly stronger concentration than is necessary. You should feed your tomatoes once a week and only after the first tomato has appeared apparently however personally I feed mine every 4-5 days and feed once the plants start to flower and my tomatoes were gorgeous even if I do say so myself!
We only ever grow cherry tomatoes and we have had a lovely crop for 2 out of 3 years, the weather caused us disasters with them last year and we gave in. We have our tomato seeds planted on our windowsill at the moment waiting for the weather to get a bit better before putting them outside. I cannot say how the tomatoes we grew would have been without using this however speaking to an old resident at work who always grew tomatoes he says you must always give them a good feed for lovely tasting crop and I most certainly have had that in previous years.
I would recommend this product it doesn't smell too great in my opinion and you can smell it for ages if you get it on your hands but it does help produce lovely tasting tomatoes, is easy to use and it is a decent price.
Last year I wanted to grow 100% organic tomatoes so I did not use any fertiliser at all and just used the good old sunshine and rain to grow my little crop. Alas this was not enough and I ended up with a bunch of grape sized hard green tomatoes which were embarrassing and inedible. This year I decided that I needed a little bit of help so I roped it Levington Tomato food.
==Price and availability==
The product costs around £3.48 pounds and you can buy it from Wilkinson's which is where I picked up my bottle from.
==Description and directions==
The red capped bottle contains 1Lt of tomato food in liquid form. The cap on the top is child safe so you need to push down to screw it off. The bottle contains a mixture of essential elements including magnesium which is important for the plants as encourages the fruit to be plumper and full of flavour. To use the product you should add 20ml of the liquid to your watering can and add 4.5 L of water. I used the product as soon as my plant started to bud and I used it every three days but I watered my plants a little more frequently than that as tomatoes need a lot of water.
I have grown salad tomatoes and some burly beef ones as Dolmio the pasta sauce sent me a packet of free seeds. I do not often use beef tomatoes but I thought I would grow them anyway. Firstly I would like to point out that my tomato plants had a much more potent, tomato smell this year, the slightest of breeze in the garden that rustled the plant leaves gave rise to a delicious tomato scent that smelled so fresh and delicious. I knew that this years crop was going to be much more successful from the off set. As soon as plants got quite tall and in the early budding stages I used the product. I had so many flowers and the tomatoes started forming quite quickly. There were so many tomatoes, one branch had nine tomatoes forming at one point! I would wake up every morning and there would be larger tomatoes and yes, they started to turn a lovely soft rose colour. I allowed some to ripen on the plants and picked them but I also picked some of the vines so that I could share them with my parents. They placed the vines in the window and allowed the sun to turn them a lovely deep red. I believe that the tomato food was to thank for the lovely tomatoes which tasted wonderful. I had less success with the beef tomatoes as I did not get as many but they were also big and juicy and tasted delicious in hot tomato soup.
WHAT IS IT?
Tomato feed for when you are growing your own tomatoes.
HOW DO YOU USE IT?
Add one cap of Tomorite to your watering can once or twice a week. Water your tomato plants as normal but avoid splashing the plant itself. You only start to feed your plants when the first tomatoes appear.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
I have used Tomorite for two years on my tomatoes and have seen bigger tomatoes and better crops than on previous years. I also think my tomatoes have a brighter colour and a better shine since I started using it. My tomatoes are full of flavour with a sweet and juicy texture that is very improved from the time before I used Tomorite.
WHAT I THINK
Tomorite has added seaweed for the minerals but also contains all the extra goodness your tomato plants need to thrive. The liquid is dark but doesn't smell of anything apart from being a bit earthy. It mixes with the water straight away and you can use the same water to water other plants because Tomorite won't hurt them even if it doesn't provide particular benefits to other varieties.
It is good to provide tomato plants with a specialist feed because though they are hardy I think tomato plants need a bit more than plain water. My plants grow strong now and yield large crops of tomatoes so that I have a surplus every summer now, we have had very wet and bad weather this summer but my tomatoes have not suffered from wrinkling or patchy colour and I attribute that to using Tomorite regularly and never skipping a dose. The stems of my plants are also stronger and they do not fall over even when not supported very well.
I buy a large 2 1/2 litre bottle because that works out more economical than buying the 1 litre bottles that need to be replaced every 5 weeks. The large version costs about £11.
5 Dooyoo Stars.
Actually you don't spray it - it's important not to get it on the foliage!
For the last couple of years we have been growing tomatoes in the greenhouse, with mixed results.
In Year 1 the tomatoes were very small and I didn't start feeding them until too late, I was later told. You ought to start when the first truss of fruit has set.
Last season I bought some Tomorite from our local garden centre (a 1 litre bottle for £2.99 - had to go back 6 weeks later and buy another) and the results were a lot better. Mind you, I was a bit more conscientious at looking after them as well, but the liquid feed was certainly doing its stuff.
At the recommended dilution a one litre bottle lasted me for about 50 watering cans full @ 5 litres capacity, so it is likely to prove more cost effective to buy the larger 2.5 litre size and depending on the number of plants you have, this could last you the full season.
I love it when it gets to the stage where you can count all your teeny tiny tomatoes and watch them grow big enough to eat - and of course they do taste much better than shop bought ones - all growers say that.
Tomorite is a concentrated liquid that you have to dilute according to the instructions (measure included) and use as a feed for your tomato plants. You can use it for other plants too but I used mine just for my toms and, later in the season for some chilli pepper plants which were a great success, keeping a watering can especially for it in the greenhouse.
It's a brown colour and is full of nutrients, carefully balanced to ensure that your plants get all the goodness they need to grow and prosper.
In this country especially, your plants need a bit of help and it pays to use a good quality growing medium rather than a cheap grow bag. To optimise your crop, your greenhouse should be well sited to get plenty of sun and the plants do need checking every day. They don't like it if you let them dry out.
We use a lot of the stuff but from now on will be looking for substitutes. With ageing wrists, we cannot get the lids off. This applies after every opening as the safety catch goes back on on closure and you have to start again. My cure is to cut through the outer red plastic cap to be left with the white inner screw cap. But I would rather save my fingers and buy from another source!
We all have our favourites. If it works for you, if you like it and trust it, then buy it and stick with it. Very subjective, this gardening thing. If you prefer Levington’s product to Fisons, or Bio, or B&Q’s own, then that’s what you should buy. But realistically, there are so many brand names on the shelves, but they are essentially all the same product in different packaging. So I’m not going to delve into differences between brands here, because I don’t consider there are any. So why am I here? Don’t worry, I’m not going wildly off topic (as I am prone to do at times). I do want to look at tomato fertiliser. But I want to consider it in a different light. Because the consumer is conditioned by marketing people to think in terms of product names, rather than content. And the tiny print on the back of the pack is far more informative than the name on the front. And with a basic knowledge of the elements which make up garden fertilisers, you can work out for yourself, very easily, just what the product is capable of. And then you don’t have to rely on the extravagant claims in big letters on the front. Plants, like ourselves, need a balanced diet. A plant’s diet consists of three main elements and a miscellany of trace elements. We can ignore the trace elements for our purposes here, because they are included in all branded composite fertilisers. But the main three vary in their proportions, and this is what you must look for. NPK. That’s all you need to remember. NPK. If you read a bag of Growmore, you will see somewhere on it something like 7-7-7, or 5-5-5. (Okay, I know. We gardeners are a strange lot. Real people read literature; gardeners read manure bags.) This refers to the ratio of N to P to K. N = Nitrogen P = Phosphorus K = Potassium Nitrogen is commonly known as nitrogen
(!), or nitrates. Phosphorus is better known as phosphate. And Potassium is known as potash. Right. Here’s what they do. Nitrogen promotes leaf growth. A feed with a high nitrogen content is used in spring and early summer to “green up” lawns. It is used to feed leaf vegetables, such as cabbage and lettuce. It is also the principal component of “quick-fix” foliar feeds such as Fillip, but in this context, it is used for cosmetic effect. If a plant is performing poorly, a quick dose of nitrogen will green up its leaves and make it look better for a wee while, but this is hardly a holistic approach to plant health. This treats the symptoms, but is not a cure. Phosphate stimulates root development, which is crucial to the plants well-being. Autumn lawn feeds are high in phosphates, the idea being to strengthen the root system for over-wintering. The reduction of nitrogen in lawn feed at this time is to avoid vigorous top growth with frost approaching, and the growing season coming to an end. Phosphate is also used as a boost for tatties, neeps and other root vegetables. (Sorry, I just can’t bring myself to use the alien terms “potatoes” and “turnips”. Who ever heard of haggis with potatoes and turnips? It just doesn’t have the same ring to it . . .). This boost is applied after the plant has enough top growth to sustain invigorated root development. Potash is the main element of tomato food. Thought you’d caught me out, eh? Thought I’d gone so far off topic I’d forgotten what I was writing about? Oh no, just leading up to the crux! Potash is what a plant needs lots of to swell and ripen fruit, to ripen shoots, and to form and develop flowers. Flowers? Yes, flowers. And I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t remember where – was it Freesias? - , so I’ll say it again. Tomorite, or any other tomato food, is all you’ll ev
er need for flowering houseplants. Don’t pay an arm and a leg for tiny bottles of fertiliser for your flowering houseplants. These are a marketing person’s concept. House plant food is just a basic high-potash fertiliser, same as tomato food. See, I’ve come right back to the original point. Read the small print. Understand the chemical content, and you can cut down drastically on the number of products you buy. Now back to NPK. Growmore, as I said, is a 7 – 7 – 7 (or a 5 – 5 – 5). Depends on the manufacturer, but the result is the same. If I’ve confused you a little, let me anticipate the question. Growmore is not a brand name. Growmore is produced by many manufacturers, but to be sold as Growmore, it must be to the specified formulation. Growmore was developed as National Growmore, by or on behalf of the Government during or immediately after WWII, to assist in feeding the nation. Sorry about the vagueness, but despite allegations to the contrary, I’m not old enough to remember. The formulation has remained, and indeed become a national institution, as the definitive balanced fertiliser. Where was I? Yes, NPK. Tomato food is not neat potash. Like I said earlier, plants need a balanced diet. So you can increase certain elements for certain purposes, but you still have to give them a bit of the other too. For example, a high nitrogen spring lawn feed is a 20 – 10 – 10 (NPK). So it still has a proportion of the other essentials, but it is higher in nitrogen. Likewise, tomato food may be a 7 – 7 – 17 (NPK) – a high potash content, but still containing the necessary others. Don’t be tempted to buy “straight” fertilisers, unless you really know what you’re doing. Neat nitrogen, or neat potash, or neat any other will usually do more harm then good. And always apply all chemical fertilisers at the recomm
ended rates or less. Do not exceed them. If your plants suddenly get a far richer diet than they’re used to, they will suffer, the same as you or I would suffer. To summarise, then. Go to the Garden Centre. Pick up the products. Ignore the brand name. Turn to the back and read the NPK analysis. Read the ratio. Then decide. Sorry. I did try to stick to tomato food. It just didn’t quite work out. Aspen clings desperately to topic by a very thin thread. Again.
Of all the many tomato feeds I have tried I am most pleased with Levingtons on an all round basis. A concentrated liquid feed, this product is easy to add to your watering regime once a week. This feed has extra seaweed added which is mineral and nutrient rich. Despite the added seaweed there is very little odour but the liquid is a very rich, dark brown colour. Available in 1litre bottles, one of the best features is the attached measuring cup. This makes using the correct amount of feed to water as without a measuring cup it is easy to add too much. The Levingtons feed is one measuring cup full to one 7-8litre watering can. Many feeds use their cap as a measuring device which leads to a very messy bottle top - the Levington system is far easier, exact and less messy. I've found the average price for a 1litre bottle £2.99 and it is available in most garden centres and household stores. The amount you use is dependent on the size of your garden and crops. I've found a weekly feed is enough to produce a noticable improvement in growth and keep plants at their best. I use the feed for both my food crops and as a general feeder for other plants, including some indoor plants. In fact I would strongly recommend giving summer bedding and flowering plants a weekly feed as I find this increases and prolongs their blooming.
Liquid feed for tomatoes