Jerry Bakers Magic Tomato Plant Food Recipe

Plants in the ground!
Plants in the ground!
Feeling pretty cool,
with my Plants in the ground!
Low and behold, Utah has finally had a Sunny Saturday in May.
Praise it all…my vegetable garden has finally been planted.
I always get a little worn out (and sunburned) on the planting day, but once the old girl is in…she is in!
There is just something wonderful about digging a bit in the dirt.
Planting some sort of living thing.
Watching it grow into something bigger and better than it was.
Benefiting from the harvest it will bare…..
It really is an amazing cycle.
I wanted to share a little Tomato Plant Food recipe that my dear Grandmother has passed on to me. I tried it last year and my tomatoes had never been so good!  
I thought you might like to know about it. I wanted to give a little  heads up as well. I have several FABULOUS garden tomato recipes I’m planning on posting towards the end of the summer when my tomatoes are ripe. 
Canned Salsa
Canned Spaghetti Sauce
and Canned Sweet Pepper Relish…
are all on just waiting on deck.
I also wanted to mention the fabulousness of planting onion bulbs. Do you ever find yourself purchasing green onions and then having them go bad on you before you can make your
I sure as goodness do. For the past several years I have been planting onion bulbs. I plant them pretty close together and then use them for green onions. The beauty of it is…
…they don’t turn rotten in the dirt like they do in my fridge….
….if I don’t rush out to pick them, they just keep on a growing….
….they will grow in cool and warm weather……
….they are lovely to look at……
All good reasons to get some planted in the ground. Look for onion BULBS, not the seeds. I planted these about 6 weeks ago and have been using them in salads and other fine things for 2 weeks now. Give it a try!
Here are a few pictures I took today of the spring flowers and plants we have been enjoying in our yard. Keep scrolling down for the Tomato Plant Food Recipe.
Who knew that this lovely Oregano plant would come around for a second year? I was under the impression it was a one year gig. What a beauty! What should we make with it?
Magic Tomato Plant Food please do NOT feed to humans! I bet compost would taste pretty grainy. The little wood chips might get stuck in your teeth and who knows what it might do to your digestive system. I’m just sayin…leave this concoction for the red beauties. 
Yield: will feed about 6 tomato plants
Time: 5 minutes
Recipe from Jerry Baker
3 C compost/mulch/dirt
1/2 C Epsom salt
1 T baking soda
1/2 C powdered milk
1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bucket.
2. Place a handful of the mixture into the hole you are digging for your tomato plant. If you have already planted you can sprinkle a handful of the mixture around the stem of the plant and then water.

Post a comment!


  1. 1
    May 16, 2010 at 3:40 am

    Can you put this on the tomatoes after they have been planted? We took advantage of this nice Utah weather today too. Oh and I loved your song! 😉

    • 2
      January 7, 2016 at 3:48 am

      Can you put this on the tomatoes after they have been planted?

      • 3
        Peggy thomas
        May 24, 2020 at 7:09 am

        Absolutely yes! I am going to do it today. I usually put it in the hole but I didn’t have it mixed yesterday when I planted

  2. 4
    May 16, 2010 at 4:11 am

    Jamie, will you just come and plant a garden for me? 'Cause yours looks fabulous. You are a very good photographer on top of being a very good cook. 🙂 Thanks for making me want to plant something. 🙂

  3. 5
    May 16, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I'm with Tori, I've already planted my tomatoes. Can this mixture be used after planting them? Maybe if you mixed it with water and poured it on each plant?

    Beautiful photos of your flowers!

  4. 6
    May 16, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Plants on the ground.. Hehe..U r funny!
    Congratulations on those gorgeous plants!

  5. 7
    May 16, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Love the “plants in the ground, plants in the ground” little ditty. Haha. That dang “song” (if you could call it that) has been in my head ever since 1st hearing it. I think I like your words a might bit better! Shoot! I wish I would have read your concotion before planting mine…cause my plants are now finally in the ground too! Next year. I love that Jerry Baker, he's got some great concoctins, ones that have caused us to purchase certian alcoholic beverages..and may I say even some chew! So, if you see me in the store buying any of that stuff, I'll just blame it on Jerry Baker. 😉 Looking forward to your tomato recipes!

  6. 8
    May 16, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Tori and April,
    If you've already got “Plants in the Ground!” you can mix up this recipe and just sprinkle a handful of it around the base of your plants, then water and you'll still get some of the good effect. Good Luck!

  7. 9
    May 17, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Can you add after the plant is already in the ground? Maybe around the stem?


    • 10
      May 11, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      People read it ,it says if you have already planted your tomatoes sprinkle on top of soil , and water

  8. 11
    May 18, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Is this like a plant food that you have to routinely give the plants or is it a one time thing?

  9. 12
    May 18, 2010 at 4:28 am

    I'm wondering the same thing as Tori….is this applied only when you plant the tomatoes, or do you do feed the plant throughout the growing season with it?

  10. 13
    May 18, 2010 at 9:50 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. 14
    May 18, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Thanks Jamie, I'm going to give it a try. 🙂

  12. 15
    May 18, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Tori and Cindi,
    Last year I only applied it when I planted the tomatoes. My Grandma has mentioned to me that you can also just sprinkle a bit of powdered milk around on the soil throughout the season. I haven't tried that, but it sounds like a good idea. Also, I have another recipe that you mix up and spray on the plants around the fourth of July or when your plants start to get blossoms on them, that seemed to work very well. It has beer in it…! Who would have thought. I'll try and get that one posted soon so you can use it as well. Thanks for your questions gals! Here's to hoping we all grow a great big crop!

    • 16
      June 11, 2018 at 10:03 am

      Jamie, would you share the recipe for blossoming tomatoes, the one with beer. Thank you

  13. 17
    May 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Hi Jamie,

    I have not got my tomato plants yet. What is the best kind to get. Their are a ton of different kinds and names. Any tips? I want the baby tomatoes as well as bigger ones.
    Amy Dansie

  14. 18
    May 19, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I love you, love you, love you for posting this! This week is “Plant the Tomatoes Before Hubby Has A Stroke” week. I want to can oodles of tomatoes this year (last year was a bust after my dear 7 year old hosted an Epic light saber battle in the tomato jungle), so I need my plants to really grow and produce. I'm going to mix up a big batch!
    I also love using the baby onions in place of green onions. You are brilliant!

  15. 19
    May 19, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    We usually plant an assortment of tomatoes. Brandywine, Early Girl, Beef Steak, Lemon Boy (they are yellow) and Better Boy are all good for canning and eating. For the small tomatoes we usually do both Red and Yellow Pear and Grape Tomatoes. All heavenly delicious! Good Luck!

    Tightwad Mom,
    A Lightsaber battle among your tomatoes! Who would have thought! May the force be with you…

  16. 20
    June 3, 2010 at 4:49 am

    what a delightful site! i came for the tomato food, but will return for the yummy looking recipies! thank you!
    powdered milk, eh? who woulda thought… guess if it doesn't work, i can always host a neighborhood 'epic battle' party… lol!

  17. 21
    February 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    great post

  18. 22
    Kathy Bennett
    March 24, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Like a previous poster, I came for the tomato food, and will stay for the rest of the story. Hoorah!!!!

  19. 23
    Leo Trahan
    May 9, 2013 at 10:31 am


  20. 24
    July 5, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I could not resist commenting. Well written!

  21. 25
    April 16, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I’m going to use this formula on my tomatoes, but would like to know if I can also use it on my flowers as well? Thank you so much for the recipe..

  22. 26
    John Pajtas
    January 24, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    The last two years my tomato plants have dropped their leaves after the tomatoes have gotten green. The tomatoes get ripe but the smaller ones don’t get any bigger but do get ripe. I believe I have a blight. What do I do?

  23. 27
    November 7, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    the powdered milk is a new thing but then i spray with sugar water the day before transplanting tomatoes and sugar sprinkled around plant a few days before harvest makes them sweeter – guess all the sugars in beer will work too!!

  24. 28
    September 19, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Ran across this post, love the way you put things. From Missouri, if you have Pintrest site let me know please, might use your recipes..

  25. 30
    Susan Coro
    June 17, 2019 at 7:13 am

    As I copied the recipe for the tomato mix is that 1 tbs or 1 tsp. Thanks

  26. 31
    Mary Lou
    July 17, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    I have been using Epsom salts for years, that is what my mom did too. Aa new problem this year has bee the deer have roamed in and eaten the main ste tops off the tomatoes. I think out of 24 they missed 4. Is there any hope for the rest of the tomatoes?

  27. 32
    Bruce Munck
    April 13, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    I live in South Carolina and have had mixed, but mostly bad, results growing tomatoes. The dirt in my yard ranges from quite sandy to an almost ash-consistency. There are spots I can push my hand straight down with very little resistance and eight inches down the soil feels hot. I ran across a Jerry Baker tonics book at a Goodwill store recently and picked it up for two dollars. The tomato recipe you published is in the book along with numerous others and I have begun some plants this year using one of Jerry’s recipes. I also put a teaspoon of sugar in each hole before moving the tomatoes to their planting pots, per one of his suggestions. I still have the plants in pots, but will prepare a spot for them in the yard very soon by removing the ‘dead’ dirt and replacing it with a mixture of compost, manure, newspapers, and plant food. So far the plants are looking healthy and I have hope that they will reward me with a good harvest. I love fresh tomatoes from the vine!

  28. 33
    May 28, 2020 at 5:45 am

    can you use this for any plants and veg or just tomatoes, as I have salad carrots onions tomatoes sprouts strawberrys and a few other bits groing both I beds and in the ground.

  29. 34
    Anita W
    June 4, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    Years ago I read a Jerry Baker formula for the tomato hole that included a couple tea bags, some tums and Epsom salts and a garlic clove.
    I’ve always wondered what benefit the tea has? But have continued to use them all to great results

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