Knowing when to fertilize plants is just as crucial as using the right fertilizer. Fertilizers are useless when you apply them at a time when a plant cannot use them. Every gardener knows that their knowledge of fertilizers and their application will go a long way in ensuring healthy plant growth. Getting to know the basics of fertilizing is a helpful tool in helping you create a beautiful garden with perfect balance and longevity.
Fertilizers contain lots of benefits, especially for plant growth and production. The best way to maximize these is to know when to fertilize your plants. Scheduling your fertilization schedule is a useful tool in helping your plants survive. Here are other tips you can count on in terms of fertilizing your plants.
Why Fertilizers Are Essential to your Plants
There is a common misconception that all the nutrients your plants need are present in the soil and air. However, that is not enough. Not all plants have access to the critical nutrients found in the air or soil. Soils contain different nutritional ingredients. This is why the ground should be inspected first before you plant your seedlings, and you should know exactly when to fertilize plants. Construction, traffic, and intensive farming can alter soil structure and chemistry. This can limit the nutrients for your plants’ use.
For the above reasons, garden keepers must replenish or replace these elements that are beyond the reach of the plants. On the flip side, it is also possible to overfeed your plants. Applying too much fertilizer can damage and eventually kill your plants. Has your soil tested before using any fertilizer? This way, you can select the type and formula that suits your plants’ nutritional needs. In the end, if you are meticulous enough, these plants will reward you with the biggest flowers, leaves, fruits, and vegetables.
Types of Fertilizer Application
This kind of method gives your plant food while you water them. The base application is used with water-soluble fertilizers. You can follow the mixing instructions and then water the soil with a hose attachment or watering can at the plant’s base. This method is ideal for feeding container vegetables and plants.
This method is somewhat similar to the base application. However, rather than on the soil, water is applied to the leaves. It is the best method for the proper absorption of trace elements such as iron.
The broadcast application covers large areas well and is often used to apply granular fertilizers to new beds or laws before they are planted. You can use this using a drop spreader or hand rotary.
With this technique, you can provide nutrients to individual plants like shrubs and perennials by hand with granular fertilizers. You can apply the fertilizer around the plant’s base, extending up to the drip line. For fertilizing vegetables, you may place the fertilizer on a planting row in a strip parallel.
When to Fertilize Plants
You should know the right time when to fertilize plants to help your garden thrive. It is just as important as choosing the right fertilizer for your plants. There is no point in fertilizing at the wrong time since your plants will not absorb that. Here are some of the guidelines on when to feed plants.
- Do not fertilize before the spring showers. If you do, you will be wasting so much money since the nutrients will leach out of the soil.
- Annuals should be fertilized with a high-phosphorus and water-soluble fertilizer. This should be done three to four times during the growing season. Another thing to remember is that lawns benefit most from the second granular application come early fall.
- Trees and shrubs, especially those with flowers, prefer doses of balanced granular fertilizer in the spring and the fall.
- Late fall is a great time to fertilize bulbs, especially if you are doing so for the first time. Adding a teaspoon of bonemeal to the bulb holes is generally sufficient.
- Roses are a little high-maintenance and have big appetites. You must nourish them with a soluble fertilizer every seven days, especially during their blooming season.
- Feed only well-grown or blooming plants. Fertilizing seedlings will cause fertilizer burn.
How to Apply Fertilizer
To estimate, three pounds (1.5 kg) of nitrogen per 1000 square feet is adequate for woody plants. You may choose to adjust this to half that rate for ornamental plants. Perennials, on the other hand, can benefit from only one pound (0.5 kg) of nitrogen per 1000 square feet.
It is also essential to determine the right time of the day to fertilize. For repeated applications to vegetables, it is best to apply during the coldest time of the day. You can fertilize plant spikes and granular formulas when you are watering so the nutrients can reach the plants’ roots. This also helps prevent root burn.
In all fertilizer applications, it is always a good idea to water your plants thoroughly. This is to get the plant food to where it needs to be. Always perform a soil test and avoid excessive fertilizer.
May this brief list of guidelines give you ample knowledge of fertilizers and when to fertilize plants. Remember to put the right amount of fertilizers. Too much of anything is enough. Like any other living things, be gentle with your plants, and they will absolutely thank you for it. There are specific measurements and periods when you can fertilize your plants, so be precise when doing this. If you are looking forward to a bountiful harvest or beautiful blooms, then knowing some critical points in gardening is a big help. Find out more tips about gardening.