Gardening with Sam:Learn how to apply fertilizers

Your goal when feeding your plants is to ensure the fertilizer is distributed evenly.

Liquid plant foods are absorbed quickly by roots. When using dry foods, scatter them over the soil’s surface between plants, keeping the fertilizer away from plant stems, and then cultivate it into the soil. If dry fertilizer lands on plants, it can burn them, so brush it off plants and into the soil.

Always water after fertilizing if rain isn’t on the horizon. Since all nutrients are water soluble, good soil moisture is essential.

The frequency of feeding depends on the plants as well as soil type, prevailing weather conditions and the type of fertilizer. Plants growing in pots or competing in close quarters need feeding more often. Organic fertilizers can be used less often than most synthetic fertilizers other than slow-release ones.

The best time for feeding is early in the growing season. Ease off plant food late in the season, when plant growth should be allowed to slow in preparation for winter.

Container gardens require consistent feeding because frequent watering flushes nutrients of the soil. Before potting plants, mix organic or time-release fertilizer into potting soil to make feeding easy then use liquid food to boost plants later on if need be.

Foliar fertilizer is an efficient means of feeding plants through their leaves. A solution is sprayed on foliage and absorbed.

Here are few fertilizer tips:

  • Tapped into soil at the base of a tree or shrub, spikes dissolve slowly.
  • Side dressing sprinkle granular fertilizer over soil and scratch into soil.
  • Organic spike nutrients move through potting mix rapidly.
  • Broadcast using a spreader over a lawn or garden before rows.
  • Starter solution is a specialty fertilizer for seedling and transplants.
  • Feeding annuals, water plants with soluble fertilizer.
  • Feeding indoors, a fork works well for carefully mixing granular.
  • Feeding roses, start the season giving roses a boost by working into alfalfa meal and place banana peel and Epsom salts.
  • Comfrey tea: Make this nutrient-rich brew by steeping the large leaves of the herb in water, covered, for several days then use it as a liquid or foliar fertilizer.
  • Foliar feeding: A soluble fertilizer (fish emulsion) is diluted in water sprayed on plant foliage and absorbed by the leaves.

Maybe some of these tips will help. Everyone has their own way of watering and fertilizing. You are the only one who knows your soil and where the pots and gardens are located in the yard.

Enjoy the garden and reap the rewards.

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