We’ve seen all of the late night TV commercials and social media ads telling us that if you just use this one simple fertilizer then your garden will suddenly be bursting with blue ribbon quality fruits and vegetables. However, if you happen to pick up some of that fertilizer at the local big box store or have it shipped to your door, then you’re left wondering, “how the heck do I go about using this stuff?” You may be tempted to just dump it out on your seedlings and then walk away and grab a stiff drink, but please don’t do that just yet! In today’s article we’re going to cover the basics of garden fertilizer use and how you can get your garden up to speed in no time.
When Should You Fertilize?
If you haven’t already done it, then now is the best time before summer wears on any longer. Ideally, the best time is during the spring BEFORE you plant everything. Doing this allows the fertilizer goodness to do its work and get all the way down to the root level of the soil before you plant your crops.
What If You’ve Already Planted?
Don’t give up! If you’ve already planted, but without first fertilizing, then you can still do it. It will just be tricky. You will need to carefully take small scoops of your fertilizer mixture and work them around your seedlings or small plants being careful not to get too much or any fertilizer on the leaves as this can burn them. Stay away from liquid fertilizer or use very little as it can damage younger plants after they’ve started sprouting.
Is Liquid Soluble Plant Food A Good Part Of A Fertilization Routine?
Yes, we recommend using a liquid soluble plant food every two to three weeks during the summer and on through the growing and harvesting season of your plants. If you don’t want to do this then you can do a slow-release fertilizer once a month (much easier if you’re busy!).
Should You Water Right After Fertilizing?
In short, yes! Watering after applying fertilizer can help it get down to the root area where it will do the most good. We also recommend that you water before and after fertilizing since applying fertilizer to dry soil can make it less effective as well. Always water it in after!
Don’t Forget To Test Your Soil Before Buying Or Applying
At your local big box store you can find garden soil test kits. Grab a couple at the beginning of each season to see what the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels of your soil are. They can vary from year to year. Once you test, then you can match your results to the best type of fertilizer for your garden.
We hope that today’s guide will help you be better prepared to tackle all of your gardening needs this year. Enjoy your summer! Remember, no matter the time of year, there is always something fun to do around Boise and Meridian. I am happy to help with any questions about home and garden, buying, selling, real estate, and beyond! Give me a call today, I’d love to hear from you.