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Fertilizer Facts: What, When, and How Often

Fertilizer Facts What, When, and How Often Why Plants Need Fertilizer Soil chemistry and structure can be altered by activities like: Intensive farming Construction Not all plants can access nutrients from Nutrients may not be in soil or have leached the soil or air out over time Traffic What Plants Need Three prime chemical elements found in all mixed fertilizers: Nitrogen [N]: Phosphorus [P]: Potassium [K]: Promotes healthy leaf growth by stimulating the production of chlorophyll Supports the development of roots, stems, blossoms, and fruit Helps root development and disease resistance • Chlorophyll is the main chemical involved in photosynthesis Proportions of N-P-K are stated as numbers on packaging: Check the label for the ratio, some are formulated for specific plants Example: A fertilizer labeled 20-20-20 means each chemical element contributes 20% by weight to the total formula Phosphorus [P] Phorpharus (P) 20-20-20 Nitrogen N Potassium [K] 18-24-6 • Remaining 40% is inert materials and trace elements Nitrogen [N] Percentages are offered in varying proportions Phosphorus P) Potassium [K] to suit different fertilizer needs 20-20-20 Nitrogen [N] • To boost flower production: 15-30-15, high in flower-developing phosphorus • To green lawn: 25-6-4, high in nitrogen Potassium (K] Trace elements are important to plant health Main trace elements in fertilizers: 20 29 42 Ca Cu Copper "Mo Molybdenum Calcium 12 25 5 Mg Magnesium Mn Manganese Boron 26 30 16 "Fe Zn Iron Zinc Sulfur Majority of commercially-produced fertilizers are inorganic. Some organic options are: BONE MEAL BLOOD MEAL Animal manure and compost: Bone meal: Blood meal: Contains few nutrients High phosphorus content Good source of nitrogen Types of Fertilizers There are two types of fertilizers for home gardening: Granular fertilizers: Deliver food to a plant slowly over a long period of time as they break down by water. Require one application every 6–9 months Broadcast application Best for covering Used to apply granular fertilizers to lawns or to new Done with a hand-rotary or drop spreader large areas beds before they are planted Top-dress application For plants: Apply fertilizer from the base to the drip line For vegetables: Place fertilizer in a strip parallel to the planting row Provides nutrients Done by hand with to individual plants granular fertilizers Water-soluble fertilizer: Fast acting but must be applied frequently Base application WATER SOLUBLE FETILIZERS Water soil at the plant's base with a watering Good for feeding container plants and vegetables Used with Follow the water-soluble fertilizers mixing instructions can or hose attachment When to Fertilize By Plant Type Feed a granular fertilizer in early spring after rains. Annuals Use a high high-phosphorus, WATER- SOLUBLE FETILIZERS water-soluble fertilizer 3-4 times during the growing season. Perennials Lawns Trees and shrubs Bulbs Roses Feed a granular fertilizer in Feed a granular fertilizer in Feed a granular fertilizer Feed a teaspoon Feed with a of bone meal for soluble fertilizer early spring each bulb hole in every 7 days during blooming spring and fall in spring and fall late fall season Vegetables Light feeders: Need a small amount of fertilizer when starting out, no additional feeding Bush beans Mustard greens Peas Southern peas Turnips Moderate feeders: Liquid plant food works well. Good drainage and moisture-holding mulch are important. Avoid use of manure on root vegetables as it can cause scabby patches on them. Beets Carrots Okra Pole beans Potatoes Sweet potatoes Heavy feeders: Liquid plant food works well. Feed once when warm weather hits and again later in the season. Broccoli Brussels sprouts Cabbage Cantaloupe Cauliflower Corn Cucumbers Eggplant Kale Kohlrabi Onions Peppers Rhubarb Squash Tomatoes Watermelon Application Guidelines Avoid applying before spring showers as Avoid applying on windy or rainy days Brush granular fertilizer off plant leaves to avoid leaf burn Feed only well-established plants nutrients will leach out May cause it to be misplaced and ineffective • Fertilizing seeds or tiny seedlings causes burn Remember, these are just guidelines. Be sure to read the directions before applying fertilizer to ensure your plants are happy and healthy all season long. • • • • • FIX .com

Fertilizer Facts: What, When, and How Often

shared by Ghergich on Aug 05
Fertilizer is a great way to boost the health of your soil and the amount your garden produces; however, it’s hard to know what to use, and when to use it. has created an infographic ent...




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