Time to Fertilize! After consulting my library, I’ve identified ninety-three little things that will lead to the easiest and best preparation for a beautiful and green year for you and your yard. I’ve divided them into six categories for you:
If you’d like more information, I’ve added links to as many of the plant names and terms as I could, so that should help. I also want to thank the authors of the following books which helped me put these items together:
Month by Month Gardening in Georgia by Walter Reeves & Erica Glasener
Taylor’s Guide to Gardening in the South edited by Rita Buchanan and Roger Holmes
Backyard Secrets of Garden Experts by Leslie Garisto
Ready? Let’s get started with Fertilizer!
53. Fertilize your flowering. annual plants.
54. Fertilize the seedlings you have grown indoors with water-soluble houseplant food once the True leaves have appeared (Not the round first leaves a sprout sends up to start gathering light). Once plants are a few inches tall, fertilize them every two weeks until they are ready to be planted outdoors.
55. Fertilize spring bulbs after they emerge, before flowering. Top dress with a water-soluble formula like 10-10-10 that will get to the roots quickly while the bulb is growing and before it blooms. For Daffodils, look for a formula such as 5-11-26.
56. Fertilize established fruit and nut trees when their leaves are sprouting. Rule of thumb is 1 pound of 10-10-10 per inch of tree trunk thickness. You will be repeating this feeding in May or June before the heat shows up.
57. Remember, a tree’s feeder roots (the small parts that actually gathers in nutrition for the tree) may extend twice as far as the tips of its branches. Few live close to a plant’s trunk so make sure you scatter the fertilizer evenly in a doughnut around the plant, applying at least half the fertilizer past the branch tips.
58. Orchids are native to areas with low nutritional levels so don’t over fertilize. Sparingly, use a houseplant fertilizer like 20-20-20 once a month. Seriously, no more than half the recommended feeding.
59. Lime raises the pH each of soil. This is important because soil pH determines how efficiently plants can absorb fertilizer. Most grass thrives in soil that has a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. If your soil pH is 5.5, only 50% of the phosphorus you apply will be used by your lawn.
60. Have your soil tested now to determine its pH.
61. If your perennials are slow growing, it is not necessary to use a commercial fertilizer on a regular basis. Instead, top dress with an organic material such as compost, Cow manure, horse manure, or other bagged product.
62. Roses need regular fertilization in order to grow the leaves and branches that will support new blooms. In March, top dress the soil under each plant with 1 cup bone meal and 1 cup cottonseed meal. Scratch it into the soil, and water with 1 gallon of water in which 1 cup Epsom salts have been dissolved.