Fertilizer is not plant food, they produce their own food in their leaves and stems using the energy from the sun. A far better way to think of fertilizer is as a tonic, a vitamin and mineral supplement. Your plants need nutrients from the fertilizer to grow and stay healthy.
- Fertilizing is simple if you follow these general rules:- Do not fertilize when the soil is dry.
- Water thoroughly the day before you fertilize because nutrients in contact with dry roots will burn sensitive root hairs.
- It is best to wait three weeks or so before fertilizing new plants.
- If you fertilize in hot weather(29C) it should be done with caution, if at all. Increased living processes of plants during hot weather use up nutrient reserves faster. However, rapid uptake of fertilizers by summer-active roots could result in fertilizer burn. Increase the fertilization frequency, but decrease the amount applied each time.
- If your plant seems unhealthy - don't try to use fertilizer as medicine.
If your plant seems unhealthy - don't try to use fertilizer as medicine.
There are lots of reasons besides lack of nutrients that cause a plant to be pale or stunted.
Plants that are suffering from disease, insect attack or neglect will not benefit from extra fertilization. Try to determine the problem, cure that, and then continue the fertilizing program when the plant's general health has been restored.
March is the month generally set aside to begin feeding many of the trees and shrubs in the garden. Early spring feeding will help get them off to a good start early in the season.
You can get full value from the fertilizer you use, if you will follow a few basic procedures concerning application.
Spring feeding of individual plants is simple, if you will follow these general rules:-
- Evergreen trees and shrubs, including rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas, juniper cypress and broad-leaf evergreens, are fertilized with a rhododendron-type fertilizer.
- Deciduous trees and shrubs, which includes fruit, flowering and shade trees, roses, lilacs, forsythia, etc. are all fed with a rose or general garden-type fertilizer. Deciduous refers to trees and shrubs that lose their leaves during the winter.
- Perennials, annuals and vegetables are also fertilized with a rose or general garden fertilizer.