Now it’s time to fertilize garden plants. You might be wondering why plants need extra nutrition, which fertilizer to use, and how to apply it to your plants. How and when you use fertilizers will impact your plants, so it’s good to know the best way to use them. Fertilizers help plant growth through various stages, from budding to flowers and fruit production. Plants use a lot of nutrients from the soil and need a great deal of energy for strong roots and leaves for photosynthesizing. Applying fertilizers can help ensure your plants have everything they need to thrive.
How to Know it’s Time to Fertilize Garden Plants
First, fertilizer isn’t used to keep plants alive. It’s used as a growing aid and to help them flourish.
If you have mulched your beds and borders and looked after your soil, you may not need any fertilizer because allowing plants to grow naturally in good soil is always the best way.
In certain circumstances, it will be needed, such as if you are growing in pots and containers, which will need to be fertilized throughout the growing season.
The right time to start fertilizing plants is as they begin to actively grow in springtime and throughout summer, but not as they go into the end of their growing season.
Trees and shrubs are mainly only fertilized once a year in early spring but it is often not necessary. Mainly, fertilizers are used for fruit, vegetables, and bedding plants.
What Fertilizers to Use
There are many fertilizers to use from organic garden compost, well-rotted manure, mushroom compost, and seaweed, which will all feed the soil.
- Synthetic fertilizers have a higher concentration of nutrients and are available as pellets, granules, powders, and liquids.
- Controlled-release fertilizers are granules coated with a porous material that allows water to get in and the fertilizer to release into the soil.
- Slow-release fertilizers degrade slowly and are often organic.
There are many liquid fertilizers to choose from, including seaweed and plant-based, which you mix with water to apply. Or you can make your own from comfrey or nettle foliage in a bucket of water and then use diluted.
How to Apply Fertilizers
It depends on the type of fertilizer you are using, so it is essential to read the instructions on the fertilizer you have chosen. Some will need diluting. Some will be applied directly or mixed in the soil. Never overuse, and always make sure your fertilizer is safe for wildlife, pets, and children.
We have a range of fertilizers in store and assistants to help you choose. Visit our centre in Calgary.