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Vegetable Garden Plant Food

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Vegetable Garden Plant Food

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Overview

Vegetables are heavy feeders. This means that in the single season they are grown, they will almost always consume large amounts of soil nutrients. In order to maintain vitamin rich soil for future growing seasons and obtain the best harvests, vegetable gardens should be fed regularly with plant food.

Significance

Plant food provides garden plants with the essential nutrients to grow. Vegetables require specific nutrients including magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and iron to produce large, healthy fruits and vegetables. Foods are especially essential in rural areas as the soil tends to be lacking in most essential nutrients.

Function

Vegetable garden plant food provides instant nourishment for the plant's root systems to absorb. All-purpose liquid fertilizers can be poured directly onto the plant's root system and watered in for quick absorption. Also, if using organic fertilizers, many nutrients are slow releasing, meaning that they will remain in the soil for the plant to absorb over time.

Time Frame

Most plants should be fertilized at least once when they are starting to sprout flowers. With perennials and trees, fertilize the plants again after harvest, to give the plants ample nutrients for winter. When using organic fertilizers, is it also recommended to apply them a season before actually planting the area, to provide the plant with ample nutrients immediately.

Benefits

Vegetable garden plant food provides the plants with the nutrients necessary for healthy foliage and fruit production. Healthy plants are also more disease and pest resistant, so they will require less pest control methods.

Considerations

If using a chemical plant food in your vegetable garden, avoid placing it on any young plants, as it will burn the root systems and stunt the plants' growth. If you feel that the young plants are not growing sufficiently well, consider using organic fertilizers instead, such as fish emulsion fertilizers, which will not damage the root systems. Finally, be sure to check the soil's pH at the end of the vegetable's growing season, as many chemical fertilizers will change the soil's pH making it more acidic. If this occurs, than additional fertilizers will need to be tilled into the soil to keep the garden at a neutral pH.

Keywords: vegetable garden care, fertilizing vegetable gardens, vegetable gardening

About this Author

Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer, web developer, and tech support representative. He has 3 years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. He is currently a Master's of Software Engineering student and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.

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