If you are new to gardening, it may seem slightly overwhelming to try to figure out what type of fertilizer is needed for your plants. Whether you use conventional or organic means of fertilization, ensuring that your plants have the proper nutrition is essential to their health. Using a simple soil pH test can help you figure out how you may need to amend your soil for optimal results. Speaking to your local garden center and reading more about each individual plant species, coupled with the results of your pH test, will tell you everything you need to know.
Test the pH level of your soil according to the directions included with your soil pH test kit. Different kits work in different ways, so it is important to read the directions. This will tell you how acidic or basic your soil may be. If you are still in the planning stages of your garden, this may help to influence your choice of plants. With very acidic soil, you might want to try your hand at planting blueberry bushes, for example.
Speak with the experts at your local garden center regarding the specific fertilization needs of any plants you are thinking of planting. While most seed packets will state their fertilization needs quite plainly, seedlings do not always come with such precise instructions. Try garden specialists, who in this case may be more helpful than customer service people at big stores, due to their expertise.
Consult an online gardening database, such as Fine Gardening or the Royal Horticultural Society. By simply inputting the name of a plant in which you are interested, you can easily find a wealth of information about how best to grow it. This will include the plant's hardiness zone and sun and water requirements, in addition to fertilizer preferences.