How to Apply Soil Analysis Fertilizer for Vegetables


Conducting a soil test for fertility of a vegetable garden is the most accurate method for controlling the soil's nutritional level. In some cases, the analysis may be broken down into two categories: starting and maintenance fertilizer applications. Starting fertilizers are applied before vegetable plantings, while maintenance fertilizers are applied to growing plants. The optimum time for application of the recommended amounts of fertilizer is during the initial tilling or cultivation stage. After vegetables are planted and growing well, other techniques must be employed to feed nutrients to developing plants.

Step 1

Follow the recommend amounts and application rates as provided by the soil test results. Most soil test analyses state amounts of fertilizer required for specific vegetables.

Step 2

Make a furrow, using the handle of the garden rake, 3 inches to either side of the growing vegetable plant row. The furrow must be 2 to 3 inches deep. Exercise caution not to disturb the vegetable roots when creating the fertilizer furrow.

Step 3

Apply the recommend amounts based upon the soil test analysis, spreading the fertilizer inside the furrow down the length of the plant row. This method is called side dressing vegetables.

Step 4

Cover the fertilizer with soil using the tines of the garden rake.

Step 5

Irrigate the fertilizer into the soil with plenty of water. Apply 1 to 2 inches of water to the soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never apply an herbicide and fertilizer combination, weed and feed, to vegetables. The results will be deadly to the growing plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test
  • Fertilizer
  • Garden rake
  • Irrigation


  • University of Missouri: Steps in Fertilizing Garden Soil
  • Ohio State University: Fertilizing Vegetable Garden Soils
Keywords: feed grown vegetables, fertilize vegetable plants, healthy vegetable plants

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.