Garden Fertilizer

How to Fertilize a Garden


In most areas of the country, it takes fertilizer to have a healthy and successful garden. For the best results, a garden should be fertilized starting in the fall. The extra time spent preparing soil for a garden will result in a garden that is well worth the work.


Difficulty: Moderate


Step One

Purchase a soil testing kit from a garden nursery. Test the soil in the garden bed after it has been tilled under in the fall.

Step Two

Add lime to the garden if it has a pH of 5.8 or lower. This means it's acidic. Add iron sulfate, powdered sulfur or aluminum sulfate to the soil if the pH is 7.2 or higher, which means it's alkaline.

Step Three

Add iron sulfate, powdered sulfur, aluminum sulfate, lime and manure to the soil in the fall. Allow the nutrients to soak into the soil during the winter months.

Step Four

Plant vegetables in groupings according to their fertilizer needs. Plant beans, peas, radishes, watermelons and turnips near each other because they require less fertilizer. Plant cabbage, tomatoes, sweet corn, beets, carrots, onions, celery and potatoes together because they all require more fertilizer.

Step Five

Apply fertilizer in the spring as soon as the soil is workable. Use a 4-6-4 mixture of fertilizer.

Step Six

Use organic fertilizer if you prefer. Follow the bag directions carefully to achieve the best balance of nutrients in the soil.

Step Seven

Fertilize the vegetable garden weekly to monthly throughout the summer, depending on the level of nutrients in the soil. Apply fertilizer to the base of the plants and avoid getting it on the foliage.

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