How to Fertilize a Garden

Views: 11714 | Last Update: 2008-06-16
How to Fertilize a Garden - Provided by eHow
Listen to these fertilizer tips for treating plants in your garden; take care of your garden or lawn with the gardening tips on soil composition in these free videos. View Video Transcript

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Travis Steglich

Video Transcript

In this segment we're going to talk about fertilizer replacement. It doesn't make any difference it your going to use organic or commercial fertilizer. Placement is going to be important because the plant has to be able to get to it during the time that it needs the nutrients for growth or production. So if you put it to far away from the plant, or put it to deep, the plants not going to get to during the time that it needs it and it's going to be wasted. If you've bought the ideal fertilizer, which is a 7-7-7 or something like that, what you'll do is, next to your growing plants, say you've got tomato plants that are 2 or 3 feet tall and you want to side dress them with a little fertilizer. You would go about 3-4 inches away from the stalk and make a trench, if the plants in a row, you'd make a trench down along side the row, 3 or 4 inches or 6 and you would put a few ounces of commercial fertilizer per foot of row and then incorporate it into the soil, mix it up, and water it. Now with this perfect organic that we have made, which would be about a 5-5-5 or a 7-7-7 or whatever or maybe that 6-6-6 that we weren't crazy about awhile ago. You'll have to do the same thing but you will have to put more of it. Probably 3 or 4 times as much, so instead of putting a few ounces you put 6 or 8 ounces of this stuff. If you've got individual plants, say you had tomato plants that were planted 3 or 4 feet apart in kind of a loose row situation. You wouldn't want to make a row or a trench that went all the way from one plant to another so you would go around the outside of each individual plant, in a circle, making that trench and mixing the fertilizer into it and then water it in, not excessively so that you wash it away, but water it in. You don't want to put it to deep because most of the feeder roots and most of the growth and most of the nutrient acquisition occurs in the top 6 inches of the soil in the feeder root area. You want to be careful with commercial fertilizers. We talked about it earlier segment about concentrated they are, how little it takes per acre to get the production up to what you want. When you start putting fertilizer especially nitrogen, and sulfur to some degree in the root zone area, your putting it where the fine feeder hair roots are. Those feeder roots are susceptible to burn. You can't put enough fertilizer, especially if you don't keep it accurately watered, enough nitrogen and some others to burn those little feeder routes off and then you've basically got a plant that's trying to eat with its fingers is trying to eat with it's wrists, it's hands cut off and you can't grow plants like that. They have to have the fine feeder roots so a little bit of fertilizer on a regular basis is better than a whole lot of fertilizer once during the growing season. It gets back to that pesticide deal, if a little is good, a whole lot is better, not necessarily and that's something that you don't want to do once you've established a plant and it's fixing to go into production, you don't want to kill it but cutting off its hands.