Another key way to care for your landscaping investment is to fertilize properly. When fertilizing is not done, newly planted landscapes and established landscapes will slowly deteriorate over time. Don’t fret, it is never too late to start feeding now.
How often should I fertilize?
Minimum fertilizing requirements would be at least 3 times a year. There are techniques that would allow you to feed monthly except in winter. Different types of fertilizer last in the soil different lengths of time, so how often you feed depends on the type of fertilizer you use.
What type of fertilizer should I use?
Granular: look for homogenized pellets and use on lawns and shrubs, can last six weeks or longer.
Tabs and Spikes: use on large trees and palms, can last up to a year.
Powder and liquid: use on annuals and perennials, can be gone within a week.
Organic: use on vegetables and fruit trees, usually a slower release 2 – 3 months.
When should I fertilize?
Fertilizing can be done throughout the growing season. Try to respond to what the plants are doing. If it is early spring and they are growing new leaves, feed a nitrogen rich fertilizer. If plants are setting flower buds and are getting ready to bloom, feed a high phosphorous fertilizer. If you are not sure just use an all-purpose fertilizer.
How do I apply the fertilizer?
Drop spreader: granular type and for lawns only.
Broadcast spreader: granular type and use for lawns and planter beds.
Hose end sprayers: powder and liquid type and use on annuals, perennials and lawns. If you don’t have any of the above equipment you can carefully spread the fertilizer out by hand or use a watering can. Take care to spread evenly.
In conclusion, be sure to read the labels in their entirety and follow instructions carefully. If any doubt persists err on the side of not enough rather than too much as you can always apply a second application. Also, it is a good idea to know the height of your trees, size of your shrubs and square footage of your lawn areas.