Green Thumbs Not Required: A Guide to Proper Fertilizer Usage

Gardening is difficult even for expert gardeners. Plants are fickle beings that need a specific set of conditions to grow properly. It’s also hard to identify what the causes of their problems are. They can look healthy one day but start to wilt in another.

If your plants haven’t been looking bright and lively, you might need to reconsider your plant care methods properly. There’s a proper balance to attain when it comes to watering or fertilizing. People tend to have an especially wrong approach for the latter; fertilizer isn’t a plant panacea.

People misuse fertilizer because they don’t fully understand how it works. Applying it in excess will do more harm than good for the plant. However, it’s also hard to determine the right amount to use. Reduce your garden woes by learning more about proper fertilizer usage.

Essential Nutrients

Plants need certain minerals to function and grow properly. Their primary method of nutrient intake is through the roots, which makes soil quality important when it comes to gardening. Properties built near natural deposits tend to have healthier plants.

Gardens in cities tend to have a harder time growing due to poor soil quality. However, if you live in areas like Salt Lake City, you might need to visit a landscape supply store. If you want to improve your garden’s soil quality, you’ll need the right kind of mulch and soil conditioner.

Focus on fertilizers that have the right amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are what plants mostly use during photosynthesis, their main source of energy. Consider getting your soil evaluated so that you know how much minerals you need to mix in.

Application Method

The way you apply your fertilizer matters since fertilizers can have various concentrations. Determining the right application method is important. If you choose the proper approach, you can supplement your plants effectively without any risk of damage.

If you haven’t begun planting, you can apply fertilizer on the soil and till it to mix it properly. This method, also known as the deep soil application, is one of the most effective ways to prepare your soil and increase its quality. Granular fertilizers are best for this method.

Water-based fertilizers can also be applied to plant seedlings to boost growth. Otherwise, you can either scatter water-soluble fertilizer around your crops or apply concentrated amounts of fertilizer around centralized spots in your garden.

Period of Application

When applying your fertilizer, do it either in the early morning or evening. It ensures that your water evaporation is as little as possible, which allows water-soluble fertilizer more time to do its work. Consider setting up a sprinkler or irrigation system if you can’t water your plants regularly.

Limit your fertilizer applications to once or twice a year. Apply your fertilizer during summer or spring to boost your plants’ growth. If you’re growing fruits or vegetables, use slow-acting fertilizer for a higher chance of getting bumper crops for the season.

Another possible period of application is during fall, right before the winter season starts. That will help your plants weather through the cold months and minimize plant damage.

Fertilizer handling is hard if you don’t know the right way of managing it. If you’re a beginner gardener, consider growing hardier and more resilient plants while you’re still learning the ropes. Upgrade to more delicate plants once you’ve gotten a bit more experience.

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