Best Fertilizer For Outdoor Plants

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Best Fertilizer For Outdoor Plants

Best Fertilizer For Outdoor Plants

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I grew up on an apple farm where we not only lived on apples but also grew our own vegetables and my mother diligently tended the huge flower beds. The soil was our lifeline, so it was important to maintain it. Applying the right fertilizer at the best time of the growing season was part of our annual routine. I even did a sixth grade science project on the effects of adding different nutrients to soil and plant growth.

I learned a lot about fertilizers growing up and I was surrounded by soil experts in college when I worked as an extension officer (consumer science) at Clemson University. One key thing I learned during this time? Before a good agent would recommend any soil amendment, he would have the farmer or consumer first submit a soil sample for testing.

If you’re really serious about your garden and your yard, you can follow them and buy a soil test kit online or work with your state’s Cooperative Soil Testing Advisory Service. Soil testing is the best way to learn about your soil’s needs and help you better prepare for choosing the right nutrient mix.

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A soil test report will focus on the three most important nutrients that plants need: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Every fertilizer should contain an analysis of these nutrients, and these three numbers are always listed in that order. For example, a bag of 16-4-8 fertilizer contains 16 percent nitrogen, 4 percent phosphorus, and 8 percent potassium.

However, if starting a soil test sounds daunting, start here to learn about great general fertilizer options for your plants. Because soil types and growing conditions are so diverse, we’ve decided to focus on the best basic fertilizers for lawns, houseplants, vegetables, trees and shrubs and flowers. The best varieties have been selected based on expert advice and my own experiments in my garden to ensure maximum cultivation results that do not harm the plants or the environment.

Best Fertilizer For Outdoor Plants

The balance between a healthy green lawn and a lawn that grows so fast that it needs mowing too often is a fine line, but Lesco 16-4-8 Polyplus Fertilizer with Iron helps you find that line.

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Unless you choose to specialize in orchids or cacti, which can be very finicky, Osmocote Indoor Outdoor Organic Plant Food will keep houseplants from ferns to phytoncides healthy and lush.

If you’re hoping for a bountiful harvest of big, juicy tomatoes, crisp beans and tender lettuce, you’ll need a heavy-duty general purpose fertilizer like Hyponex All Purpose Fertilizer 10-10-10.

Even a sturdy oak tree needs nutrients, and Vigoro Tree, Shrub and Evergreen Food is an ideal choice for any woody plant in your landscape.

I have grown beautiful annuals and perennials from peonies to petunias year after year with Osmocote Flower and Vegetable Smart Release Plant Food.

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The most popular lawn fertilizers contain a high percentage of nitrogen, which causes the grass to turn green quickly. While we all love quick results, too much nitrogen applied at the wrong time can burn the grass, cause unwanted rapid growth that will weaken the root system, or actually lead to nitrogen leaching and depletion. A compound fertilizer such as 16-4-8, if applied as recommended during the growing season, will provide a steady supply of nutrients to keep the grass healthy throughout the year.

Lesco 16-4-8 Polyplus Fertilizer with Iron is a slow release formula that also contains three percent iron to improve color when applied early in the growing season in early spring. This is a dry, granular mixture that should be applied with a spreader to spread it evenly. Each 50-pound bag covers 10,000 square feet of lawn.

Cons: It doesn’t work quickly to turn grass bright green and has no weed control. The bag can also leak easily.

Best Fertilizer For Outdoor Plants

OK, even Osmocote can’t promise spectacular plants if you over water, under water or don’t get the right amount of light. But it will give your plants the nutrients they need in a slow-release form that will last for six months.

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According to experts at Iowa State University, houseplants should only be fertilized during the spring and summer growing season, so you only need one application per year.

Osmocote is a well-balanced mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium 15-9-12. Because it is released slowly when you water the plant, it won’t burn the roots or cause the plant to put out knotty growth too quickly.

I use Osmocote for both indoor potted plants and outdoor container gardens. A two-pound container takes up 75 square feet of soil—and that’s a lot of potted plants. I especially like that the airtight container prevents it from clumping and is easy to store from season to season.

Pros: The slow release formula does not burn plants and only one application is required during the growing season. In addition, the container is easy to store between seasons.

When To Fertilize Plants

Phosphorus and potassium are mainly needed for gardening. According to the advice of Texas A&M experts, you should not use lawn fertilizers in gardens. They contain too much nitrogen and often produce lots of green leaves but less greens. They also often contain herbicides that can kill plants.

Experienced vegetable growers know that the most important time for feeding is before planting the first plant or seed in the ground. Applying fertilizer to the soil in preparation for planting ensures even seed distribution and reduces the chance of scorching sensitive plants. If you decide to add additional fertilizer during the growing season, it should be placed at least four to six inches from the base of the plants and watered well to prevent burning.

Hyponex 10-10-10 is a fast-release formula that begins feeding immediately, making it ideal for vegetables with a short growing season. Because it is fast-release, you will need to reapply after 30 days if you have a long growing season.

Best Fertilizer For Outdoor Plants

Dry granular fertilizers are easy to spread and contain no herbicides that can harm plants. A 40kg bag will easily feed a medium sized home garden all season long.

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Applying fertilizer when the plant is taking root will help speed up its growth. A slow release formula like Vigoro is a great choice for the nursing months. Inspect the tree or shrub annually for signs of poor growth. If the leaves are pale, drooping, or showing little growth, you may need to add nutrients through fertilizer.

The most nutrients are needed by the trees and shrubs in the flower beds. If you have trees in the middle of your fertilized lawn, they don’t need to be fertilized. The roots absorb nutrients from the application of lawn fertilizer.

There are liquid, granular and granular fertilizers for trees and shrubs. Liquid fertilizer is sprayed on the leaves of the bushes but I don’t think it ever really gets into the plant. Following the advice of University of Massachusetts horticulturists, I avoid over-fertilizing because the entire root system does not get an even distribution of nutrients.

Instead, I prefer the granular formula because it allows me to better control the amount of product applied per plant circumference. After breaking down the grains, Vigoro is watered with nutrients. Since the roots are mostly in the first 12-14 inches of the soil, I often apply Vigoro right before some rainy days so I can be sure it penetrates deep into the soil.

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A 3.5 pound bag of Vigoro Plant Food will cover a lot of terrain because you only use one tablespoon per square foot under a tree or shrub. I apply it in late summer or early fall so that the nutrients penetrate well into the root system and promote spring growth.

Pros: Easy to use and well distributed to reach all parts of the root system. It also has a 180-day full money back guarantee for peace of mind.

I still use Osmocote today because it’s hard to argue with results. Osmocote provides the right combination

Best Fertilizer For Outdoor Plants

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