Dry Molasses Ė First Major Fertilization of the Year
Lava Sand Dry Molasses
Some gardening advisors will tell you to wait until April to make the first fertilizer application of the year, but thatís bad advice. Their concept is not to fertilize lawns and beds until the soil warms because the fertilizer will leach away before it does any good. Those same experts recommend fertilizing trees late winter. If your yard is anything like mine, you have some trees with roots that travel out well beyond the drip line and virtually cover the entire property. It's tough to fertilize one without the other.
The non-organic folks are right about one thing - typical water soluble synthetic fertilizers will leach away. Thatís one reason I donít recommend them. They also salt up the soil, kill soil microbes and ruin soil structure.
Hereís what you should do. Fertilize late winter with any organic fertilizer at 20 lbs. per 1,000 square feet. These naturally-slow-release products will feed the roots of trees, shrubs and even grasses before they start to grow. January and February are the ideal months to fertilize in the South. Those in the North will have to wait for the soil to thaw.
Dry molasses has become my favorite organic fertilizer. It is used to quickly stimulate microbes in the soil and give an indirect benefit of fertility. It should be used at 10 - 20 lbs. per 1000 sq ft. It can be beneficial on acreage at rates as low as 200 - 400 lbs. per acre. It also, in many cases, will run fire ants off the property.
The sugar level in quality dry molasses should be 42% percent vs. the 38% in some products. The Stockade product contains the proper amount of sugar and also is a cane sugar base, which is the best.
FIRST MAJOR FERTILIZATION PROGRAM
- Fertilize all planting areas and turf with a natural-organic fertilizer at approximately 20 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. If the soil is already healthy, the rate can be reduced to 10 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.
- An ideal choice is dry molasses at 20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.
- Cool-season flowers can be fertilized with earthworm castings, fish meal, cottonseed meal, alfalfa, bat guano or other organic fertilizer at 10 - 20 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. in addition to dry molasses if desired.
- Spray and drench plant roots with Garrett Juice Plus and Bio S.I. by Alpha Bio.
- Treat problem areas with Ĺ inch of compost and whole ground cornmeal at 20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.
- Feed interior plants with coffee grounds, earthworm castings, Garrett Juice and other gentle organic products.
If you have any questions on this newsletter or any other topic, tune in Sunday 8am -11am CST to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show. The phone number for the show is 1-866-444-3478. Listen on the internet or find a station in your area. Members can log in on Sunday mornings to see the Dirt Doctor's Live Broadcast.
Products for pest control, lawn and garden care are available in independent garden retailers that stock natural organic products and online at the Natural Organic Warehouse (NOW).
If you have any questions on this newsletter or any other topic, tune in Sunday 8am -11am (CST) to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show. The phone number for the show is 1-866-444-3478. Listen on the internet or find a station in your area.
Please share this newsletter with everyone in your address book and all your friends on Facebook and Twitter to help me spread the word on organics.
P.S. A membership to the Organic Club of America is a great gift for Valentine's Day!
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