First Major Fertilization of the Year
FIRST MAJOR FERTILIZATION OF THE YEAR
Is late winter the time to apply high-nitrogen synthetic fertilizer? No, but it never is. It is time, however, for the first major organic fertilizer application.
The toxic chemical gardening advisors will tell you to wait until April to make the first fertilizer application of the year. That's actually good advice if you are still using the destructive synthetic salt products because that’s the only time they have a chance to feed plants. Applied when the plants aren't actively growing, the synthetic stuff will completely volatilize, wash and leach away. Most of it does when applied in April.
Organic fertilizers stay in place and behave themselves. They should be used now (late winter) at 20 lbs. per 1,000 square feet. These naturally slow-release products will feed the soil, the microbes and benefit the roots of trees, shrubs and even grasses before the plants 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 is one good organic fertilizer choice. It can be used to quickly stimulate microbes in the soil and give an indirect benefit of fertility. It can be beneficial on acreage at rates as low as 200 - 400 lbs. per acre. It also, in most cases, will run fire ants off the property. Excellent organic fertilizers that are blends of natural materials include MaestroGro, Medina, and Nature's Guide. Azomite can help to re-mineralize your soil.
Cool-season flowers can be fertilized with earthworm castings, fishmeal, cottonseed meal, alfalfa, bat guano, Garrett Juice or other organic fertilizer.
Interior plants can be fed 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 8 am -11 am central time to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show. Listen on the internet or find a station in your area. The phone number for the show is 1-866-444-3478.
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Originally published 2015