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Note from Howard - Why we Fertilize Early

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Those who use synthetic fertilizers should indeed wait until April or May to make the first fertilizer application of the year. It’s one of the few things they say all year that makes any sense. Putting the high-nitrogen, salt-based stuff out early damages the life in the soil first, then goes into solution and washes over or leaches through the soil, ending up in the rivers and ultimately into the Gulf of Mexico. I agree that waiting to apply it in April allows it to get into the plants better, but it doesn’t do the plants any good. Sure it makes them greener and pushes growth at first, but it creates weak, watery cells in the plants, and sick plants attract pests.

The organic fertilization program has a different storyline. It does not hurt the soil with high-salt concentrations and harsh sources of nutrients. Organic fertilizers aren’t soluble, so leaching and run off are not issues. The natural plant foods make the soil healthier with every application. As a result, they build big, healthy root systems. On the other hand, the fraudulent fertilizers (3-1-2, 4-1-2 ratios or even worse the nitrogen only 1-0-0 ratios) damage the soil and plants with every application. Yes, some organic fertilizers have a 3-1-2 ratio – but it is irrelevant!

The reason the smart crowd makes organic fertilizer applications early (this month for example) is that the natural material feeds the soil microbes and starts improving the chemistry, physics
and biology, and jump starts root growth before the major growth spurt happens in the spring. While the organiphobes are running around putting down their crummy artificial fertilizer in April, our plants are already starting to grow and are benefiting from the late winter (early spring) stimulation of microbes and roots.

Our organic plants don’t have the weak, watery and pest-inviting cells. The plants are prettier and more productive. They have bigger and healthier root systems, and they require less irrigation.

Even some of my organic friends are still telling gardeners to wait until April to fertilize, but they are wrong. The best time to fertilize is now.

If you are a beginner to the organic method – welcome! Start by applying dry molasses to your property at 20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. If you have a large property, use at least 100 lbs. per acre up to 800 lbs. per acre. This product will do more for the price than anything we have tried. One of my radio listeners warned about horses eating it off of the ground and ingesting dirt. That would be a concern. Other horse people have told me that it is not a problem. Yes, the horses will follow you as it is being applied and try to get some, but that’s natural - it’s good stuff. Use some care the first time it is used around horses.
Those veterans of organics can apply your choice of organic fertilizer at 10 – 20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. For herbicidal value, use corn gluten meal at 20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.

Again, the rates for acreage can be much less with relatively good results.

Best wishes for a great growing season.

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