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Photo: GEP.com

When it comes to fertilizing vegetable plants, flowers, containers or hanging baskets, a few simple secrets can create big success!

The more plants grow and mature, the more they begin to use up those nutrients. And that is where providing a little natural boost of nutrients can make all the difference. The key to success is knowing when, what, and how much to apply to create the perfect balance of available nutrients. The best part of fertilizing vegetable plants naturally is that they only serve to build the soil. Both in the short-term, and long-term, according to Oldworldgardenfarms.

What is Fertilizer?

Fertilizers are plant nutrients that are added to the soil. The plants absorb these essential nutrients from the soil to improve health, growth, and productivity. Soil nutrient deficiencies reduce and modify plant growth. You can also tell which nutrients your soil is lacking by the deficiency symptoms they display, which can range from yellow leaves (lack of nitrogen) to reduced flowering (lack of phosphorus) to weak stems (lack of potassium) to blossom-end rot (lack of calcium), Almanac expressed.

Fertilizing secrets to keep your garden and flowerbeds rocking all year-long

1. When to Fertilize Your Garden

Plants need the most nutrients when they are growing most rapidly. This occurs earlier for spring plantings of lettuce and other greens. Rapid growth occurs midsummer for corn and squash. Tomatoes and potatoes also will need extra fertilizer mid-season as the plants takes us nutrients.

For a long-season crop such as corn, many gardeners apply a small amount of fertilizer as a starter at the time of seeding, and then add a larger amount in early summer, just before the period of rapid growth. When using organic fertilizers for long-season crops, a single application is usually adequate because these fertilizers release their nutrients throughout the season.

2. Fertilizing The Planting Hole

Boosting the soil in the planting hole with additional nutrients sets the stage for a plant’s success. As the transplants begin to grow, they have instant energy that can easily be absorbed by their roots.

We mix every single planting hole with a supply of natural nutrients to provide lasting power for the plant. A healthy dose of compost, mixed in with a few table spoons of worm castings and coffee grounds provide a virtual cornucopia of balanced power to plants.

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Photo: 123RF.com

3. Healthy Soil May Not Need Fertilizer

The good news is most flower gardens with healthy soil won't need much fertilizing if any. If your soil isn't as healthy as it needs to be, then you should fertilize perennials just as the new growth emerges from the ground. That's usually all you'll need to do, Garden.lovetoknow commented.

4. Soil pH Matters

Even with a bag of top quality plant food, your vegetables won't be able to use it if your soil is too acidic or too basic. Most flowering vegetables grow best in soils with a pH of 5.5 to 7.5.

When the soil pH is lower than this, the minerals and other nutrients in the soil can build up to a point that is lethal to the plant. When the soil pH is higher than the optimal range, the plants' roots have difficulty taking up nutrients. Before planting a vegetable garden, test your soil's pH and correct it if needed, Homeguides.sfgate noted.

5. Let Your Plants Settle In

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Photo: Jobescompany.com

When a vegetable or flower transplant is planted, it goes through a small period of shock. It has gone from its little protective container into the great big outside world, and it needs a bit of time to adjust before getting too many powerful nutrients all at once.

One of the biggest mistakes many gardeners make is to apply powerful liquid fertilizers to plants immediately after they go into the ground. The best rule of thumb, allow 10 to 14 days for plants to recover from transplant shock before hitting them with any additional power sources. Give the plants time to adjust and begin to spread their roots into the slow-release fertilizers of compost and worm castings.

6. Applying Liquid Fertilizers – Double Duty Success

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Photo: Salmanzafar.me

Once plants have had a bit of time to settle in and recover from shock, you can give them a more instant boost to really power them up. Liquid fertilizers, in the form of compost tea, worm casting tea, and even manure tea can work wonders to boost plants.

These teas are made simply by steeping water in the substances over the course of a few days to create a powerful, all-purpose liquid fertilizer. It can be used to water plants, absorbing energy both through the foliage and root zones. Teas are a quick and effective boost of energy for plants, especially during their first few months of growth. It can keep your tomato plants growing, and your flowers and hanging baskets blooming!

7. Avoid Over Feeding

When it comes to fertilizing vegetable plants and flowers, too much of a good thing can ultimately be a bad thing. Plants that are over-fertilized begin to spend the excess nutrients grow only bigger stems and foliage.

When it comes to vegetable plants, feeding every two to three weeks is more than enough. We also stop feeding in mid summer to let the plant put the proper energy into forming produce. As for flowers, especially containers and hanging baskets, we continue to feed every two to three weeks into fall. Plants in contained soil begin to deplete by mid to late summer of their natural nutrients. Keeping a steady feeding schedule for these plants keeps them blooming til seasons end.

Notes

There are many options for how you convey nutrients to your plants: Dry Fertilizer, Animal Manures, Water-soluble Fertilizer... Many gardeners use a combination of different fertilizers and techniques. Others use granular products or manures to supply the main nutrients and liquids to correct minor deficiencies or quickly boost growth, as regarded in Gardeningsolutions.

Remember, only when you choose the right fertilizer for your flowers and vegetables do you have a beautiful growing nature at the backyard of you house!

If you find the abovementioned information effective for your use, don't hesitate to share it widely, many thanks in advance!

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