Thursday, August 30, 2012

More on fall fertilization - the what, why, and how

Here's some additional information on fall fertilization as a follow up from my post 2 days ago.

Quickly fall is approaching which means that it's time to fertilize.

Many of us associate spring with the time to fertilize.  While that is true, a fall fertilization is equally as important.

Why in the fall? Taking the time to fertilize in the fall will strengthen your plants' roots, giving them a strong base on which to thrive next spring.

Plant health care in the fall is essential. By now, perennials are starting to fade but they will benefit from 0-20-0 super phosphate fertilizer scattered around the plants at recommended doses and lightly cultivated into the soil. Next spring you'll have stronger plants with more flowers. (If you don't understand 'fertilizer language'; things like '0-20-0', please see yesterday's post on understanding fertilizers.)

Fall is also a great time to fertilize shrubs and trees. In my opinion, all trees and shrubs need fertilizer, because most of them are located in mulch beds that use up nitrogen as they decompose. In addition, every fall we rake leaves off these beds, depriving plants of the nutrients that decomposing leaves would traditionally release. To compensate, I recommend applying one to three pounds of slow-release nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of bed and cultivating lightly. (To figure out the exact amount of fertilizer you'll need, calculate the square footage of your beds and consult with your local garden center or tree service, like Trees "R" Us, Inc.) It is preferable to fertilize trees in late September and early October to promote root growth. These nutrients will still be in the soil come spring when plants start to grow. If you have a tree or shrub that does not flower well, a dose of super phosphate will help promote flower growth. However, if the plant is not located in the right spot, all the super phosphate in the world won't make it flower.

Fall is also the time to plant bulbs. Use super phosphate to promote root growth, insuring strong flowering in the spring. Some people recommend using bone meal when planting bulbs, but sometimes it attracts rodents who eat both the bone meal and the bulbs.

As you can tell, the basic goal of fall fertilizing is to promote root growth. When you have strong roots, you have healthy plants with numerous flowers. So push those roots!

At Trees "R" Us, Inc. we take pride in not only our professional tree care services, but also educating our customers. It is through education that we really save trees and help the environment. We hope you found this post informative and educational.

Trees "R" Us, Inc. is a professional tree service for the Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs. Tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, fertilizations, tree disease treatments and prevention as well as plant health care are just a few of our high quality, professional services. Contact us today for a free analysis or quote at www.treesrusinc.com or at 847-913-9069.

Thanks for reading,
Nick
nick@treesrusinc.com


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