Apply a starter fertilizer to grass after about four weeks’ growth. Continue to avoid heavy activity on your new lawn for the first four weeks following installation. After that, enjoy your new toe-tickling lawn.
When it comes to fertilizing vegetables, you can group them into 3 categories: light, moderate and heavy feeders. Peas, beans, radishes, turnips and mustard greens among the light feeders. Give them starter fertilizer when you plant; if they’re growing in compost-enriched soil, they probably won’t need to be fed again. For best results, do a soil test before planting to determine what kind of amendments and fertilizer your soil needs. Shown here: Snow Pea 'Green Beauty'
Problem: Stunted, pale or weak-looking plants. Solution: Before you can treat this problem, you need to figure out exactly what’s causing it. Insects may be attacking your plants, or you may be watering too much, or not fertilizing enough. Check both sides of the leaves, and look along the stems and branches for signs of trouble. Make sure the roots aren't standing in a saucer full of water. Read up on how and when to fertilize your plant, and feed it with a balanced plant food or a specialized plant food, if necessary.
Traditional wisdom calls for fertilizing trees in early spring, if needed, but some research indicates that fall may be a better time. Wait a month after the first hard frost to feed; fertilizing while the temperatures are still warm and the tree is actively growing may lead to new growth that is killed back. For best results, test your soil and ask your local county extension agent for advice on what kind of fertilizer and how much to use.
Well-fed plants are healthier and more attractive than those that aren't fertilized. There are many kinds of fertilizers, including slow-release fertilizers that release nutrients for 2 or more months before they need to be reapplied. Liquid or water-soluble fertilizers are usually reapplied every week to 10 days. Choose the product that's right for whatever you're growing, and follow label directions.
Indoor plant fertilizers come in a variety of forms. You can find liquid fertilizers and powders that you mix with water, as well as slow release stakes and prills (small pellets). Do a little homework to make sure you choose the best fertilizer for your plants. For most foliage plants, general indoor plant fertilizers that are water soluble or slow release work fine.
Seedlings don’t need fertilizer until their second set of leaves—the so-called “true leaves”—appear. Then give them a water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength, and apply twice a week. If the seedlings are growing in potting mix with fertilizer already in it, you don’t need to feed them until you transplant them into the garden.
Water your perennials the day before you fertilize, and apply the fertilizer about the time that new spring growth appears. Some perennials, such as daylilies, are heavier feeders than others, so you may want to feed twice more in the growing season, at 6-week intervals. A slow-release fertilizer is a good choice for the spring feeding. Follow up with a liquid fertilizer, if desired, in summer.
Mix organic matter and fertilizer into your soil when you plant annuals, or use a packaged potting mix that has fertilizer in it. Make sure to water thoroughly, so the plant roots don’t get burned. Most annuals bloom heavily for several weeks before they need feeding again; then you can add a slow-release fertilizer or use a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer about every two weeks. Shown here: Superbells® 'Strawberry Punch' Calibrachoa
Apply fertilizer to your lawn in early fall. Look for a fertilizer with a formula designed to meet your lawn's needs and follow application instructions on the product. The numbers on a fertilizer bag, in N-P-K order, indicate the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, respectively, on weight basis. If you aren’t sure what your lawn needs, consult with a lawn care or landscape professional. A soil test can determine what ratio is best for your lawn. Be sure to check with your local agricultural extension office, as some locations regulate the time of year that fertilizer can be applied to reduce runoff.
After you plant your bulbs in the fall, top dress them with a balanced 10-10-10 or 10-15-10 slow-release fertilizer or a product formulated especially for bulbs. Feed again in the spring, as soon as new growth emerges from the ground. Mix the fertilizer into the soil to avoid burning the bulbs.
A spreading-type pansy formula mix provides a colorful edging for planting beds. Pair it with a leatherleaf sedge for a season-long show that keeps going strong even after cold temps arrive. For pansies in beds, fertilize at planting time with water-soluble plant food to give plants a solid start. In warmer zones, avoid giving pansies a high-nitrogen fertilizer during September to avoid causing plants to stretch.
This Southern New Jersey home’s backyard blends artificial grass seamlessly with flowers and mulch to create a natural looking lawn that doesn’t require water or fertilizer. An organic vegetable garden would do nicely adjacent to this lawn.
This worm composter is a great way to turn kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich fertilizer and is good-looking enough to occupy a mud room or pantry. Comes in gray or green. $139; Gardeners Supply Company
Problem: Yellowing veins, especially on young, new leaves, or yellow leaves in general. Solution: Yellowing veins may mean your plant needs more iron or magnesium. Give it a trace element fertilizer. If you’re not sure which one to use, take a few sample leaves to your local garden center or nursery and ask for help. Leaves that are turning yellow all over can mean the plant needs fertilizer. Use one formulated for whatever you're growing, such as an orchid or a foliage plant like this Diffenbachia. Follow label directions.
This dandelion was scuffed just prior to spraying a weedkiller. It died quickly and completely, never to return. The best time to spray dandelions is in the fall, because this is when plants are naturally shifting materials from leaves to roots for winter storage. Weedkiller applied in fall moves directly to roots, which helps get rid of dandelions permanently. Avoid using lawn weed and feed products in fall to kill dandelions, though, because if your lawn goes dormant for winter, it won't absorb the fertilizer. Instead, any weeds present take up the fertilizer and grow stronger.