General Fertilizing Application Rules

Fertilizers provide the nutrients that help the plants grow healthy. Water is essential for plants, however, it can wash away the necessary nutrients. Therefore you need to add more food for the plants.

Fertilizers are used to encourage new growth. Most fertilizers are applied first thing in the spring. Follow label directions.  All-Purpose Fertilizers such as 10-10-10/20-20-20 may be applied to garden beds to fertilize all plants at once. Stop fertilizers at least 6 weeks before plants begin to show fall color, generally around Labor Day.  We recommend using Root-N-Grow on all new plantings to stimulate new root growth.

Annuals

  • First, apply Root-n-Grow when initial planting occurs.
  • Second, incorporate a slow-release fertilizer into the soil at the time of planting to encourage growth and blooms. Annuals may be then be fertilized weekly with a general-purpose fertilizer, following label directions.

Hanging Baskets / Containers

  • To keep them blooming, they need to be fertilized regularly. Use a time-released fertilizer if you are planting the basket or container yourself. Or choose a water-soluble fertilizer with a high middle number (this is phosphorus and it is for flower power)

Perennials & Grasses

  • First, apply Root-n-Grow when initial planting occurs.
  • Second, begin fertilizing 1 month after planting. They should be fertilized with a granular, slow-release fertilizer in the spring after new growth appears. Repeat this at recommended intervals on package. A liquid fertilizer may be used every 2-4 weeks if not using granular.

Shrubs

  • Fertilizer should not be applied for the first year; use only Root-n-Grow to stimulate the root structure when planting.
  • Non-acid loving shrubs may be fertilized with a granular, slow-release fertilizer in the spring once new growth appears. Repeat this at recommended intervals on package. A liquid fertilizer may be used every 2-4 weeks if not using granular.
  • Evergreens and acid-loving shrubs such as azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, and boxwoods prefer acidic soils. They need an acid-based fertilizer such as Miracid once a month during the growing season.

Trees

  • Fertilizer should not be applied for the first year; use only Root-n-Grow to stimulate the root structure when planting.
  • Evergreen Trees grow well in acidic soil, so it is recommended to use an acid-based fertilizer such as Miracid (follow directions).
  • Large, established trees do not need fertilizing unless yellowing foliage issues emerge. Call us if that happens for advice on how to treat your specific tree.

Remember, plants are living things – they need water and food and TLC.

How do you choose what fertilizer your plants need? The packages say 10-10-10, 20-20-20, 10-8-10 or many others on a container of fertilizer. These numbers are the N-P-K values.

What does N-P-K mean?  N-P-K are essential nutrients plants need to live and grow.  The higher the number the more concentrated the nutrient is in the fertilizer.

N-NitrogenBasically helps the growth of the plants leaves. If your plants are showing yellow all over and not growing well, give it a boost of fertilizer with a higher first number.

P-PhosphousStimulates the root growth, flower and fruit development. Products such as Blossom Booster will have a higher middle number. If your plants’ leaves take on a blueish cast or have little fruits or blossoms, then apply a fertilizer with a higher middle number.

K-Potassium Helps the overall function of the plant to perform as it should. It helps plants resist disease and pests. Plants often show potassium deficiency when the tips of leaves curl, there is yellowing of the veins of leaves, and there are brown or purple spots.

Come and get a pH soil tester to find out what nutrients you need added to your garden beds.

BLOOMS carries a variety of Jack’s Fertilizers:

  • All Purpose 20-20-20
  • Blossom Booster 10-30-20
  • Acid Special 17-6-6
  • Petunia FeED 20-6-22
  • Tomato FeED 12-15-30
  • Hydrangea Blue 7-3-3
  • ClassiCote 15-8-23 is a slow-release fertilizer similar to Osmocote.