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How to Fertilize Plants

Learn how to fertilize plants from landscape architect Patrick Weisel in this Howcast video.


A lot of people ask about fertilizing plants, trees and shrubs and there's a couple ways you can go about doing that. Obviously one of the most common ones is to use chemical fertilizers.

Generally what you do is get a granular fertilizer and then you would mix it into some quantity of water and you would pour that water on the plant. What you want to make sure here is that you follow the instructions on the labels explicitly.

If you have any doubts err to the side of less fertilizer than more. More fertilizer is not better. It can actually wound the plant and cause it to go into decline.

One of the really easy ways to do it if you're unsure of what you're doing is to just get one of these prepackaged hose end fertilizer outfits that you can get at any of your big box stores.

You just attach this to the end of the hose and then you follow the instructions and you turn it on and you water your plants with the fertilized water for whatever the time they recommend on the packages.

Now, there is another route that a lot of people are going these days which is to use nature's own fertilizing method which is the soil food web.

If you go to chemical fertilizers you can actually damage the soil food web which is fungi, bacteria, small organisms that are alive and teaming in the soil that create an environment that is actually beneficial to your plant.

When these organisms die other organisms eat them and move around the soil and excrete the remains of the other organisms which puts nitrogen in the soil.

So be careful using chemical fertilizers. If you just feed your soil with some compost and you mulch regularly the organisms in the soil should feed your plants for you.

So let nature do the work and avoid the chemicals if at all possible.

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