March buds get a boost from organic fertilizer in my Wake Co garden

The stores are full of fertilizers–you can find specialized mixes for everything from African violets to azaleas to palm trees.  And they all have instructions on the back, “Feed after blooming…feed every 6 weeks…”

That’s too much work for me.  When it comes to fertilizer, I keep it simple.  Every March I do my yearly feeding, adding Epsoma Plant-tone organic fertilizer to the mixed beds in my garden.

Could I do more for my plants?  Yes.  I could (and should) do a yearly soil test, and   I should learn to read the results (which is not easy).   I could add nutrients–I’ve seen recipes for everything from epsom salts to tea bags.

Worthy ideas.  I’ll put them on the to-do list.  Meanwhile I’ve learned just to cover the bases.  And I start with  2 forty pound bags of Plant-tone in March–

It’s safe, builds soil, and  won’t hurt my plants.  Chemical fertilizers can burn. If you  really over apply, they can kill. Plus fertilizer run-off is bad for streams and waterways.

So think before you fertilize. Read at least part of the product instructions before you bring something home.

And try this:  When I visit a beautiful local garden, I always ask the gardener how they feed.  That’s how I learned about Plant-tone.

Also make sure you’re doing other things to feed your soil–

I add compost, ground up leaves and  mulch that breaks down quickly.  Well rotted manure is a great additive.  You can also grow plants that fix nitrogen in soil.  Check out this post from reader Naomi in London. 

http://outofmyshed.co.uk/2011/03/15/green-manure-has-done-its-job/ 

She’s using green manures–living to plants to feed her soil.   Great info–I’m impressed that she can do this in small raised veg beds like I have.  Now I’m going to give it a try.

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