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Keyword Search Results for:
fertilizer

10 Found

Question: 392-3410
I was told to fertilize my trees and shrubs along the drip line. How can I fertilize them? If I have grass growing under the trees ? Alice, Southbridge, MA

Mort's Answer:
You do have to remove the grass. Instead of broadcasting the fertilizer, you can dig holes at the drip line that godown a foot. For every inch of the trunk, place two holes in a circle around the tree at the drip line. This holes can be made with crowbar or tire iron. This will last for 5 years.

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Question: 737-1712
My neighbor used 19-19-19 fertilizer and new wood chips on his potatoes. Can I use that on my onions as well? Bill, Tulsa, OK

Mort's Answer:
Wood chips will finally breakdown and add nitrogen in the second year. Potatoes are heavy feeders and like plenty of help. Onions will do well with 5-10-10. They do not need the top growth as much. Raw chips draw nitrogen from the soil and release it into the air. Your neighbor is compensating for this loss with 19-19-19. Your potatoes will do fine with 10-10-10 with no chips. Aged chips, manure, grass clippings add good texture to the soil.

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Question: 758-2212
Can you recommend a good fertilizer for root vegetables? I have been using 10-10-10. Roger, Gardner, MA

Mort's Answer:
When we say balanced fertilizer , we do not mean equal numbers. Root vegetables require a balanced formula that gives a higher percent of potash, the last number. Lawns need higher nitrogen, as do leafy plants. Plants the favor fruit and flowers need a higher middle number like 5-10-5. A !0-10-10 is good for potatoes because it needs leaves to feed the tubers underground. Beets, radishes and carrots do not need the upper growth as much. A balanced formula refers to the individual type of plants.

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Question: 836-4212
What kind of fertilizer do you recommend for asparagus, raspberries and blackberries? They are are older plants. Bill, Taylorville, IL

Mort's Answer:
If they are not doing very well, you can use bonemeal. If they were doing just so-so, then I would use 5-10-10 fertilizer. Side dress the asparagus row and use a handful around each berry shrub. Raspberries and blackberries need to have a steady renewal of two and three year old wood. Remove older canes on the berries and half on the new pencil shoots. This can be done at any time of the year but it is easier in the fall, when the leaves have fallen.

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Question: 15-1315
I have a large bag of pelletized lime that is a solid mass. Can I use it? Ann, Willimantic, CT

Mort's Answer:
You can pulverize that previously pelletized lime. Smash it on the garage floor or some other hard surface where it can be easily swept up. It may be somewhat granular instead of powder depending on how thorough it is. ground. You can spread at the granular at 40 lbs. per 5000 sq.ft and the fine powder at 40 per 10,000 sq.ft.

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Question: 253-1315
Can I use a granular fertilizer on my azaleas and mini roses? Pat, North Stonington, CT

Mort's Answer:
Azaleas need high phosphorus fertilizers like 5-10-10 or 5-10-5 for good flower development. Aged manure will help release phosphorus in your soil. Your mini rose would do well with the aged manure. Rose growers do not like to use synthetics on any roses. If you are taking the mini roses indoors for the winter, wait until they are outdoors to apply the manure.

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Question: 644-4511
Is horse manure a good fertilizer to use in the fall? Pat, Richmond, IN

Mort's Answer:
Absolutely, it is one of the best fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are a must for roses. Although the nitrogen content is only 2%, it creates a condition in the soil that allows release of all natural elements into the plants. Fresh manure of any kind should be piled for the winter. This will allow the manure to self sterilize. Aged manure will be free of any possible pathogens. Annual applications will soften clay soils and enrich sandy soils.

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Question: 705-912
Can you recommend a good fertilizer? Anna, Keosauqua, Iowa

Mort's Answer:
Most soils need amendments as well as fertilizer. Sea weed, manure and bonemeal add bio activity to the soil as well as nutrients. Soils that have depleted nitrogen, phosphorus and potash can be replenished quickly with man made fertilizer formulas. When you grow vegetables, you will need higher proportions for the three types. Root vegetables like higher amounts of potash. Leafy veggies need more nitrogen, Fruit veggies like more phosphorus. Bone meal or 5-10-5 will supply needed phosphorus for tomatoes, peppers etc . Lawns and lettuce need more nitrogen from manure or 8-6-2. Beets, carrots and bulbs like 5-10-10. Often times natural phosphorus in the soil can be release by lime or gypsum. I like natural fertilizers because they add texture to the soil.

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Question: 822-3912
This year my tomatoes and cucumbers have not done well. I have had a lot of cucumbers but the plants are starting to die. The tomatoes have black spots and the bottoms turn black. They are tasty if I remove the black bottoms. I have fertilized frequently with liquid fertilizer. What is my problem? Frank, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Liquid fertilizer can produce an addictive obsession by the plants. This nitrogen fix makes for a vigorous plant but the fruit eventually suffers. You can use a granular fertilizer with a higher middle number next year just once in the spring. This makes a more gradual growth that can be sustained through the roots. Black tomato spots are a sure sign of excess. Your cucumbers are probably exhausted from the overfeeding. You should also rotate your crops to prevent disease.

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Question: 855-2116
Is Epsom salts a good fertilizer? June, Mansfield, CT

Mort's Answer:
Just a pinch of Epsom salts is a good catalyst for nutrients that are in the soil and added to increase fertility. It also is recommended to bring better color to hydrangea macrophylla. Use less than a teaspoon on each plant. Blooming plants still require phosphorus and bulbs need potash. Leafy plants need higher amounts of nitrogen. Magnesium sulphate provides only two elements but can be very helpful by activating other essential elements.

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